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The trials of retirement

Bill Fox

Bill Fox

By Bill Fox/Columnist

For some folks retirement can be a very difficult time because so much of their life was focused on their job. So, for those new retirees or those contemplating retirement, this is what you have to look forward to:

‘THEN’ indicates before retirement.

‘NOW’ indicates… jeez, I’ve forgotten…it will come to me…

THEN I would get out of bed slowly in the morning and prepare for my busy workday.

NOW I get out of bed limping, sometimes a few times a night, and I wonder what it was I had planned to do today.

THEN my best friends were my co-workers and fishing buddies, Tom and Dave.

NOW my best friend is my family doctor. In fact, all doctors are quickly becoming my best friends, except my colonoscopy doctor, who will get in touch with me soon… so to speak.

THEN when I complained to my doctor about certain pains, he tried to correct them.

NOW my doctor says, “Well at least you can feel them!”

THEN my parents seemed happy and content.

NOW my parents have passed, but I remember them telling me that getting old is no fun. Jeez, if I would have known that. Do we have options here?

THEN upon greeting a member of the opposite sex, I always shook hands.

NOW, suddenly, a lot of women hug me upon greeting me. I guess they figure they’re safe, or it could be my hair?

THEN I loved it when Lovell Drugs gave me (sometimes wrongly) a seniors (over 60) discount.

NOW I resent that my barber never asks if I qualify for the 65-plus discount…. but she always seems to ask about my health.

THEN I had more hair on my scalp.

NOW I have more hair in my ears.

THEN an occasional jacuzzi would be something to look forward to.

NOW I want a higher toilet like my buddy just got.

THEN my skin seemed smooth, and I did not mind shopping for nice after-shave lotions.

NOW I have all these wrinkles, shaving is a chore, and I spend my time at the drug store looking at skin creams and moisturizers.

THEN 50 was nifty.

NOW 70 is plenty.

THEN when you asked your friends how they’re doing, they responded with words like “good,” etc.

NOW the response is a five-minute medical report from recent physicals.

THEN my friends were envious that I attended the first Beatles concert in Toronto, the Maple Leaf Stanley Cup parades, etc.

NOW people who have heard of the Beatles, and wish they never heard of the Leafs will mention that I must be really old… maybe this year?

THEN the Oshawa Generals were young men.

NOW they are young kids.

THEN I was focused, determined and straightforward.

NOW I get into a room and wonder why I came into that room. I have to leave the room to remember what it was I was going to get out of that room in the first place.

THEN one of my favourite phrases was “I can hardly wait until….” I retire, until the boys get settled, etc.

NOW one of my favourite phrases is “If only…” we did not move, if only we invested more, etc.

THEN I prayed to God for certain good outcomes, like better income.

NOW I pray God doesn’t come for me…yet.

THEN I was in debt.

NOW I’m in debt… but on a fixed income.

THEN I had a flip cell-phone.

NOW I have to phone my cell phone number to find out where I left it.

THEN I used to swim on nice beaches.

NOW when I get onto the beach, people try to put me back into the water.

THEN I could hear what people were saying about me.

NOW I cannot hear, thank goodness.

THEN I was sensitive to criticism

NOW if I remember to read them you can send them to me at