Monday, May 23, 2016

Retirement Sucks!

Ah, beautiful retirement, when you can go to bed when you want and get up when you want; no more marching to someone else’s beat!

Total freedom; except that after forty years of training, my eyes pop open at 6 am every morning whether I want them to or not.

The worst thing about retirement is that you are old!

When I wake up, my back feels like it has slowly twisted into a pretzel overnight. I stagger to the bathroom to start my day.  Thirty minutes of yoga and stretching and I’m barely feeling human again.  After a leisurely breakfast, I’m ready to face the day.

Great, but what am I going to do?

The second worst thing about retirement is that you have lost the reason you got up every morning for the last forty plus years!

No more deadlines, no more e-mails, no more text messages, no more advising, no more personal decisions to make, no more orders to give, and no more timelines to meet.

No nothing!

Every fifteen minutes I feel a void when I check my phone and there is no new e-mails; there is no more life altering advice to give out.

No more prepping for class.  No more mapping the future of the department.  No more collaborating with colleagues over the future of our students.

No nothing!

What’s an old professor to do?

In the immortal words of Tommy Shaw from the group Styx, “I got nothing to do and all day to do it.”

Retirement really sucks!


I wake up on my second day of retirement and the world seems full of possibility.  The sun is shining and I’m ready to take on the world!

All of a sudden, I have that energy that I get every time I start a new job.  I’m a little scared, but really excited.

I attack my morning exercise with a new purpose.  I need my body to function at peak performance (peak performance for an old guy that is) so that I can get the most out of retirement.
All sorts of new possibilities present themselves to me.

I remember listening to a tape from Wayne Dwyer where he talked about a hundred year old man who planted a tree and couldn’t wait to watch it grow.  I remember Wayne saying he wouldn’t be outdone; he went out and planted a Redwood!

I’m not ready to be so courageous.  I’ll start small by rototilling my garden.  Even though I don’t have the greatest love of vegetables, I do love the enjoyment my family and friends get out of the various types of squash I will grow.  I see many batches of spaghetti sauce in my future!

By mid-afternoon I’m a little weary, but not quite ready to enter the nap-taking season of my life.  I pull a random book out of my library and enjoy the act of reading for enjoyment.  I don’t have to preview text books, study or prep courses anymore.

It’s not too long later that I open my eyes and think about what my wife and I want for dinner.

Life is pretty good!

I wonder what the third day of retirement will bring.

I got an e-mail from Tom Topolski, a college roommate, saying, "remember, no matter what your day was like in retirement, tomorrow is Saturday!"


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  1. Glad you've made it. Don't bust my bubble I have seven years to go and can't wait. I do miss all the guys from the ANG but am glad that is done too.

  2. I predict that a year from now you will be busy with several projects and will laugh about your first post-retirement thoughts! (Join Loudon Country Club!)