Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm Not Always in My Pajamas...

The question people ask me most often about life in retirement is, “What do you do all day?” (One friend calls and asks, “Are you still in your pajamas?” He hates it when the answer is yes. Life has settled into a casual routine here on Bittersweet Place…

MORNING: Coffee first! Then a little morning news and some Today Show. This is usually followed by powering up the PC and checking eMail, Facebook, and LinkedIn to see what’s shakin’ among my network peeps. Then I unload the dishwasher and we have a low-carb breakfast. Time to make the bed and dress in workout clothes. Workout in the Man Cave (5 days a week, for about an hour and a half) includes time on the elliptical, some weight lifting, and/or some Wii games.

AFTERNOON: A light, low-carb lunch (more on the low-carb discipline next week) followed by a shower or bubble bath. Throw in some laundry – then fold and put away clothes. Check eMail, etc. again. Write for one of my blogs. Recreational or educational reading for an hour or two – or run an errand (grocery, hardware, or drug store). Make some phone calls (social or “administrative”). Check to see what the stock market did today. It’s almost Happy Hour…

EVENING: Begins with a glass of wine or two in the front room, watching the neighborhood go by, talking with Ron, and planning dinner. Ron is the family chef, and usually makes dinner (low-carb again). I’m the cleaner-upper; loading and starting the dishwasher and wiping up the kitchen. The rest of the evening, we usually watch something on TV, pop in a movie, or read for a while. Between 10 and 11pm we head off to bed.

That’s the norm on an uneventful day. We can’t believe how fast days go by, with just these simple activities. How did we ever get anything done when we were working? Thank God for the luxury of time we so sorely needed for our mental and physical health. So far, this has truly been a period of recovery for us.

Now that the weather is finally getting nicer, there are more and more activities available. Our neighbor has started a book club. We have tickets to a handful of Cubs games. Next week, the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago opens, and as members we get a pre-opening preview. On occasion, we like to go out to lunch or dinner (Alfredo at Fornello’s knows us by name). There is great theatre here, and we have been to see a half dozen shows already. Summer will be full of opportunities to go to street fairs all over the city. Lake Michigan, the beach at Montrose Harbor, and the golf course at Waveland will soon be beckoning. It’s great to be in Chicago in the summer.

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