11 June 2020

Retirement Skills

OK, enough self-revelation for now...

It dawned on me this morning that one thing the quarantine has done is sharpened my retirement skills.  People often ask "So what do you do now that you're retired?" or the equivalent.  And many I know have expressed a certain trepidation at the prospect of having "all that time on their hands".  Living where I do, just outside Washington DC, the answer was easy, what with all the free museums and galleries, the National Symphony, the ambiance of Georgetown and Alexandria, and assorted trains for the rail-fan in me.  And every now and then there was travel, domestic and foreign.  Then all of those were suddenly and unexpectedly cut off.  Hmmm... what to do? 

Being a bit of a domestic diva, there were various household projects.  A previously scheduled bathroom remodel was, as it turns out, not impeded by the quarantine (masks and gloves were employed).  Such things do keep me busy, but not always entertained.  Happily, the out of doors was still open, and the weather was pleasant enough for walks, drives, and driving to someplace new and different and then getting out and walking.  That was surprisingly restorative.  I also started reading for pleasure, something I hardly did when I was working.  So I read some books in my discipline I never got around to reading and then branched out into things I was always curious about but never read-up on; I've now started a hefty history of the Maya.  In that regard, I also finally started using Kindle, which makes reading much easier, especially since it's portable and I don't have to worry about lighting.  Then there's brain games (as opposed to mind games which I was always good at).  I subscribe to Lumosity, but never gave myself much time on it.  I'm getting back into it.  Whether the claims they make to improve your brain have validity or not, the games are enjoyable and since they give you a score, I have the incentive to complete against myself.

Why, you may ask, am I bothering to tell you this.  It's this: if you have not yet retired, and are wondering how you will occupy yourself when the time comes, remember the things you did during quarantine.  Quarantine is a demanding test of retirement skills.  If you found ways to psychically survive quarantine, retirement should be fairly easy, since by then--we most ardently hope--museums, and concerts, and galleries, and travel will all be available, and volunteer and service opportunities now foreclosed to contain the virus will reopen.  Quarantine really hones one's retirement skills.


  1. Being home with my sweet bear, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for what will soon be 3.5 months, I am reassured that retirement will be fun, and we won't drive one another batty. I am rather enjoying this, thinking that letting my hair grow to all time proportions and seldom if ever returning to the office is a sound plan. 37 months and 21 days, not that I am counting or anything.

  2. "it's your nickel, start talking" - I know that bugs bunny cartoon. I finally went back to my physical office this week. spouse is still working from home until 6/30. we had been in lockdown since mid-march and we haven't killed one another yet.

  3. It appears WC will continue working from home for the unforseen future, and travel is just shy of still banned. My own future is yet to be determined. 8 have not missed the state Superintendent's briefings, and scour the news watching as districts around the countryhcountry begun layoffs amid budget cuts.
    Day 90: no Woodchucks have been harmed to date.