Blog posts about the Rabbi Aviva Cohen Mysteries and their author Rabbi Ilene Schneider

   Not much. But, in all fairness, it has been only just over two weeks, including days I would have been off anyway (New Years, weekends) and bad weather days when I would have worked from home.

   When people ask me how I’m enjoying being retired, I answer with a grin. Although, I am still in a period of adjustment.

    I’m having no problem with not going to work, but I’m still not used to having flexibility with my time. I don’t have to wait for a weekend or day off to wash my hair, do my nails, fill my birdfeeders, do laundry. I still put off the laundry until my underwear drawer is almost empty and the hamper is overflowing, but I don’t have to; it’s now out of choice (sounds better than “procrastination”), not lack of time. I don’t have to make appointments for haircuts or doctors in the early morning or late afternoons; I can take the first available opening. I can visit my parents in Florida (heading down there next week) without counting how much paid time off I have accumulated. Even better, if my return flight is canceled because of a blizzard, I can delay returning until the snow melts, maybe in April.

    It’s weird to drive past a nursing home facility and realize I don’t need to make visits there. And it’s nice to be able do errands whenever I feel like it rather than when I’m going to be visiting patients who live near the stores I want to go to. And I’ve been able to take care of minor errands I’d been putting off because I didn’t want to take the time while working to go, for example, to a craft shop to pick up jewelry glue to fix a ring. Or to get the tire pressure checked.

    I have even (blasphemy!) joined a gym so I can use the stationary bike. My goal is to be able to stand up from the low couch with the broken down cushions without having to rock back and forth to build up some momentum. And to walk upstairs without pulling myself up with both hands on the railing. (It’s either exercise or buy a new couch and a new house on one floor. Neither is an option until I hit the lottery or sign a seven-figure book contract, both of which have an equal chance of happening. And I never buy lottery tickets.)

    Other retirement plans include scanning our thousands of pictures into the computer. First, I need to organize the two huge boxes of pictures that have been in our family room for almost two years. No more excuses that I haven’t the time or energy to sort through them and get rid of multiple wallet-sized school pictures. I have taken the first step: the photo scanner is on the family room coffee table.

    I’m also going to clear out the coat closet. And the desk. And make a list of all the DVDs we own. And … well, you get the idea.

    I volunteered to be treasurer of the Burlington County Natural Sciences Club. I’m going to call the Rancocas Nature Center, where I used to work, to see if they have an open shift in the bookstore.

    I think I’ve finally sorted through all my emails. Now I have to see if those who wrote me about my doing guest blogs for them are still interested. And I need to continue with my book promos and writing the Rabbi Aviva Cohen Mystery #3, Yom Killer.

    Yesterday, my younger  son called in the mid-afternoon to let me know he was home. I said I probably wouldn’t see him until I got home after the board meeting of the Friends of the Library. His response: “I thought you were retired.”

    I am. But, as one of my friends said, “You’re not retired. You’re re-tired. You had new tires put on.”

    Yup, and enjoying the smoother ride



  1. My favorite part of being retired is I can pick the time I do errands, so I seldom shop in packed stores or get caught in traffic jams.
    JL Greger

    • I’m still managing to get stuck in traffic jams. But at least I’m not in a hurry to get to a professional appointment. It is nice to be able to take care of errands when I’m in the mood, instead of when I’m in the area or have the time.

  2. If you’re looking for something else to do, I’d be happy to nominate you to the chairmanship of Scribes Who Snack and Write (SWSW). 🙂 Loved the “re-tired” part. Now just add “re-fired” to it. Happy Retirement! Happy Re-tirement! Happy Re-Firement!

  3. I loved this post, Ilene, and I found myself smiling as I read it because I’ve been busier since I retired than I ever was when I worked. I’ve been “retired” for a while now. It started with the elimination of my full-time job company-wide, which “encouraged” me to take early retirement. It was one of the best things that has ever happened to me!
    I dug right in and finished the novel I’d been working on for years and I’ve since gone on to write two more books. I finally had the time to make my dream a reality! But, even better than that (and that was wonderful), is the fact that I was able to spend a lot of time with my father before he went to be with the Lord and, when my mother fell and broke her hip twice and was diagnosed with a heart condition, I’ve had the time to be there to help her. God works in mysterious ways!

    • It is a nice side benefit not to have to worry about triaging family responsibilities vs. professional. Family, of course, comes first, but there are times when it can be hard to balance both. It’s especially difficult for me as a only child who’s parents, in their mid-80s, live almost 1000 miles away.

  4. Rabbi Ilene. We admire your plans during you retirements. Wait to see what else life demands of you and how your enthusiasm for doing so many things builds each day. Increase you bird list is most important. We are working on 6 projects as I write (see you in Monterey of course) + 3 synagogue projects (including shul each Shabbat) You will grow with each mitzvah. Toby and Bill Gottfried (LCC2014)

  5. Great post! My favorite part of being retired is being able to write in cafes during the daytime! Living the dream!

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