Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Retirement Planning - New Years Confessions

Now that I’ve reached the outskirts of retirement, I feel it makes no sense to declare New Years resolutions. If people my age haven’t managed to eat less, exercise more, quit drinking or stop swearing by now, New Years resolutions aren’t going to make it happen.

I intend to have many more years going forward, but they are few compared to the years I have to look back on. I’ve therefore decided that New Years should be a time for confessions about things past, not false promises about things future. Herewith my confessions going into 2011.

I confess that, despite what you’d think from reading my blog, I do not drink a few bottles of wine each week. It’s more like a bottle or two each month. My sister called me on that one over Christmas. I told her it makes for better reading if I’m more of an imbiber. I do, however, plan to increase my consumption once I retire.

I confess that, even though I attended many parties in my youth where joints were making the rounds, I’ve never smoked marijuana. My eye doctor just told me that he suspects I have the beginnings of glaucoma; my mother had it, and it’s hereditary. A friend told me to look on the brighter side. Glaucoma will qualify me for medical marijuana. Maybe I’ll turn into a pothead yet. I do own a lot of tie-dye.

When we were snowed in recently, I happened upon part one of the 2006 BBC version of Jane Eyre on PBS. I thought I’d read the book, but apparently not. I found the actor who played Rochester to be so sexy that I had to take two of my blood pressure pills that night. The next day I Googled the program in a vain effort to find out when part two will air. Turns out the actor is Toby Stephens, and he has quite a following of swooning women on FaceBook. I confess that I just ordered the Jane Eyre DVD and I’m justifying the expense as philanthropic support of public television.

I’m a cheese-a-holic. I’ve rarely met a cheese I don’t like, but I’m especially fond of the saltier types, like Gruyere. And anything made of goat’s milk, especially Gjetost; you can’t beat Ski Queen in the red wrapper. I refuse to pay more than $16.99 per pound for my cheese, however, which means I won’t buy the fabulous Tete de Moine. Besides, you need a special cutter for that. I hope you can still eat cheese if you have glaucoma.

I have on occasion shopped at WalMart. It pained me to do it, but they are the only place where I’ve found those net sacks that keep one’s delicates under control in the washing machine. Surely I can’t be expected to live with out-of-control delicates.

IKEA announced that next week it will stop selling old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs, making it the first major retailer to do so. Per the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, 100-watt incandescents are banned beginning in 2012 and 60- and 40-watt ones in 2014. I confess I’m clumsy. I dropped one of those new fluorescent bulbs as I was perched atop a step stool, trying to screw it into a recessed ceiling fixture. It took half a roll of sticky tape to pick up all the slivers of shattered glass. I have several old lamps with clip-on style shades that cannot accommodate the new helix bulbs. Despite my initial good intentions, I confess that I’m hoarding the old style bulbs, and I don’t care if I have to go to WalMart to find them.

Well, I feel much better. My conscience is clear—for now. I know I haven’t made a bunch of promises I probably won’t keep. How about all of you?

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