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Musings on retirement

I retired at the age of 62.  Prostate cancer showed up when I was 60 and I decided I didn't want to bet against myself by working three more years.  Besides, I was pretty much retired anyway.  I was working for two small water districts doing maintenance, system checks, and being a meter maid at the end of each month.  Not making much money but still having to "stick around" because of the job.  I discovered I could  retire and make about the same amount of money.  What is called a "no brainer"!

So now I am living off my social security check.  I get thirty dollars a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year!  (Got a cost of living adjustment in 2005 and am up to $36.00 per month!)  Having downsized repeatedly since the divorce in 1980 my out-go easily fits my in-come.  For me, less is definitely more!

And so, living in the slower lane I find myself quite amused at the view from this end of life and the changes in me "old age" has wrought.

For one thing, I don't think of myself as old.  In fact I feel like I did when I was a young boy.  Endless play!  And that is exactly what I am doing.  Playing!  Having fun!!

I was quite depressed during my 40's and 50's.  I didn't really value my life much.  I smoked and drank and ate what I wanted to eat, rib-eye steaks, Big Macs, no fruit.  Just another fool in the rush towards the end.

Now, I really love living and I have started taking care of myself.  I finally, really, quit smoking (after quitting ten times!).  I quit drinking alcohol.  I eat oat meal for breakfast and cut way back on red meat.  I'm trying to eat more fruit.  I'm walking more.  The end result is a remarkable reduction in my blood pressure, cholesterol, and improvement in my liver and kidney function.  Not bad!  Plus, I'm getting a substantial (to me) boost to my meager income by not buying cigarettes and alcohol!!   Think about it.  Cigarettes are running around five bucks a pack.  Cheap wine is three to five bucks a bottle!  We are talking eight to ten bucks a day!  Take that times 365!!  Another, "no brainer".

I'm doing my watercolors again.  I getting into bird watching.  Hiking.  Simple, enjoyable things.

Life is good!

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