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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Retirement Update - Potpourri of Thoughts

Full disclosure up front: this post has no central theme. It’s a potpourri of thoughts gathered at the end of my first month of retirement. Just to pique your interest, topics range from termites to adultery.

First a report on the last few weeks. I’m no longer going into my former office. I still occasionally help out from home, but no more than most volunteers do for the organizations they support. I seem to be getting up a bit earlier than I did the first few weeks off. I guess I’ve finally caught up on my sleep.

More importantly, I have far more energy now than I did those first weeks. I think it’s because I’ve been getting exercise and aerating my blood. (This reminds me that I need to aerate the lawn.) With my focus on clearing out the house, I’m up and down multiple flights of stairs all day. While I’m disappointed that I haven’t been out walking now that the weather is nice, I feel I’m meeting my health needs with my built-in Stairmaster.

Most trips, I’m carrying something, usually in the down direction, since the basement is where I’m organizing items to sell. The boxes of books are hernia-makers, and the days when I’ve carried a few of those, my right knee bothers me at night. Mercifully, that’s why God invented ibuprofen, so I’m able to power through the discomfort.

I can feel that my body is more fit, too. This is a good thing, since at my annual checkup just before I started packing in earnest, my weight was the highest it’s ever been. I expect a dramatic downturn at my next weigh in. (Stay tuned…)

Although I’m spending most of my time on the house, I still pay attention to the important developments in the world around me. Here are some news items I’d like to share, along with my spin on them as I continue to adjust to retirement.

At a bank in northern India, termites ate $225,000 worth of banknotes. This was blamed on lax staffers. Less widely reported is that they were sitting around telling sardarji jokes. I think it's more likely that the termite control wala was transferred to the customer service phones in the south.

I’ve not uncovered any damage of this nature in my archaeological digs throughout my house. The worst thing I’ve found is a carton of packing paper that one of my cats seems to have made into a nesting place. The box has been in the basement since 1992 (recycled from my move here from New Jersey,) so any one of five felines could have been the culprit.

I can tell you are shaking your head that I’d still have packing material from the move to Rhode Island almost twenty years ago. Actually, it’s come in handy in my decluttering process, and I’ve saved some serious cash. Have you priced bubble wrap lately? It must be a petroleum by-product. I'm thinking it could replace the dollar as the international unit of currency.

If you really want to scratch your head, consider this. Some of the things I’ve packed up went back into the same cartons in which they made the trip up here. (They were all carefully labeled.) Remember: I was a Virgo before they concocted that new Zodiac.

Another news tidbit is one you may have heard. A conservative religious newspaper removed Hilary Clinton from the photo where the national security team was watching the bin Laden raid. They believe any photos of women can stir sexual desires. Seriously. Have they ever actually seen a woman in a pantsuit? They give men credit for way too much imagination.

And finally, going from the ridiculous to the sublime… A Time magazine article on the 400th birthday of the King James Bible shared the following piece of arcane trivia. Apparently there was a typo in the 1631 edition. As a result, the seventh commandment instructed: “Thou shalt commit adultery.” For those who are so inclined, from KJB’s mouth to God’s ear, so go for it.

For my part, I’m hoping someone unearths a version that dictates: “Thou shat imbibe freely of Barolo wine and indulge heavily in Godiva chocolates.” Amen to that.

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