Monday, January 14, 2008

Poor retirement

I enjoy reading the keywords that lead people to my blog. Obviously, since my blog has a word "retirement" in it and is about my retirement living, a lot of key words are about retirement.

Most of them are different versions of "Puerto Rico retirement" ( cost of living, cars, acommodations, etc) but some are amusing and/or provoking an answer, which I have no idea how and to whom to deliver

"Don't you wish retirement came with an instruction manual? " was one of them. If I were to answer, I'd say:

"Jeez, I don't know. I'd hate to live MY retirement according to somebody elses instruction manual.

If "International Living" wrote that manual, it would instruct me to - even before retiring - take a 7 or 9 days trip to place unknown but being currently touted by them, and immediately, without a slightest hesitation, purchase property there, because then I could spend my retirement days looking past my gardener busily pruning something in my garden... or such other nonsense.

It would not pay any attention to the fact, that I might want to explore hundreds other places and NEVER buy any real estate... or that I might prefer to do the pruning myself : more fun and healthier than just passively staring at a gardener.

If a very family or "I want to live all my life in one place only and in the same social circle" oriented person or organization were to write such a manual, they'd probably stress an importance of being close to family, possibly old friends, of deriving joy from playing with - and taking care of - grandkids. And I have no grandkids, make new friends easily while keeping in a - light - touch with old ones. I can see myself yawning ear to ear just trying to read that type of a retirement manual, and if I were to live it, I'd probably shot myself.

If I were to write such a manual I might extoll virtues of a retirement merry-go-round : of travel, of exploration, of work - just for the fun of it."

No, no, wait a moment. I would not. I can extoll it in my blog, but I would never do it in a manual, which should fit many different personalities, a plethora of needs. And heavens know how suitable - even for me - are some aspects of my retirement.

There was another of those asking for answer keywords: "what should I say to a friend, who is about to retire?" That one made me laugh, but it also made me alarmed that the author of a keyword might, after visiting my blog, recommend a merry-go-round type of retirement to someone who is not suited for it. It almost made me want to warn the author: "Now, please, don't try to push any retirement lifestyle on him/her, unless you are sure you know what they would like. Retirement should be fun - and can be, ANYWAY it is lived, as long as it is not filled with -unwanted - loneliness, passivity and depression. "

And today, when I was feeling a slight pity for myself, having spent the entire weekend working, despite a gorgeous weather, fabulous surrounding and my body desiring to be on the beach or anywhere outside the office, a new retirement related keyword hit me: "poor retirement".

Just in time: today is an - obscure to me - holiday in Puerto Rico: Natalicio de Eugenio Maria De Hostos and I can't observe it by going to the beach, I can't even find time to research what it is all about, because, for the the fifth day in a row I am slaving in my office, all day long.

Why? Because somebody screw up and to "unscrew it" required an immediate action. Yes, working for fun has its disadvantages, too. The world, also the world of non-profits is full of both dimwits and egomaniacs.

Perhaps having from time to time to deal - voluntarily, for the sake of social profit - with that kind of nonsense might qualify my retirement as "poor". But I'll still say: let's toast the poor retirement! Cheers!


Jen said...

I love your retirement approach of reinventing your life in a different locale when it suits! What an adventurer you are...

zooms said...

I know this is just me being-..... well, just me ............. but
I wish it wasn't called an 'institute.'
Is that why you haven't been able to go out?

Minerva said...

Thanks, Jen. :-)

Zooms, is it the institution being officially named an institute you are questioning or my use of the word when referring to it? If the second, it might just be my English, or the fact that its acronym AWNHI is more than a mouthful, and a full name takes way too much time and spece to type every time I mention, but I'd love to hear what you'd call it? If it is the first, well, 18 years after its inception it would be hard to change the name, and most of educational institutions of that type call themselves institutes.
And yes, it is the press release that kept me glued to my desk all weekend :-). But yesterday just before noon Choice Cable, our cable provider decided to make a routine maintenance in the middle of the day and we were without cable internet connection till late this morning, so I took a few hours off yesterday... living on island time, you know :-)

zooms said...

Yes Minerva, it is the official name that gives me the shivers, not your use of it. To me, the word 'institute' conjures up images of white coats, locked doors and long tunnels of no escape., I have never been held in one,..... yet

zooms said...

Meant to say, glad the Cable connection allowed you some time off. xxx
The islands do have a way of doing that and I admire how you know to 'go with the flow' and not fight it.

Minerva said...

Lol, zooms, how different are our associations with "institutes" - to you, hmm, white coats, locked doors and no escape. To me, since in the first part of my professional life I was mainly a "think tank" researcher in various institutes having a reputation of international "think tanks", an institute conjures images of developing and testing theories, conducting qualitative and quantitative research... thus the images are mostly exciting, stimulating, at least intellectually and no more scary than, it happend, a pseudo-intellectual bickering and jockeying for being noticed, getting the biggest grant, etc. etc.
Now, in my post-career professional life I work with different type of institutes: non-profit do-gooders, that conduct practical research (on environment protection, sustainable living, or - like my current one - alternative health education, which is so much needed. Not scary at all. Life here might be somewhat restrictive - as far as recommended choice of alimentation: life food raw veganism, but otherwise a healing retreat atmosfere in the tropics, by the sea. We not always use walls in our classrooms, much less locked doors. Lol.

cheryl said...

Minerva, I love your blog. My partner and I think about retiring to Bangkok. I've also thought about Mexico. I'm going to spend some time reading your other posts about different parts of the world. We do love SE Asia, though, and love being in Bangkok. We'd have to do a trial run before selling our house in Seattle. Just to think of how much less expensive it would be to travel to the places we want to go is exciting.

Minerva said...

Thanks, Cheryl for visiting - and for faving my blog. Thailand and Mexico - very, very different. Culturally, lifestylewise, even among expats... though, truth be told, in Thailand I socialized mostly with Europeans while in Mexico mostly with Americans, and that could have accounted for most of the expat lifestyle differences.
Both are also rather large countries offering very different experiences depending on where in each you'd decide to settle. For example, in Thailand Chang Mai could have as well been on another planet than Phuket or Bangkok, while in Mexico Mayan peninsula and Sonora desert or San Miguel de Allende also differ A LOT. Still, wherever you go, you should learn a lot (perhaps even about yourself) and have fun - different type of fun, but fun.