Friday, November 4, 2016

retirement and TV

Pondering 3-D TV purchase

Now, about retirement...

            Practically all of my retired friends are working their buns off. Most of ‘em tell me that they work more than they did when they got paid to work.

I generally act as if I’m so proud of them for staying busy doing whatever the cheese sticks it is they’re doing. For the most part, I have no idea what they’re doing, but whatever it is… I think they’re doing it wrong.

That’s pretty much my guilt talking there. My mindset is all messed up. While I I try to do well at whatever it is I do, I prefer limiting the amount of time I spend doing it.  In short, I never wanted to die while working.

Speaking of which, there are a few of my unretired friends who, when asked they plan to retire, tell me that they plan to retire working, because they’re doing what they like to do. They’re not that unlike me. I, too, would like to die doing what I like to do. If I get my wish, I’ll die either sleeping or watching TV.

Second thought, I’d really not like to be leaning back in my recliner with 10 minutes left on the clock and the Texans down three touchdowns to the Browns. Suddenly, my bowl of Cheetos and popcorn goes flying as I grab my chest. People would say, “Mark died doing what he liked best -- watching the Texans lose.”

No,third thought, I’d like my last words to be, “I love you, Sweetpea. Try not to hog all the covers tonight.”

Either one of those scenarios would be better than getting electrocuted while installing a ceiling fan, or blown up while fixing a gas leak, or cracking my noggin while caulking around the tub. The first two chores I no longer attempt. The last one I only do every fifth year.  

Don’t get me wrong, I do stay busy occasionally. I cook, wash dishes, take out the garbage, vacuum and do the occasional light bulb change. When I find myself in the mood, I’ll play at being an author. I’ve got so many projects to finish you wouldn’t believe.

And, Kay and I do spend time preparing for our weekly radio talk show, “Hanging with the Hayters.” It requires a little bit of planning, but not enough to lose sleep over.

We sure don’t spend much time traveling. At least not as much as Kay would like. That’s because traveling requires some revenue, and retirement hasn’t proved to be all that lucrative. Not only that, but I just don’t travel as well as I used to. I don’t like to fly or drive long distances. And, I’m not crazy about walking all that much.

 As mentioned, one thing that does occupy much of my waking moments is watching TV. That is so weird, because none of the people I know watch much TV. Some watch absolutely none. That pretty much goes against everything I stand for.

Kay and I just finished watching the fifth season of “Longmire” on Netflix. We’re big fans of Wyoming sheriff, Walt Longmire. Did you know he’s played by an Australian? Robert Taylor, not to be confused with the much older and dead Robert Taylor? Anyway, as American manufacturing jobs go overseas, we’re now importing British and Australian actors because there’s a complete dearth of available American actors who can properly speak American English. -- That being said, Robert Taylor plays a great Walt Longmire.

So, “Longmire” is about all I watch. “Longmire” and “Poldark” on Masterpiece Theatre, and, uh, “Father Brown” on PBS as well as every other drama series that appears on PBS. I also watch the new series “Bull” with the ex-NCIS actor, Michael Weatherly. I make time for a few others – “Lethal Weapon”, “Mr. Robot”, “Alone”, “Dateline”, “60 Minutes”, “Gotham”, “Preacher” and “Designated Survivor” with Kiefer Sutherland. Of course, I’ll turn to practically any Western that pops up.

I also record all my favorite college football games, and then fast forward through them at night. I have not watched a live football game since TiVo… that’s the recording device, not Tebow, the quarterback turned baseball player. Not the same. 

Yep, things have changed so much since retirement.  When I was teaching, I came home at around four, had some coffee, read the newspaper, prepared supper, watched the news, and then went to the study to grade papers and prepare lessons for the next day. I’d got to bed and wake up at five in the morning. It wasn’t so bad, because I got used to.

Right now, I’ve become used to working on the house, working outside the house, reading, writing and doing the occasional entertainment gig. Then I manage to find time to watch a TV show or two… or six. Depends on the mood.

Truth be told, retirement is a lot like parenting in that there’s not a boot camp you can go to train for it. It’s something you pick up by trial and error. I have every confidence that most retirees are handling their retirement job so much better than I am. And, unless I’m very careful, I’m going to learn something from them. Right now, I’m just not all that receptive. – Next time.
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