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Ostomy Memories in a Rut


From the fourth grade on, I worked. Job upon job, plus school which, as we know, if done right, is work too. I didn't stop until I was seventy-five and, even then, it was with mixed emotions. Of course, as the great Lily Tomlin once said, the problem with the rat race is that, even if you win, you're still a rat. So I came to regard retirement as time to hang it up, box it up, and give it up: hang up my suits, box up the accoutrements of my trade (don't ask), and give up trying to impress anybody with my hard-earned professional competence. These days, for me, each day is like every other day, and I find that positively exhilarating. I have come to love life in a rut. I arise early, feed the cats, read for an hour or two, check the news on-line, then go out to walk for an hour. Often while I'm walking, I'm writing these little squibs in my head. The remainder of the day is for puttering: more to read, perhaps some writing, yard chores, kitchen work. I've been social distancing since long before the virus arrived at our shores. It suits my essentially misanthropic personality. So perhaps there are different types of ruts. They don't have to be dull and unproductive. My personal rut is more exciting than scratching under a cat's chin, and may be somewhat repetitive but always at varying speeds and in different garb.

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I don't see you as a misanthrope, Henry. I see you as an idealist who has been somewhat disappointed in the human race at times, so now you are more inclined to keep your idealism close to your chest. Safer. But there is still a spark there that wants to engage with others, and I am finding that engagement thought provoking, funny, and just generally enjoyable. I'm not the only one. 

I too am enjoying retirement. I love the freedom of being able to do whatever I want. I have time to do things that I was too busy, or too tired to do when I was working. I can read the entire newspaper in the morning, so I am far more caught up on current events than I ever have been (OK, maybe that's a downside). I enjoyed helping people for a career, but sometimes it was heartbreaking and exhausting. I still enjoy helping people, but now my terms are different. The crushing responsibility is gone, as are the endless case notes, and lying awake nights, worrying about someone.  Now I'm just that neighbour, friend, or family member who is more available to listen, now that she's retired. 



Hi Henry, yes retirement is good my stress level was pretty high when i was still working always grouchy and battling crohns i was always tired, but when i left the work place i became a care giver for my MIL who was battling cancer but i didnt look at it as a care giver but a release from the daily grind of going to work, i didnt mind sitting for an hour while she had a treatment but the best was sitting with her to eat lunch  and talk about life. also the mornings to sit and drink an extra cup of coffee and watch the birds at the feeders and no sounds in the house as my wife was already gone to work so i am enjoying retirement. 


You've pegged me pretty good; I plead guilty.  And it sounds as if you have your act together.  The difference between having to do it vs. doing it if you feel like it is sweet. 


You know it is kinda strange this subject came up. I was thinking this morning how my routine was the same every day. I thought about what and how my every day goes. I walked through what I do every day and how boring it is. But I have a lot of health problems and can not do a lot of things I would like to do. I retired at sixty two and thought I could do things I never had time to do. I was supervising eighty people in a sewing room and the pressure got to be to much.We made all the graduration products, I had five different departments like the gowns, the caps,and tassels and two others. I went from that to doing nothing and for a while that was great. Then my health began to decline and now I still can not do what I want to. Anyway I will stop my rant for now. Best wishes and stay safe


Great minds think alike, Lovely.  Actually, S. Carolina is not that far away from north Florida and i was using mental telepathy to read your mind and tried to interrupt your boring routine.  Stay well.  HenryM


Hi Henry,  A misanthrope you are not.  Through your posts on this forum you show yourself to be a sensitive soul with keen observational skills, a self deprecating and sometimes wicked sense of humour but above all grace and kindness.  I always appreciate your contributions and I know I'm just one of many.

Retirement is a wonderful thing.  I often remind myself of what a luxury it is not to have to be wakened by the alarm clock, of being able to enjoy my second cup of coffee while reading my latest book.  Not having to raise my stress level by fighting traffic every morning only to get to work and raise my stress level even more!  I try not to take any of it for granted.  I agree that not all ruts are bad and don't have to be productive.  Sometimes cleaning the cobwebs from my brain by spending the day doing not much of anything is more productive than spending hours cleaning my house.

I think I'll take a nap now.

Best regards,



Wow Lovely - you must be an incredibly good seamstress! My mom taught me to sew when I was young, on one of those featherweight Singer machines. I really enjoy sewing still, but I don't do it all that often. Too easy to buy clothes, I guess. But occasionally, I will buy a silk sari on eBay, and use the fabric to make a really unique piece of clothing. 

I'm sorry to hear that your health has been declining. Can you do some creative things to keep you busy that aren't too strenuous? You sound like someone who likes to do things with her hands, like me. Knitting maybe? 



I do like to keep my hands busy My sister tried to teach me to crochet, but I had no luck with it. I had two sisters and a brother and all of them could crochet, don't know what happened to me. LOL I am on the computer a lot. I don't know if you remember the old Nintindo game console. I like to play the old games like Donkey Kong and Mario. I like to work jig saw puzlleson the computer. They say playing games helps keep your mind sharp, if that is true I hate to think the shape mine would be in without them. LOL


Hello Henry. 

Another great/stimlating post!

I 'retired' at the ripe old age of about 50+ so that I could do 'just as I liked'.  It just so happened, that what I liked was to work with my clients (without the interference and the unhealthy demands of the organisation).  Thus, the very next day I began again, doing the same as I did before except without that interference. I'm now 77years old and still enjoying what I do so, for me, it isn't 'work' but a combination of a hobby and a vocation. Of course, nowadays I only do it when and if I feel like it, but as it is a rich source of motivation and ideas for my poetry, I would be reluctant to give it up until I literally have one foot in the grave. 

Best wishes



It's a lucky person who can make a living doing something that they enjoy doing.  I had that good fortune as well.  You are one more example of a man who can "work with...clients" and write good poetry.  Wallace Stevens was an insurance company executive who won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in '55. 


After 40 years as a registered nurse I have also retired after my surgery and getting my colostomy. I was very anxious in the beginning about retiring but after being home for six weeks after the surgery and being able to get up whenever I want, go wherever I want, never having a timeline and not having to get up at 5 o'clock in the morning to be at work made me realize the retirement is pretty nice. I have lots and lots of hobbies that I have put off doing because I did not have time and now I can enjoy all of them. I never have a boring day, I enjoy sewing, embroidery, camping, fishing, hunting (I know, most women don't hunt), traveling, spending time with my adult grandchildren and all six of my great grandchildren. There is something very freeing about not having to watch the clock, getting up whenever I wake up and going to bed whenever I feel sleepy. As a matter of fact, I don't wear a watch anymore because I don't need to so if you're thinking about retiring and just can't make up your mind that it's the time to do it, just wait for a little while and when the time is right you will know in your gut. I have not regretted it yet and it has been almost a year.


Good for you!  The key is having things to do, staying busy, accomplishing tasks, and enjoying the end results.  Stay well.

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