Reflections on Retirement


On November 22 it will be one year since I left my job of 24 years and did not look back. Have I missed working? Are you kidding? I love my freedom. Of course it helped that I left almost immediately for over a month in Venice, Italy. The City of My Dreams in case you haven’t read the previous posts.
I am spending my time doing what I want to do when I want to do it. I meet friends during the day, during the week for a walk or lunch or a movie….sometimes all three.
As the picture above shows I created a summer sanctuary on my patio that became a jungle. Little plants that started out four inches tall until the frost last night were four feet tall. Frost will do that. Some are still there though.
Some feline friends even come to hang out with me.
One very comfortable cat
Just in case you think I’m just lounging around…I am back in college. I’m learning to read, write and hopefully speak Italian.
Here’s a picture of my classmates and I having dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate the beginning of the fall quarter.
Paola, Dale, Robin, Ross, Michelle, Max and Anna
Some of the many things I enjoy about retirement:
Not having to set an alarm clock
Eating my meals when I feel like it whether alone or with a friend
Reading, reading, reading
Gardening, gardening, gardening
Photographing flowers and cats….not necessarily in that order

One of the “doorstep” cats (some of them have homes, this one doesn’t but visits everyone) has decided to spend a lot of time on my patio. He’s very friendly, purrs up a storm, loves to be brushed. I call him il Diavolo…because he’s such a handsome Devil. I’ve told him if I were going to adopt another cat it would be him. For now he still lives outside. He seems to like it there and all his other friends that he wouldn’t get to visit if I made him an indoor cat.
Time for a bath
And yes, he is a very big cat…I actually weighed him and he is a whopping 15 lbs! But it’s mostly muscle.
I loved my job but I don’t miss working at all. I have no intention of either going back to that job or working anywhere. I’m doing fine financially as my retirement income is actually more than what I got working. Strange but true. I’m spending my time paying off my debts and divesting myself of things I don’t need because hopefully in about three years Italy will give me a visa and allow me to live in The City of My Dreams.


About mvaden1948

I love to travel to Venice (and probably other parts of Italy and beyond) and my camera leads me where she wants without any consideration as to whatever plans I may have. I enjoy photographing nature, my cat and anything that strikes my fancy. I have a "thing" for interesting doors and architectural details.
This entry was posted in Cats, City of My Dreams, Photography, Retirement, Venice and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Reflections on Retirement

  1. Sue Merritt says:

    I loved this. You are truly enjoying a well-deserved retirement.

    I have recovered from my breast surgery, chemo and radiation, thank goodness. My taste buds are still icky, but up aside from fatigue, I feel and am doing well.

    About a year before my surgery, I noticed a change in my husband, becoming forgetful.

    He has been diagnosed with dementia and is on a medication to slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s. So, it is as if I have to get used to a new “normal”, whatever that is.

    On a cheerier note, I have begun to play Mah Jongg once a week at the local library. There is a lot to learn, but I thoroughly enjoy it.

    Nice hearing from you Michelle.



    Sent from my iPad


    • mvaden1948 says:

      So good to hear from you, too, Sue. Glad you are doing well. The fatigue after my surgery lasted about three years. I had actually thought it was my new normal but it did go.
      Sorry to hear about your husband. I do hope the medication helps.
      Take care.

  2. I love your writing, that you adore felines and that you are full of excitement as you prepare to move to Italy! Wow, you sincerely have your game plan charted and you are determined. Retirement is a beautiful thing. If one finds themselves bored, they have only themselves to blame.
    Thank you for visiting my blog. I found a world of riches discovering you, discovering me. 💌

    • mvaden1948 says:

      We can thank the Cats at the Bar for our introduction!
      Thank you for your comments. I need to get back to blogging more often. You may have noticed when I was in Venice I blogged almost daily. Things here aren’t quite that interesting but I’m sure I still have things to say.
      I really did love your pictures on your blog in your new Tshirt. And I do wear glasses and had them on.
      Ciao, ciao,

  3. Hi Michelle. Nice terrace you have. I love cats (we have 3 – it was 4 but 1 disappeared sadly). I got here via your racoon post. At first I was thinking ” I didn’t know they had racoons in Venice”, then realised you were back in the States! Nice that you got a picture of him. I love the Venice gondola picture at the bottom of this post. I’m missing Venice. I would love to go back during winter and see it in it’s famous fog and take pictures as the sun starts to come through the mists. Hopefully less crowds then too. Have you been in Venice with that sort of weather? After our election, there is the chance the UK could leave the EU which would stop us having “open door” access to living in other European countries. I really hope that doesn’t happen. We want to emigrate in a few years. It must be frustrating for you having to wait for a visa to live in Venice. Thanks for your support of my blog. Take care. Miles

  4. mvaden1948 says:

    And my waiting for the visa is actually paying off my debts so that I can apply for the visa….can’t apply till I’m actually ready to make the move which hopefully will be in about three years. According to their website (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) they process visa requests within 90 days. I’m sure that 90 days will be the longest of my life.
    There are many other requirements that I need to comply with but in the mean time I’m staying home, getting out of debt and learning Italian.

  5. greg1948 says:

    If I would walk away from everything, I would return to the UK. Never been to Italy.

    • mvaden1948 says:

      I had never been to Italy until 2004, Florence and a tiny village in Tuscany. Then I went to Venice in 2008 and fell totally and madly in love. The beginning of this blog is about that.

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