Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh, if only, if only, I planned enough

I retired some years ago. And long before I retired I made plans. Plans about money. Where it will come from and where it will go. Plans about the years – what will we do with them – two years – 5years – after 80. And the months in each year. How will we use them?

And then I retired! My husband and I became together 24/7. In the beginning, he, in the yard and I, in the house. He was the gardener which he really was having grown up in the farm and growing fruits and vegetables made him happy. He’d drive to Home Depot to pick up the right seeds to plant and the effective potting soil and fertilizer to get the fruit trees and vegetables growing and bearing food. He was busy. He was productive. He was being fulfilled. Even at 70+. Even at 80 and beyond!

 And on top of all these when the kids and the grandkids come by once in 10 days, or 2 weeks to come and look see and talk with us and they see the red, red cherries tomatoes, the big green, red pepper and the calamansi and mandarin - they’d pick their heart’s desire and not stop raving, “Oh, grandpa, grandpa – these are good! Very good!” And my husband is standing there – looking, and filling with joy. Overflowing with joy!
And me, the homemaker/housekeeper 24/7. Yes – 24/7 – since the start of my retirement.

Now just a minute. What by the way are the duties and functions in the job description of homemaker/housekeeper? Where did I put the plans I made?
And besides I remember. I did not include the day-to-day tasks and to do’s in my retirement plans. I should have had. Like: preparing 3 meals and getting the dining table and kitchen in shipshape every day. Three times a day too. Another is making sure the bedrooms and the living room are orderly and clean and comfortable and beautiful. And the bathroom must be too.

And then let us see. I am the homemaker/housekeeper. I am seeing that a deck at the back would be wonderful. I could sit and read there and have coffee too, with my husband and the kids when they come.
I could place 2 rocking chairs, in the deck that we would build in the backyard. I think I have always liked rocking chairs. I recall my father had one in our old house long before the war was brought by the Japanese to my country. We’d put a retractable awning over the deck.  It is only $750 so the ads says. I saw this in the TV. Very affordable, I think. Or maybe permanent roofing would be best.

And we could make the backyard an orchard; plant a persimmon, avocado, orange, and moringa vegetable tree. Why not – there is space. Bittermelon and spinach – vegetables growable by anyone.

Now I know what to tell my kids when they retire. Your living condition is primordial when you retire – 1) 3 bedrooms, or one bedroom; 2) big or smaller living room; 3) very spacious and top of the art dining room and kitchen and bathroom too. If you can the above should be in place before you retire. What I am saying is, “Do your best to plan your retirement days – correct even to the spaces and furniture in your house where you spend 24/7. As for me – I am saying now – “Oh, if only I knew more or better?”

Oh, if only, if only! I wish. I wish.


  1. Oh, Manang, if only I knew that the more hours I would have the less motivated I would be to tidy up my rooms..... you saw our supposedly empty bedrooms, right? And for how long had I been in this predicament..... almost a year in a few hours!!!
    Just like you, if only I knew.... lol

  2. I'm not retired yet but being on vacation for two months this summer I can relate to the 24/7 home chores you're talking about. It may appear so tedious but there is always this feeling of relief and satisfaction once you see a well organized and well maintained home environment. But part of the equation is also to give myself a break so I won't come to the point when I'll begin to despise this routine. You're absolutely right about planning for retirement years, but if things don't come out as planned, enjoy life to the best you can because life is beautiful and is also SHORT.