Jan 23, 2016 - Retirement    2 Comments

13 lessons from retirement

Six months into semi-retirement (having left the daily newspaper business to teach University at Albany students how to enter it), here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Getting dressed is overrated.
  • Full-time, part-time and no-time employees spend weekdays doing the same thing: Slurping coffee while scrolling Facebook, shopping online and playing Words with Friends. The only variation is the paycheck.
  • You find unfulfilling the transition from bossing around humans to

             My only employee now is a cat.

    giving orders to a housebound cat (Get off my keyboard! Stop throwing up!), despite similarly indifferent responses.

  • You feel less guilty about time spent watching cardinals at the bird feeder, but more guilty about not keeping it filled – and a little sorry for the cat yearning to be free.
  • The exertion of an afternoon reading “The New Yorker” is enough to warrant a nap, even if you only read the cartoons.
  • No longer pressed to plan and do the week’s grocery shopping on crowded Sundays, you end up running to the store on Monday — and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (if dressed).
  • Every day is Saturday.

  • You make lists of all the things you must or might or ought to do that day, and feel a sense of accomplishment for having washed, dried and folded the laundry.
  • A spouse still working full-time wonders what you’ve done all day, but not enough to want a rundown (even though it was his laundry).
  • With practice, you keep a straight face when people ask if you miss working.
  • You suddenly have 40 discretionary hours a week and still not enough time for the gym.
  • When you do go to the gym for mid-day, mid-week tennis, you discover you’ve joined a secret society that unapologetically does whatever the heck they want whenever they feel like it.
  • You wonder why you’re trying to polish a blog post at 11:39 p.m. when, after all, you’re done with deadlines.


  • So, you have time to spare. I may have some suggestions!!

  • Your blog is so refreshing and humorous, and so you, Barb! Reading this makes me feel as though I’m a fly on the wall in your home. Very funny and enlightening!

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