Life, Retirement and Projects

It’s finally good to settle right down into what I’ll call the retirement years sweet spot. Since my arrival to that sweet spot, the list of required projects never seems to go down. When the list was first started it read considerably different than what it does today: Rip out, tear down and rebuild a suitable writer’s shed; add two additional hose spigots near the koi pond, convert our aged sprinkler system into a drip irrigation one to save water; add a pool solar heater, the honey do lists, prepare for a (working trip) to the great northwest, to help our son Mike and Lisa into their first fixer upper home.

These jobs are for a carpenter, a builder, a gardener and even a garage mechanic, as well as a few other assorted artisans. And I’m not any one of those. In my former working glory world I even managed a team of professionals trained in the art of fighting crime.

And in my long military working world I learned and practiced the art of Leadership. …
Financial Responsibility. …
Self-Sufficiency. …
Effective Communication. …
Integrity. …
Technology Skills. …
Teamwork. …


And the Ability to Perform Under EXTREME Pressure.

Yet all I find NOW that I need calls for a strong back and an ability to locate the correct repair video on YouTube. Yes, I do consider myself a jack of all trades but, master of none. My tutiledge in that endeavor started at a young age, at about ten years of age with both my parents. Whenever a renter would move out my father would round up his work crew, usually consisting of mother and I. We made up the clean up crew, the inside and outside painting crew, the gardeners and sometimes even the plumbers and handyman too. Mom always knew the working ends of all the tools in her toolbox; and I was one of them. My sister and I may not have been able to find writing papers or a pen or pencils around the house but, we could easily find tools to add thread to a pipe or materials and tools to build a suitable dog or doll house.

Changing something in your life is easy; and so is adding something to your life. The third option is harder- taking on a new project, like for example remodeling a garden shed.

None of these activities fitted in the least into my idea of what constituted a retirement life when I first started. Imagine living in the bush? Like camping all the time. Where were the campfires and the lazy days drifting in a canoe, and the long naps on a screened-in porch?

A project if you aren’t yet familiar, can be any type of undertaking. And if you want the project to come out to one’s satisfaction, it must first be carefully thought out and planned or not.

Recently I looked at an actual wall calendar and learned that I was two weeks off from the actual date I thought it was and it hadn’t made a difference at all. Neither does watching or reading about the news. Imagine that.

Our lives today, even in Southern California is more regulated by the weather than by our bodies ability to imagine things. The actual physical mechanics of staying alive takes about eighty-five per cent of my time. True. That’s my retired 2021 body talking to me.

The other fifteen per cent I believe is just scattered here and there. We’re still in a world pandemic of epic proportions. Thankfully, those two shots I got gave me a whopping 99.2% chance of keeping that 85% in check.

There’s that time, though not so recently, when I was sitting on the steps of my writer’s shed, looking across the orchard I also planted, and then I started feeling very sorry for myself.

I actually never felt better in my life. I didn’t have a physical ache or a pain. The trouble was that I started thinking. I retired almost twelve years ago and what have I accomplished? My todo list is still there. My Facebook memories still continue to remind me, that so many years ago, and on this day, I was doing something with the grandkids.

So, the etceteras of the eighty-five per cent is all I need to continue to do. Sometimes, it’s best to let a more experienced person tackle the job but, where’s the satisfaction in that?

And finally another retired persons law ought not to be that if you want a thing done, do it yourself.

And, of course, if it doesn’t turn out right the first time, just do it over and over again until it does. You can’t take it all with you, so why try.

Trawlercat 8/10/2021