What if I stopped wishing that one – if not all – of my children would want to live nearby?

What if I thought ONLY about MY needs?  What if I did not put anyone else’s needs before my own?

Would I want to live in my house?  in the suburbs?


Would I want to move into the city?  Would I want to feed on the vibrancy of city life?


Would I connect better to the NYC crowd?

Would I benefit from going to museums, attending lectures given by intellectuals?  Would I participate in a vaster cultural life? 


What do you do in retirement?

images-2How do people know what they want to do in retirement?  I knew I had to retire because I was too tired to get up at 5:00 a.m. and commute an hour each way.  But I wasn’t ready to give it all up.

What if you don’t golf?  What if you had melanoma so Florida is out?  What if you have ALWAYS been more focused on work than on social get togethers?   What if you don’t like volunteering because you still like to earn money?  What if you are committed to family and want to be around for grandkids but your own daughter sees your help as a threat to her independence?  What do you do with your time?

So, far, my husband and I have not made any major moves, nor any major changes. 

We both tutor.  We go to the gym and exercise – everyday now.  And we babysit when asked.  BUT…


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I come home only to find boxes sitting on my deck.  It never fails.  Even with two day shipping, I forget that I bought anything at all.  In fact, my first response is WHO sent me all these presents?  For a few seconds, EVERYDAY is Christmas even though I celebrate Chanukah.  Then Is see “Amazon Fulfillment Center,” and I remember, that I may have ordered something.

I had spent an hour commuting to work and an hour commuting from work for 30 years.  If you do the math, that equals 40 extra hours a month or an extra full week of work. If I worked 11 months a years, that means that I “lost”  an extra 11 weeks of my life sitting behind the wheel. Multiply that by the thirty years I worked, and it comes to over SIX full years!!!! 

Towards retirement, I happily discovered Amazon Prime.  With just one click, I can order absolutely anything,  I don’t have to get in my car, drive, find a parking spot, spend or waste time wandering around, drive back.  I just have to click.  In fact, I don’t even have to go to the post office to send a gift.  I can just click and have anything shipped to anywhere.

Thinking about the trees that are being used for the packaging does not deter me. 


AND WHY IS COSTCO such a better company?  You have to drive to Costco.  You have to walk miles on concrete.  You have to buy in bulk.  You have to load your cart, unload at the register, reload the cart, put everything in your car because, while amazon is using up trees on packing materials, your groceries do not get bagged or packaged when you leave Costco.  You have to drive home, and then you have to drag everything in, item by item.




Singing along with Neil Sedaka

It is the next morning and we have to check out.  We book in an overnight for my upcoming birthday. We are going to see Motown.

Last year, for my husband’s birthday, we saw Neil Sedaka perform at the Old Westbury Music Fair. Neil Sedaka looked pretty agile for a man his age, as he shuffled on stage for a full seven minutes before he was too winded to go on.  He sang “Calendar Girl” and we went wild.  He sang “Oh, Carole,” and we went wild.  He sang “I Miss the Hungry Years” and we sighed. 


After intermission, he started to sing his new songs from his new album.  They were extremely poignant songs about aging. We couldn’t exit the place fast enough.  And as we dashed out, I looked over my shoulder.  I did not see anyone standing on line to purchase his new cd.  

But I, too,  am obsessed with aging. It is all I think about.  It was only a split second ago that I had worked two jobs, three if you count the summer, gutted my house, ripped out every blade of grass from my front lawn with my own bare hands, planted perennials and laid slate stepping stones after watching an episode of Curb Appeal on HGTV. I am in a state of shock.  I do not understand how and when this happened to me.  I cannot engage anyone to talk about it.  So I am blogging about it.  And this way you can pretend you don’t peek.

Everyone Needs a Retirement Plan

Either way, Idina’s character’s life would have turned out ok.  We exit and pass the stage door.  There are buses waiting for whom?  For people from assisted living facilities?  Yes, probably.  It was not long ago that my mother was in assisted living.  I remember she took trips on occasion.  But the young people are all standing around behind the barriers.  I am no dope.  I go where the young people are.  The actors and actresses come out one at a time.  They come down the line and let the ones on line take selfies with them.  They autograph the playbill.  I am at one with these groupies even if I feel like a vampire feeding off the flesh of vibrant beings.  I, too, wait, hold out my playbill, flash a picture. 

 Idina Menzel comes out. maxresdefaultAnd she does walk down the line.  I have her photograph and her autograph.  And all I want to do, but dare not, is cup her cute youngish face and say:  “Idinala, because she is one of us – a nice Jewish girl from Queens and Syosset – “please tell me you have a plan in place for your retirement,” because when you are sixty it must be very hard to belt out your soul on stage once a day five days a week and an additional twice a day two times a week.

After retirement

We walk to the bus stop. 

I don’t tell my husband that seniors can ride for half price.  I don’t want to call attention to myself.  We came to the city to escape the obvious and my husband does not want me to remind him that we are aging.  “Does it make you feel better?” he asks every time I try to bring up the topic.  “Work will help us stay young,” is his mantra.  Only I don’t want to work so hard anymore.  The problem is that all my husband has is work and I, myself, cannot find a real substitute for the work I have retired from.

Have any of you readers had an issue retiring?

It is not so easy as the commercials make it seem.  You never feel how you have aged.  And my husband is right, work will keep you young but you also have to have time for all the things you need to do before it is too late.  Has anyone gotten the balance right?