A Whole New Life on a Monday Afternoon


It’s Monday afternoon and I’m listening to traditional Japanese flute (Shakuhachi) on my personalized ITunes radio station, sitting on the couch in my beautiful home in Glen Sutton instead of in Montreal at my office desk at Decarie Square.

What gives?

I’m retired, that’s what gives!

Yes, Friday was my last day of work and I’m starting a whole new life beginning today. Normally on a Monday morning, I would be in my car by 8 am for the almost two-hour drive into Montreal. While I must have said, “I don’t want to go to work tomorrow,” a thousand times every Sunday evening, once on the road it wasn’t too bad looking ahead to the four-and-a-half day work week coming up.

Things started going downhill with the arrival, in December, of a new Executive Director at the charity where I worked 30 hours a week since August 2012. My new boss makes Type A people look lethargic in comparison. He is an intense mixture of Israeli/German, which is worse than putting the two most incompatible horoscope signs together. Chop in a fair amount of egotism, workaholicalism, and neediness and I was ready to bolt the stable after about a week with him at the helm.

Bolstered by a very strong positive intuition, I sent “Frank” an email back in January telling him that we weren’t going to make a great couple (there were only two of us in the office working together).

I had often talked to my wife about my eventual retirement, mostly regarding fears as to how I would spend my days with so much spare time on my hands. Naomi was full of suggestions, some of which I thought were good and which I would consider at some future time. This “future time” was supposed to start in September on any given year as my apartment lease is renewed every September 1st.

However, I couldn’t contemplate working for “Frank” another week, let alone another month, and I was happy when he told me that I would begin training their new executive assistant, Wendy, who would be taking over at the end of March.

This training took an extra week. She just wasn’t ready (even now…).

So here I am, on the first real day of the rest of my life, although there is a lot of talk, mostly from my wife, about getting a part-time job once we return from our long adventure out West this summer.

This morning, I signed up at the local gym in Sutton and plan on accompanying Naomi whenever she goes her usual three times a week.

Great, that takes care of about four hours a week…

I plan on getting back into bridge, which occupies most of Wednesday afternoons. I have a few fears in that regard, mostly about my bridge-playing abilities and the abilities of any future bridge partner. I want everything to be laid-back and easygoing, the best environment for me to learn in and improve, but I also want to get pretty good results week in and week out.

I hope to continue swimming. I joined the “Y” this year and loved my twice-weekly swims during lunch hour. There’s a swimming pool in Cowansville, 35 minutes away, but I remember it to be very crowded and the great thing about the “Y” was the fact that most times I had a whole lane to myself. So, we’ll see where that goes…

There’s always volunteer work.

One of my goals is to be able to jog all the way to the top of my street. It’s not that long but it is quite steep.

I will need this stamina for the trip this summer as we are planning on doing plenty of hiking while visiting nine different provincial and national parks, from Ontario to South Dakota. Right now my stamina is not up to par.

There are, of course, pluses and minuses, as there are with most large life choices. I am not in unadulterated bliss. Luckily, despite the hours that Naomi plans on putting into her work at her ceramics studio, she also enjoys spending time with me, so I don’t foresee too much difficulty convincing her, later in the year, to join me in some cycling , or hiking, or just walking down the street to the bridge over the Mississquoi River.

The rest will be up to me…








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