Tuesday, August 29, 2006

How I Occupy my Retirement Time

I've heard some people are bored after retirement. Boredom has never been a problem for me, not during the days I trucked off to work each day and certainly not now.

My day begins by feeding the feral strays, dumpees, and tamed cats that eat at what I call our "smorgasbord" each morning on our patio. I'm the alpha female of this feline colony. Some love me, others fear my presence, but all quickly learn that no fighting is allowed within the confines of our yard. Two females are currently slated for spaying, if my husband and I can figure out how to get them into the pet taxi.

Housework. I often wonder now how working women manage to clean house. Half my time is taken up each day with shuffling and reshuffling the clutter that accumulates around my computer desk. Books, review notes, phone numbers and addresses jotted onto sticky notes, dates and times of trips or meetings -- all join the clutter I shuffle every day.

Reading blogs. I check certain blogs each morning. Most are on my blogroll, which is in serious need of updating. On Aston West's blog I learned that fellow writer Matt Dinniman was named Blogger of Note. Congrats Matt! I imagine one of my favorite heroic characters -- Aston -- is toasting you with Vladirian liquor as he zooms recklessly through deep space.

Over at K.K.'s Profound Thoughts, that long time friend shared her thoughts on turning 60 and not appreciating her mother in youth. Life is short and passes swiftly by. Our priorities change with age. Today I'm empathizing with K.K. because my mother died too young, also. Her loss more than twenty years ago changed my outlook on life.

At Tom Parker's Dispatches from Kansas, he took me on a lively journey to the edge of the world and beyond. My main whine about Parker's blog is that he doesn't have a new one posted to start each day. His writings are addicting.

Reading books and writing reviews of same: Some of the books I review are easy to read while others require extra time and concentration. I'm a volunteer reviewer, which means I don't get paid. :) People ask me why I devote so much time and energy to reviewing without compensation. The answer is complicated. One, I have always enjoyed reading and reviewing allows me that pleasure without having to buy books. Two, crafting a review is an exercise in writing. Each book and review is different so I try to capture the essence of the book and its author in my reviews. Three, reviewing introduces me to a wide array of gifted writers, their publishers and publicists. I've "discovered" many unknown gems in my tenure as a reviewer. Believe me, many talented writers never see the best seller list, which is a sad commentary on our times. I believe that the Kerouacs, Hemingways, Fitzgeralds, and Cathers of our time are mostly undiscovered.

So those are the highlights of this retiree's day. I'm never, ever bored because I don't have the time. Sometime soon I'll add "Starting on my fifth book" to the list and then for SURE my waking hours will be packed full.

6 comments:

Rhea said...

Hi, I just happened upon your blog. Interesting! I write about baby boomers.

Andrew said...

I see colleagues of mine retire and then show up in the coffee room the very next day. I want to say, "Get a hobby. Develop other interests. GET A LIFE!" You obviously have all that :o)

Andrew
To Love, Honor and Dismay

Andrew said...

Hi Laurel,
Thanks for dropping by my site and for leaving such an insightful comment. I appreciate it!

Andrew

Pami Angel said...

Lolly,you are a wonderful writer,a wonderful Sister and you are a blessing to me and many others.Love your little Seester Pami

EILEEN said...

lAUREL,
We at Galatea Resurrects (http://galatearesurrects.blogspot.com) are very GRATEFUL for your time in reviewing poetry books. It's always nice for a poet to see that someone read/likes what s/he did. Thanks!
eileen

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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