Retirement chronicles (July 31)

by Debbie Norrell, Lifestyles Editor

I still can’t believe it, Monday comes and I don’t have to get up and go Downtown to work. I don’t have to set a clock, I don’t have to think about what I’m going to wear. Will I listen to the traffic report and the weather? No need to do that unless I have somewhere to go and these days I make my appointments to suit me. So far this isn’t so bad.

There is a downside. I miss my routine and I find that I can waste a lot of time if I don’t make a list of things to do. Unfortunately a lot of the things that I need to do are “housework” related and I have never enjoyed housework but it has to be done. For some odd reason I feel a rush to get the projects done immediately and I have all the time in the world or almost all the time to get them done. I think the key to this semi-retirement life is structure. I need a schedule now that I have gotten rid of the biggest part of my day. I enrolled in an acting workshop and yes, I have also enrolled in a photography class as I said I would; both of these should be fun.

It hasn’t been a month yet since I’ve retired so I’m still getting my feet wet. There was a project that I wanted to complete and I did get that done. In two store windows I saw an old school bike with a basket that was painted a pastel color; one was pink and the other was a pale green. The bike had a basket that was filled with flowers and I was determined to have one of those bikes. I found the bike on Facebook marketplace and purchased the paint and the flowers from Home Depot. Now I also have a pastel bike with flowers. That was a fun project.

It’s important to get out of the house every day and walk or do something other than shop. For those of you who are retired like me and use a supplemental health plan, use everything that it has to offer. Silver Sneakers may be offered which gives you a free gym membership, which is great because it will save you a little money each month and you want to save everything that you can. In addition to that I found that your health insurance company wants you to be healthy. I selected UPMC for Life mainly because I really like my UPMC doctors and I wanted to stay with them. But the program is great. It seems like every week I get a postcard or a letter with some type of program that is good for your health or a recipe. There are Zoo walks at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium and reminders about mammograms and yearly physicals. Right now I’m pretty impressed. I think I will attend an AARP meeting and find out how others my age are handling their free time.

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