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You know you’re retired when

['Community Editorial Panel with Sheila Graham']
['Community Editorial Panel with Sheila Graham']

Community Editorial Panel with Sheila Graham

We must’ve spent 15 minutes discussing it. If it was Good Friday, shouldn’t all the stores be closed? Didn’t they used to be closed on Good Friday? Or was that Easter Monday? Or was it only government and the like that were closed Good Friday? Or Easter Monday? We passed the school. How could that be? It looked like classes were on. How could we have forgotten what days were holidays and what days weren’t? Hadn’t we seen signs saying stores were closed Good Friday? What was going on?
And there you have it. What was going on was two retirees (Ralph and I) in our car looking to meet friends for breakfast and then suddenly wondering if the planned meeting point would even be open because it was a holiday. Fifteen minutes of our lives gone forever. Driving through town, seeing activity completely bamboozled us. Then suddenly the lightbulb moment! It wasn’t Friday. It was only Thursday. It wasn’t Good Friday; it was a regular Thursday.
And the actual date? Forget it. No way on earth either of us would have any idea whether it was the 18th, 21st or 7th of any month. The other day I was driving with a friend when she asked what would the date be on Saturday, 3 days hence. I wasn’t sure, but I said probably somewhere around the 24th or 25th. She checked and no, yesterday was the 25th so it couldn’t be. On my part, I was just impressed I had the wherewithal to think it would be a number in the 20’s and not the teens.
Retirement can be a wonderful time. When I was employed (and in no hurry to retire), employees would contact me on retirement dealings as I worked in Human Resources. I recall reading years before all the elements that went into a successful retirement and although many may think of it as strictly financial, it is so many other things as well. There’s a whole other component to it - it’s physical, it’s emotional, it’s social. Just because you’ve reached a time where you’re ‘able’ to retire doesn’t mean you should. Maybe you want to work a little longer till you adjust to not having that place to go to every day. I recall, on a course, a ditty on a gentleman who planned to go fishing with his already retired buddy. That was it. They would just fish, fish and fish some more. But then his buddy died, unexpectedly and because he’d made no other plans, he didn’t know how to fill his days. So he started drinking. And I recall hearing that if someone wasn’t into hobbies as an employee chances are they wouldn’t suddenly start with hobbies after retirement. In a nutshell, the message was to ensure you did other things with your life even while employed.
We are fortunate to have our health and common likes so we have no problem filling our days. Retirees used to tell us there’d be so much to do we’d wonder how we ever found the time to work and we have found this to be so true. Our calendar (on paper. Not on-line. We’re not very techie) is full most days. The problem is knowing which day we’re on. When our daily Amherst newspaper went to weekly, my first thought was how would I know what day it was.
So as for not knowing one day from the next? Not my fault. The dated newspaper should never have stopped daily delivery.

Sheila Graham is a member of the Amherst News Community Editorial Panel.

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