Retirement: Creative Frugality Rediscovered


In a few weeks I’ll be retired from Geekatopia (see old blog: http://www.raintownlowdown.blogspot.com) It’s turning out to be much more work than I expected. So many considerations – Social Security paperwork, Medicare paperwork, budgets to hone, bills to pay off ahead of impending poverty – that sort of stuff and much more. Cutting ties with my employer is not something done lightly or easily. I’m up in the middle of the night wondering how my route will get done without me – wondering what I may have forgotten to pass on to the people taking over my work. I’ve given them many months notice but there is still so much to be done before I can make a clean break.

But it’s a great adventure. Kind of like setting off into a vast wilderness with a daypack filled with granola bars. Scary. And exciting. I couldn’t have picked a weirder time in which to give up the day job – imploded economy etc. When I tell people I’m retiring they inevitably say, “Oh, I’d love to retire but I can’t afford it right now.” Well, who can??? But did we wait until we could afford it before we: bought our new car, had a baby, went back to school, signed the mortgage? Nah. We’re the children of the generation who survived the Great Depression – we’re exhippies who lived on Food Stamps and airy illusions – we muddled through. Our idealism is boundless. Along the way we learned some valuable lessons about our own creativity and stamina. Wisdom and skills that we must now revisit as we set off in the unknown.

What’s with the geodesic dome in the above photo, you ask. It’s part of my retirement plan. Remember back in the 70s when people were “growing their own”? Now the term means something slightly different. It means raising a few organic vegies to stretch the Social Security check. In this new blog I’ll chronical my rediscovery and recycling of nearly forgotten Hippie values and skills – ideas that are coming back around to serve me once more – things like repairing, reusing, recycling – rethinking how I live my life. In the next post I’ll explain the name of this blog: Dandelion Lunch

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