SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska
Column - Commentary

Bulletin: There are indeed too many hours in the day!


March 27, 2023

Ketchikan, Alaska -
When one retires, one certainly has more time with which to do things.


Like sleep in, get up, eat breakfast at noon and take a nap.

Of course, I jest. 

I usually eat breakfast at 1 pm these days.

Unfortunately, napping all day long comes with its own issues. I'm not a cat, therefore I really can't quite feel comfortable sleeping 18 hours a day. I want to. I really, really do. I want to sleep away three quarters of the day. I. Just. Can't. I mean if I only spend six hours a day monitoring Facebook and Twitter. I will totally lose touch with REALITY.  And that is something I just cannot bear.

Speaking of sleeping all day, my cats certainly seem to be enjoying my new work status. They really do rock out when "Daddy" spends most of the day in bed.  What they don't like is when I actually putter around the house trying to get things done. They prefer a quiet a house, so they can get their winks in. When I am puttering, they sit there and glare through tired eyes as if to say "don't you have somewhere to go."

No, actually I don't.

But I digress.

Once upon a time, I looked forward to retiring so I could write the "Great Alaskan Novel." Now, I am learning that novels to do not write themselves, no matter how much time I set aside for them to do so. You would think all this extra time would lead to the creation of such a work. But it is truly hard to write the great Alaskan novel when all you really want to do is argue with people on Facebook and Twitter.

But I digress again.

Two plus months into retirement, I have come to the conclusion that I must do something to use up the eight hours that I no longer spend going to work. So far, I have come up with a plan use up at least seven of those hours.

One hour - Time spent looking for my car in either the Safeway or Walmart parking lot. If you have a silver RAV 4 this can take a while. It seems there are 205 other Silver RAV 4s in town. A bunch of them. I know because I have gotten into at least a couple of which I did not own. That's embarrassing. People should really learn to lock their cars around here. You have no idea who could be sitting in your precious power seat with adjustable lumbar support.

One hour - Time spent aimlessly flipping channels on the TV. Actually, it is not "aimlessly" I always begin the process actually looking for something I want to watch. Unfortunately, by the time I have gone from Channel 2 to Channel 906, I have given up on actually finding something I want to watch. I have entered into the "rabbit hole" of "I will keep looking until I either I (a) get to the music channels or (b) I cycle back to Channel 2 again. It always takes an hour. Especially, when I decide to go back to find something that was slightly interesting 111 channels ago.

One hour - Exercising. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. There, my pulse rate is up. 

One hour - Dinner prep. One of the problems with being retired is the assumption that you will take on more duties, like cooking. I actually like cooking, but we're not talking about that. We're talking about reading websites, going through recipes and consulting cooking shows (Channel 200ish, see above). By the time I have done that, I am too worn out to cook. Which leads to another hour consulting "Ketchikan Menus" to see what looks good that night. Or not.

Three hours - Napping. Okay, just cause I can't sleep for a full 18 hours doesn't mean I can't at least give it the old college try. Which is another phrase that I don't understand. Do old colleges try harder? Did you try harder when you were in college? I don't think I did. Otherwise I could have retired earlier, I suspect. Anyway, even on a day when I off my snoozing game, I can still get in at three solid hours.

Anyway, as I said before, that takes us to seven hours.

But then the whole process of filling up the day loses an hour.

How so? Is this some sort of "RST" (Retirement Savings Time)?

One non work hour that was previously filled was the hour before work. The one that you thrashed around forcing yourself out of bed, eating breakfast, taking a shower, shaving, getting dressed and then slogging through the five minute commute to work. You can't do that anymore.

Fortunately, I have replaced that hour with "organizing" my closet. I make piles, sort clothes that I no longer wear for the thrift store. Then I relive the great moments I had with those clothes (women usually think about their cool dress clothes, but I am a guy, so T-shirts always have the greatest sentimental value). I realize that I am not quite ready to part with those clothes yet, so I carefully cram them back into the closet and chest of drawers.

As it is now actually time to cook dinner, I find myself returning to the grocery store (which I was at six hours earlier) because I find I now need to buy two additional items. After I have spent an hour doing that (and buying an additional seven items that I do not really need for $87.47), I have returned home with the satisfied realization that I have managed to "get through" another day of retirement. 

Only about 2,500 more to go!

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