notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Part-Time Perfection

As I prepare for retirement, my company has agreed (to my great pleasure) that we should have a long, smooth transition. When they identify my successor, I will gradually reduce my hours and work part-time for as long it’s mutually beneficial for the company and me.

How perfect is that?

I can just ease myself into retirement.  And who knows, part-time work may suit me fine. Work a little, feel like I’m making a contribution, have some spending money, and enough free time to write and read or just plain goof off. I think I can dig it.

This got me to thinking….

There are a lot of part-time situations and lifestyles that might also be perfect for me:

1. Gardening.  I enjoy my flower beds. Digging in the dirt and watching things grow is good for my soul. I even like weeding. Sitting on the ground and grasping tiny weed fragments is serene and allows my mind to drift in such pleasant ways. But not all the time!  I don’t want to be sitting on the ground pulling weeds EVERY SINGLE week.  I think once a month would be about right.

2. School.  I loved college. I loved the whole atmosphere. The air positively vibrated with the learning going on.  I’d like to go back. But I don’t want to study or take exams or write research papers. And I don’t want to take anything I’m not interested in. Or with a professor I don’t love. But I wouldn’t mind sitting in a classroom. Or walking between classes. How I used to love strolling through the campus. I could do that part.

3. A Dog.  I had a great dog when I was a teenager. I’d love to have a dog again. We’ve come close a couple of times. Like just this Sunday. We went to Tractor Supply (awesome way to spend a Sunday – if you are my husband.) There was a rescue group there with a bunch of little puppies. And one not-so-little one… about a year old and a gentle giant. With a lab’s body and the massive head of a pit bull, but the kind, puzzled eyes of a sweetheart.  This guy watched everyone swooning over the tiny puppies, and never made a sound. Just watched. Hopeful. Both my husband and I were tempted. But we have three cats, and the very old one really really hates dogs. So we can’t do that to her in her old age. But I see our neighbor walking her dog in the morning as I drive to work. And I wish it were me. But not in January. Or February. But I’d like a dog, For maybe six months of the year.

Come to think of it, having cats is just like having a part-time dog. Because they only notice you part-time.

4. Marriage.  This is a big one. When I was young, I dreamed of being married to some wonderful guy. But as I got older, my dream got a little more specific. I wanted to be married to a wonderful guy who was a traveling salesman.  Someone who would actually only be home on the weekends. And leave me to my own thoughts and activities during the week. So what happens? I find a wonderful guy who is a salesman – only he is a self-employed advertising salesman who worked mostly by phone… out of our house!  Rather than seeing him just on the weekends, I see him every single day! And now he is retired and I am about to be retired. That’s a lot of togetherness. Can I be married maybe just four days a week?

5. Parenting.  I always wanted to be a mother. But I married late in life and it didn’t happen for me. And you know, as time went by, although I often wished I had kids, I also recognized the nice aspects of not having any. Like money, freedom, quiet. But every now and then – even at my age – I wish I had a kid. But not all the time of course. I’d like to rock a baby to sleep. And read a story to a toddler. Or sit him in that spot in the front of the grocery cart where I now only put the bread. I think I might like the first day of school, or shopping with a teenage girl. Or maybe playing with a little boy on the beach. For an hour. Then I want to read my book.

haiti2015

 

41 Comments

  1. That is soooo me! Except I did have kids — two boys — and now I can do what you want to do part time — with my grandson. Spoil him rotten, fill him full of sugar, then send him home. Ahhhh….the life….

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    • I think being a grandmother sounds a lot nicer than being a mother.

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  2. You nailed it! Part time has benefits.
    Got a chuckle over the cat. They are part time dogs (the better half – ask any of them.)
    Thanks for the grins

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  3. I think you should crash a class or two. That would be a great story!

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    • I want to do that! How about something totally opposite from my life… forensic science or comparative religion?

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  4. Some colleges and universities allow people of a certain age (not sure what that age is) to audit classes for free. Imagine! Taking classes you LOVE, but never having to take a test!

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    • And I wouldn’t go in the rain or snow. Only when I felt like it. (although that sounds a little like being a regular college student, doesn’t it?)

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  5. Deb

    Can I have your retirement please?

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  6. Sounds like the perfect life Especially the six-month dog part.

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    • I know! I really want a dog. But not necessarily every minute.

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      • This morning it was 21 degrees when I walked Duncan

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        • Yeah… I want to walk my dog when it is 80 and sunny. And I want a dog that will sleep late.

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          • A stuffed one might fit thee bill. Or you can borrow. dDuncan. He doesn’t much like hot weather, though.

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  7. I just love full-time retirement and recommend it to anyone!!!

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    • I am ready for full time, but I think this part-time idea will be a good way to start.

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  8. To succeed at retirement is an art. I hope you succeed!

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  9. I had a daughter and then grandchildren, but I also HAD to read. No children were hurt or abused on my watch. I gave them all I could and then I HAD to read. The first granddaughter learned to read by age 4. 😀 See. Reading is awesome.

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    • When I’ve had occasion to babysit, I insist on nap time. If the kid is way too old, I call it quiet time.

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  10. You could always offer to foster a dog. A woman we know is in her 80s and fosters 2 greyhounds.

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    • I’m afraid I’d never be able to part with a foster. I would like to share a dog with another family. They can have the winter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good plan, though I must admit, we wouldn’t be without Maggie, even if she can be a pain sometimes. We love her to bits!

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  11. Everything is better in moderation. Especially, the things you have pointed out. All of those should be part time. There are more I’m sure but the marriage one is number one on my list. I spent 10 years of my life with a man who worked in Libya six weeks at a time. He would be gone six weeks and home for three. It was the perfect relationship. Every time he came home it was like a honeymoon and by the time that started to wear off he would leave again. Perfect! When he quit that job it didn’t take long for us to realize we were not meant to be full time.

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    • i love togetherness. Just not too much togetherness.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you. My hubby is seasonal and has three months off every winter. I encourage to go away with the boys.

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  12. Awww, that dog sounded so wonderful! My cats would also be pissed if I brought a dog home so it’s not gonna happen. I was able to ease out with a part time stint and I loved it. What I miss most is getting dressed for work. I don’t have a need for clothes and I miss that (and dressing up for grocery runs just isn’t the same). Sounds like you worked out a great agreement.

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  13. Congratulations on your soft slide into retirement! Don’t worry about kids – get the dog! The kitties will rule and the dog will obey and you will have a big sweetheart of a pup to cuddle. I can also attest to the fact that you will be too busy to think about adding other part time functions. You are going to love full-time retirement for sure!

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    • I will love it! I know it. I think I will wait on the dog though. I can’t bear to upset our ancient little girl.

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  14. Not that I don’t love my two boys, but yeah it would be nice to be able to do the parenting thing on a part-time basis, at least occasionally. Once the kids come along, it’s like you forget what it was like to have that freedom (and extra spending money ha).

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    • I know that children are wonderful, and I would have welcomed them — 25 years ago. Now, I don’t think I could bear the noise level.

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  15. Ray G

    You have described, perhaps without realizing it, a business plan for a really bang-up rental company. One which rents what you want, when you want it, and delivers! But the stuff you’ll rent are today quite foreign to every rental business I ever heard of. Perhaps there’s an opportunity here? Something hubby might want to get in on the ground floor of, maybe?

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    • “Rent-a-Dog” – “Rent-a-Kid” – and finally: “Drop off your husband here for a few days”

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      • Ray G

        There ya go. Although the last one is easiest: a car show.

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  16. Oh, I hope the older dog was adopted….

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  17. Oh, this had me laughing! I identified with so much of this post. We want it all, don’t we? Just not all the time!

    I seriously love your blog.

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    • Thanks! There’s nothing I like better than to make someone laugh!

      Like

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