Thursday, January 7, 2021

Settling into Retirement


This will be brief. Retirement is busier than I expected.


I pushed back a lot of stuff because I knew time would free up. Now the accounting is due. I could do it all in a couple of weeks of concentrated effort, but the point of retiring is not to have to bust one’s ass. As the masthead says, eat the elephant one bite at a time.


All of this must be worked around my new “job”: writing. I do three sessions a day and the work in progress progresses nicely. I reserved one of those lots for projects other than the current Penns River novel, such as this blog post. I have three good ideas for novels backed up and a fourth taking shape, but my personality demands I focus on one at a time or I’ll never finish any. That doesn’t mean I have to start from scratch when a project works itself to the head of the queue. Not anymore.


I’d also like to become more active online. Not working nine hours a day should free me up for more posts to my Facebook author page. I may try Twitter. Some sort of podcast lingers at the back of my mind. Maybe a newsletter. I won’t have time for all of these, but I won’t know which I find most rewarding until I try them.


I will do more virtual events. So far I have been involved in exactly one, a Noir at the Bar Ed Aymar put together last May. (A shout out to the estimable Mr. Aymar. He remains tireless in his support of other authors and independent bookstores. Saying anything nice about Ed exhausts me. I’ll be back after a brief lie-down.) My reluctance to participate was in no way criticism of these events. I worked from home for the past ten years. I participated in five or more “virtual events” a week all that time; I found no recreation in them. Now that I don’t have to do them, I expect to want to do them.


This week I’ll tie off a loose end with my health insurance; straighten (read: shovel out) my office, aka The Entropy Garden; begin the process of disposing of coins left by my father that have lingered in the den for three years; and investigate selling my car. (We don’t need two cars with both of us retired. Since we we retired folks are (in)famous for squeezing a nickel till the buffalo screams, the extra car has to go.)


There’s more, but it’s all routine stuff. Household tasks put off while more urgent pre-retirement tasks took precedence. January is a settling in month, including getting past the constant feeling of “What is it I should be doing?” when the answer is no longer, “Going to work, asshole.” I’m sure I’ll catch on.

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