A Backward Glance at Retirement


I never thought too much about retirement. It would come when it did and I’d figure it out then. Even as I was transitioning into it, I didn’t know what to expect. How much money do you really need? What about health insurance? Should we downsize our lifestyle including our house? There were many unanswered questions, and they still hang out there unanswered.

I loved my job and my work. I didn’t want to leave. A few things happened that changed my mind. My husband, who had retired years earlier, turned seventy. If I wanted to spend quality time with him, I had to retire. I needed to downsize my department at work by one person. That was the sign to go.

Initially, I wanted to keep a presence in my profession. I started a ‘casual’ blog intending to do a ‘folksy’ human resources blog. (I know! What was I thinking? Human resources is rarely ‘folksy.’) It never happened. After years of writing ‘Thou shalt not’ memos to employees, I was done with that. I wanted to write about cats, coffee, stupid people and insane things that happen. I didn’t want to put a ‘spin’ on anything or convince anyone that something was a good idea. My writing blurts out my message. My filter retired too. My blog became a humor blog.

I’ve been retired almost six years. We haven’t moved yet but continue to talk about it as if it might really happen. We accumulated more cats and don’t exactly know how that happened. We’ve spent time with friends, relatives and each other although we often have no idea where the other one is. (Note to self: Have husband outfitted with a GPS collar like they have for dogs.) There has been opportunity to explore new experiences that we won’t do ever again. It’s surprising to find out that something you really wanted to do isn’t any fun.

There is time for exercise, family, and anything that comes up in the moment. Although there is still not enough time! I’m never bored and I don’t feel any older. I retained my addiction to Starbucks mocha lattes and shoes. Although I can’t wear the high heels I really want, I can fondle them at a shoe store. It’s cheaper that way.


Oh yes, I write whatever I want. No one edits (except my cranky cats). Life is good. You can find me at Views and Mews. Bring your own coffee. I can give you a cat.

Kate Crimmins

From Retirement Reflections: I am delighted that Kate agreed to join this Summer Series. So many times when I have been multi-tasking (yes, I still do that in retirement), I spot a post from Kate, burst out laughing, and am totally busted. If you have never visited Kate’s blog before, I highly encourage you to check it out. (Just ensure that you are somewhere where you can freely laugh out loud!) Please join us again next Sunday when we welcome Dee Blanding from Grammy’s Grid. See you then!

81 Replies to “A Backward Glance at Retirement”

    1. Thanks, Kate – I was hoping that Morgan, Gracie, Mollie and Hazel would be pleased! My apologies to them for not posting all of their pictures….I tried to give just teaser photos! Readers will need to hop over to their site to view more! 😀

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    1. Hi, Leanne – I can’t recommend Kate’s blog enough to fellow cat fans…and to those who simply love great wit. I look forward to seeing you there.

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  1. “There is still not enough time” … omg, true words!! Some times I feel like I’m careening from one thing to another and I wonder what happened to the laid-back retirement lifestyle I had imagined.

    “Cats, coffee, stupid people and insane things that happen” sounds like the perfect blog 🙂

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    1. When I was younger (like in my 40s) I was always astounded by my in-laws. Retired and in their late 60s they were impossible to plan visits with because of their schedules. They lived about an hour and a half away and their life was filled with activities. Now I get it although I secretly think that as you get older your hours are a few minutes shorter than they were when you were a kid (especially waiting for Christmas!).

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    2. Hi, Joanne – Great minds think alike! The two lines that you highlighted were my favorites as well. Truly, where does all of our time go now? I used to try to rush through many days….and now I am trying to stretch them out and savor them for as long as I possibly can!

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  2. Oh my, can’t wait to read your blog Kate! It sounds like it might be interesting as well as quite entertaining, especially after I read this: cats, coffee, stupid people and insane things that happen AND your recent post: bras, farmer markets, sales, nostalgia, smoke alarms.

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    1. Hi, Dee – I truly believe that you will love Kate’s blog (and vice versa) as you are both naturals at making people laugh! I am looking forward to your Guest Post next week. See you there!

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    2. Thanks! I hate shopping for underwear. It’s like buying a new water heater. It’s more comfortable with warm water but it’s not something you look at a lot. Every time I find a style I like, they discontinue it.

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    1. Hi, Nancy – Me three! So much so that it is often a struggle finding ‘down time’…especially in the summer. Seriously, how does that happen?!

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  3. Great article. I am glad you are enjoying your retirement with your husband. Good idea to get him a GPS tracker- they have them for cat and dog collars so maybe just hook one on him like a bracelet 🙂

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    1. You’re definitely on to something here, Ellen. GPS trackers for spouses could be a whole booming business! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I greatly appreciate it!

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  4. Nice to meet you, Kate. Not thinking too much about changes and jumping right into new and exciting things is sometimes the best way to do it. I have no idea where all the time goes either, staying busy with odds and ends, but I always know where my husband is (at his computer)! Writing about stupid people will be a forever topic, since there are soooo many. 🙂

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    1. Hi, Liesbet – Never having enough time is definitely a theme for most of the commenters today (including me)! I’m glad that we have all carved out time for blogging. I love meeting friends here –both old and new!

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  5. I enjoyed your post mainly because you seem to go with the flow! This is my third week of retirement and I have been busy with gardening, cleaning out every closet and shelf I can find, and getting ready for my blowout yard sale. I like that you just sort of seem to let things happen. I need to learn how to do that! Thanks for a very refreshing entry on retirement!

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    1. Hi, Fran – I need to learn how to go with the flow as well — although I am getting better! Blogs, like Kate’s, continue to help me in this direction. Good luck with your yard sale….sounds like there could be a post in there somewhere! 😀

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    2. And I need some of your energy! At the beginning I did clean out a lot of stuff. I still garden but have downsized. There always seems to be things going on.

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  6. Hi, Kate! It’s great to see you here. “I loved my job and my work. I didn’t want to leave.” This is such a healthy attitude to have when going into retirement. I know so many people who hate their job and are counting the minutes until they can retire. Somehow I think those people may never find happiness.
    Thanks for hosting Kate, Donna!

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    1. In my many years in human resources I always advocated that people should leave jobs when they weren’t happy. It’s not healthy to stay. I changed jobs later in my career and thought I’d never find one as good as the one I had (I moved so I had to change) but I found another one I loved.

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  7. Hi, Jill – I wholeheartedly agree with you. I believe that those who have learned to find their happiness in the present moment, are the happiest of all.

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    1. Hi, Susannah – Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I am a regular reader of Kate’s blog as well. I agree that she is a very talented writer…and humorist!

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  8. Hi Kate! Nice to meet you. And isn’t it wonderful to find yourself at a time and place where you can just be yourself? I consider myself sem-retired at the present time so I can’t fully relate to your experience, but isn’t that also what is so great at this time of life. We all get to make it up in ways that work the best for us. I call that (and so much more about finding what matters most) “rightsizing.” May you continue to enjoy your life just the way you want. ~Kathy

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    1. Hi, Kathy – Having the freedom to be ourselves in an amazing gift indeed. Thanks so much for stopping by. I am also looking forward to your guest post coming soon!

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    2. I was lucky to ease out. I worked part time for the last 6 months of my career to help transition the new person. I have gone back maybe once a year to do a training gig. All good. Keeps me somewhat connected without all the stress.

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  9. I thoroughly enjoyed your post, Kate. I’m a dog person not a cat person (isn’t it funny how so many of us tend to be one or the other), but I’ll still be checking out your blog. Your writing voice, and therefore you!, sound so relaxed, fun-loving and real. I look forward to reading more of your observations and insights.

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    1. HI, Karen – Thanks so much for stopping by and also for checking out Kate’s blog. I agree that she is the real deal. Like Shylah, sometimes one of her cats takes control of the keyboard…which is also very fun!

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    2. Thanks. I love dogs too but early on I knew I didn’t have the time they needed. I always worked so cats were easier (sometimes I have to remind myself of that!).

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      1. Thanks, Liesbet – I believe that the animals that we need most in our lives often find us. I know in our case that was certainly true. My husband and I weren’t exactly looking for the last two that found us….and we then could not imagine our lives without them!

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  10. Hi Kate, lovely to meet you and g’day from Australia! My husband is 9 years older than me and I retired early to spend more time with him. I actually was quite lost at first and like many I started my blog. It has been a lovely way to connect with others and also to keep my brain stimulated. I agree about being surprised at doing something you wanted to do and then found that it wasn’t fun after all. I know I’m like that. I love to exercise and keep busy looking after my 3 year old grandson once a week plus visiting my MIL in her aged care facility. Life is not dull! BTW where do you get the GPS for hubbies LOL:) you might have a market there although my husband would say he needs one for me!

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    1. Hi, Sue – It’s amazing how so many of us with like-minds (or like-experiences) are able to so easily find each other in the blogosphere. My husband is eleven years older than me . I retired at age fifty-seven (from a job that I loved) so that my husband and I could have quality time together. I haven’t looked back since. My husband would also say that he needs a GPS collar for me!!

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    2. You can buy dog/cat collars with GPS! 🙂 Fat chance I have of putting one of those on him but maybe in his pocket….Blogging does keep the brain stimulated. It also makes me go out and find stories. I am much more observant than I used to be. My friends are always worried about ending up in my blog!

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  11. Lovely to meet you Kate, I’m heading over to your blog as we speak, although I’ll admit that I’m not really that into cats. You may not want me to visit after that big reveal!! Anyway I love reading Donna’s blog so I’m sure I’ll enjoys yours too.

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    1. Hi, Debbie – I know that you will love Kate’s blog. She has an incredible ability to make people laugh. Even if you are not a natural cat-person, Mollie, Morgan, Gracie, and Hazel have a way of taking over the keyboard…and sneaking their way into people’s hearts. Seriously, without ever meeting them in person, they also make me laugh!

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    1. Yes, I found that underwear story again. It’s in an ad for bras on Facebook. (How did they know it was on my “to buy” list?) Very weird. So far no one has admitted to allowing dirty bras to sit for a month.

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  12. Thanks, Anabel – And don’t forget the mice, smoke alarms and deadpan reports on the side effects of aging. That all keeps me laughing for quite some time!

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  13. My mom and stepdad are moving to The Villages. I’d say that’s what retirement looks like to me. Making friends, staying active, listening to live music on the square, driving around in a golf cart instead of a car!

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    1. Sounds good to me. We discuss downsizing all the time. So far we have looked but haven’t fallen in love with anything. It will happen and I’m hoping they have a Starbucks nearby.

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    2. Thanks so much for stopping by, Stephanie. Driving golf carts on neighborhood streets is legal in a couple of our neighboring towns. I would totally LOVE that!

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  14. Your blog was one of the first retirement blogs I started to follow and, four years later, you still make me laugh out loud. I’m so glad that others will discover your delightful brand of humor through Donna’s summer series.

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  15. Hey there Kate! I always wondered what your retirement story was, and now I know. Glad that we found each other here in the big old blogosphere. Things just seem to work out, don’t they?

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    1. Thanks, Ally – I love reading bloggers’ ‘behind the scenes’ stories. I also love discovering which bloggers already follow each other — and which bloggers have recently found each other. I agree that things just seem to work out in this corner of the blogosphere!

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  16. I agree about there never being enough time when we retire. I’ve been retired for five years and can honestly say that I’ve never been bored since I started my retirement. How I managed a full-time job, I’ve no idea? I think we have to make our lives how we want them. Somebody once said to me that part of retirement was sitting in front of daytime TV eating popcorn. Yeah, I eat popcorn, but how wrong they were about watching daytime TV..
    Great read, Kate.

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  17. Kate, I just stepped over the threshold into retirement two weeks ago. Your easy-going approach is a wonderful antidote to the urge to plan every single aspect of retirement in advance — something that I have been obsessing about for months and months. Thanks for the chuckle.

    Jude

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    1. Hi, Jude – Try as we may, we truly can’t plan for every aspect of retirement in advance (at least I haven’t been able to do so!) Enjoy your transition to retirement, I look forward to your upcoming post!

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    2. I really wanted a sabbatical from work first. Then I was going to set goals and all that (sounds a lot like work doesn’t it?). Somehow early into the sabbatical part my mindset changed. I see people who do continue to work after retirement but I am glad that I didn’t feel the need to. I’ve done a few training programs but most of the time is devoted to what I want to do TODAY! Enjoy!

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  18. Hey Kate – your observation “It’s surprising to find out that something you really wanted to do isn’t any fun” is brilliant. Maybe that’s why some things are remaining on my “must try list” so long without trying… my intuition trying to tell that they might not be that much fun? Need to ponder that a bit more!

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    1. Hi, Pat – I love that observation too. There have been a few specific things that I couldn’t wait to get into once I retired…and now that I have ample opportunity, I’m just not interested. Funny that!

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    2. OMG! I was so stunned to find that out. Made me wonder if those lists we make are realistic. No way am I ziplining! (No judgment to those crazy fools who want to.) 🙂

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  19. Hi, Kate! I love the way you write! I enjoyed it as much as your cats enjoyed editing your posts. lol. I love cats, and I got excited reading that you have accumulated cats over the years you are already retired. Looking forward to more of your stories shared in a comical way.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words. Not having cats is not an option (wonder how that will work in the nursing home). I wanted to downsize from 4 when my old one passed two years ago. That thought worked for over a year then my husband noticed a one-eyed cat that needed a home. Hard to home cats always tug at my heart. I have two and they are perfect cats.

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    1. Thanks so much, Dee. I greatly appreciate all of your work both on Aim and Blogging Grandmothers’ Link Party. I have meet many great bloggers at both link ups.

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