Coffee pots and retirement.  What does one have to do with the other particularly?  What is the connection?  I never really gave it a thought because I’m not fully retired yet.  I still seem to work most of the time though I like to say I’m semi-retired.  My church laughs at that remark because they know better.  So, what about coffee pots and retirement?

Recently, I had a conversation with a retiree that has brought this dilemma to light.  He was talking how they make the coffee pot ready to brew the night before.  Then he makes his way, half asleep in the morning to hit “the button”.  He said it with flare and emphasis.  Then he “waits” (flare and emphasis again!) but it doesn’t take real long, he confessed.  However, he must wait!

I told him that our coffee pot has a timer on it and it makes coffee automatically at the same time every morning.  He said that his did too and looked at his lovely wife.  She came up for air and said that we don’t get up at the same time every morning anymore.  She also said the longer the coffee sits the stronger it gets.  Evidently, that is not a good thing.

So, that is the connecting dilemma between coffee pots and retirement.  After decades of getting up and going to work at the same time with Caterpillar, now they can get up when they want to nearly every day.  The coffee pot timer gets in the way of that leisurely pleasure.  How dare that timer interrupt the thought of leisurely slumber with stronger coffee.  I’m not retired yet, so the timer goes off at 6:30 a.m. when I come home from the office for breakfast.  I have yet to experience their dilemma.  I’m not sure I ever will.

What is retirement anyway?  Will I be able to sleep longer then?  I don’t think so because I don’t sleep well anyway.  I don’t sleep very long.  I even took a sleep test recently to see if there is a problem and it was very successful.  After waking me up five times during my sleep, I was able to come home and take a very good nap that afternoon.  I rarely take a nap no matter how much I do or do not sleep at night.  So, the sleep test was successful because it put me to sleep, though it was afternoon.  I’m not sure that was the intended result of a successful sleep test, but so be it. I often have wondered if they gave me a machine and made me sleep longer, when would I get my work done?  I have hours of work done before breakfast.  That would be my dilemma.

What is retirement anyway?  It may be the cessation from your normal workplace, but will you be any less occupied?  I’ve noticed for some that is not the case, though you might not realize the cause right away.  Many a wife has said her husband has to find another career and get out of the house more.  Is that because he needs the exercise?  That’s a nice thought, but I have never heard it.  It’s usually more like his feet are always right where my vacuum cleaner needs to go.  In other words, after working for forty-five to fifty years, she is not used to having him in the house all the time.  That’s not my dilemma because even at semi-retired (church is laughing) I seem to be on the go much. I must admit though, I’m starting to like more of my evenings at home for a change, especially in the winter. I’ve even become a “Wheel of Fortune” fan and pretty good at guessing those puzzles.

What is retirement anyway?  Can they be considered the “Golden Years”?  Absolutely, but not necessarily in the way you might think at all.  I’ve always said, “The Golden Years are when you just get the years and the doctors get the gold”.  Will you have more time to yourself in your so-called “Golden Years”?  Not from what I’ve seen in forty years of being with senior citizens.  It used to be everyone would have a “Marcus Welby”-type family doctor and that was it.  Now, we have a specialist for every ailment imaginable and so seemingly daily appointments with some doctor or dentist is inevitable as you age.  Retirement is not sleeping in and resting as much as it is driving more than you have ever driven in your life to your medical appointments.

So, what is the moral of the story?  You might as well set your timer on the coffee pot and get on with it.  The day’s work is never done, retirement or not.