Saturday, March 8, 2014

Perks of Retirement

A post on a friend’s Facebook page got me thinking about the perks of retirement. The friend isn’t retired; she’s still required to get out of bed every weekday to go to an office somewhere. That’s part of what motivated her comment on this recent frigid morning. “I wished I could crawl back in bed, pull the covers over my head and hibernate until it’s over.”

My immediate reaction was: “Hibernation! What a great idea! Now that I’m retired, I could actually do that all winter if I really wanted to.” It’s not likely I’ll choose to hibernate, but the option is there for me. At the very least, I can do that pull-the-covers-over-my-head thing. If I put out enough dry food and several bowls of fresh water for my cat, Luke, I could borrow like that for days. If it’s really cold, I could probably get Luke to cuddle under there with me awhile. Double perk.

We’re ready to list our house for sale (again). My real estate agent plans to stop by today to drop off some paperwork. Since I’m on the computer in my basement office, it will take me a few minutes to get upstairs to answer the door. I told her to call me when she’s in front of the house so I can meet her at her car. (She’s recovering from some surgery.) This put another perk of retirement into my head.

When I’m not expecting anyone, I don’t have to answer the door if I’m busy or too lazy to go upstairs. Or downstairs. Or get up from the kitchen table. If it turns out it was someone I know—a friend or a neighbor, say—I can always tell her we must have been out of town. Retirees go out of town at the drop of a hat. Are relatives looking to visit for a few days and I don’t want them around? I’ll say we decided to head south to escape the snow. Or to see a city that’s on our bucket list.

Retirees are expected to have a bucket list. One from which they’re actively checking things off (before they check out). We don’t have a bucket list, but this could be another perk of retirement. First, that we’re entitled to lie about things, like being out of town and having lists of any kind. Second, that we can take the time to put together a bucket list. And then make and execute plans to tick things off. Or ignore it altogether. Whatever.

Some about-be-retirees look forward to having more time to cook. Perhaps to sign up for a couples’ cooking class. Or take chefs’ classes at Le Cordon Bleu. By the way, the website takes you to Le Cordon Bleu’s Bleu Ribbon Kitchen. Not “Blue Ribbon.” And not “Bleu Ruban.” Aside from the inconsistency of languages used, isn’t “cordon” just another French word for “ribbon”? It means “rope” or “cord,” after all. So, Le Cordon Bleu Bleu Ribbon Kitchen is “the blue ribbon blue ribbon kitchen.”

I find this annoying, but I digress. Getting back to perks. My retirement is a time to stock up the freezer with Kashi dinners and not feel guilty when I don’t prepare proper meals three nights in a row. Or longer. Except for Luke’s of course.

The more I think about them, the more I like these perks of retirement. Once we sell the house and downsize out of Rhode Island, the possibilities will increase. For one thing, I’ll be able to get my husband away from his store. He still goes to work every morning and he’s there about 90 hours a week. When that’s in our rearview, we can enjoy the perks together. On frigid mornings, I might even get him to cuddle under the covers with Luke and me. There’s one for my bucket list.

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