The Newnan Times-Herald


Retirement practice

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jan. 06, 2017 - 6:54 PM

I’ve worked in logistics now going on 38 years. In the early days it was primarily physical; nowadays it’s more cerebral, and it couldn’t come at a better time because quite frankly I’m getting older, a polite way of saying I’m running out of gas. Retirement is sounding more appealing every day.

That’s one of the reasons I was off from work for 12 consecutive days to close out 2016. I wanted to “practice” for retirement. The last time I took that many days off in a row was the summer after my junior year in high school (back when it was sacrilege to start the next school year until after Labor Day had come and gone).

I’ve always heard people say they became bored once they retired; that they had nothing to do. After my 12-day practice retirement I can tell you for a fact there will never be enough hours in a day for me to do everything I want to do.

How did I fill my time? Here’s a partial (but by no means complete) list:

  • Finished three woodworking projects (I’m a novice; ergo I’m slow).

  • Decorated two levels of our detached garage.

  • Completed numerous household chores (daily).

  • Wrapped a bazillion Christmas presents.

  • Picked up the trash generated by unwrapping a bazillion Christmas presents.

  • Wrote 25,000+ words for two books I’m working on.

  • Ran 135 miles. (Side note: I never gain weight during the holidays. This is why.)

  • Spent three days with the family in the mountains of North Carolina.

  • Checked out four antique stores. (It’s been proven that antique stores can’t check themselves out; that’s where I come in.)

  • Caught up on two television shows (totaling 17 episodes—my wife and I started binge-watching way before binge-watching became a thing).

  • Took enough trash to the curb to make my garbage man hate me. (He told me so.)

I might add that for 11 of the days I had grandfather duty (always a good thing). I also suffered two minor (albeit very painful) injuries: A pulled buttocks muscle from lifting one of my woodwork creations that was much heavier than my pay grade allows—as I said, I’m more of a cerebral person these days--and a pulled muscle in my right arm from flipping my grandson upside down in the swimming pool in North Carolina (also above my pay grade).

All of this didn’t allow much time for me to catch my breath. Or sleep, for that matter. I think the longest I slept the entire time was maybe seven hours; most nights it was more like six, if not five. Sure there were catnaps here and there, but then again those are par for the course these days.

That being said, it’s only fair to list the things I wanted to do but never got around to doing:

  • Sit on the front porch (on the warmer days; it was 74 degrees on Christmas day) or in front of the fire (on the colder days) and do one thing and one thing only: Sit.

  • Curl up with any of the good books I haven’t got around to reading (to include anything and everything ever written by Stephen King, Joseph Wambaugh and John Feinstein).

  • Watch any of the DVDs I’m saving for retirement (I call it my “retirement collection,” but if I ever actually make the time to watch them all I need to live to be 120).

  • Lie on the couch and simply enjoy the musical genius of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.

  • Wake up without setting the alarm.

However, all of these will have to wait for retirement. Now that the 12th day of my 12-day vacation has arrived, tomorrow I’ll have to be back at work.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Lord knows I could use the rest.

(Scott Ludwig lives in Senoia and writes about running when not at his “real job.”)