Skip to content
Jobs | Contact | Tip line: 705-673-0123

Column: Retirement means having nothing to do? Puh-lease!

If you think retirees just sit around twiddling their thumbs, Erna de Burger-Fex wants to set you straight

Are you retired? If so, you’ve probably heard this many times: “You’re retired, you’ll have time for this.” 

Sound familiar? 

My adult daughters, who don’t remember how busy my life was while I was working, are convinced that I have nothing to reitredo now. Really!

Let’s see now. Hmm, my agenda reminds me of meetings, appointments, choir practice, even some fun times. Lunches with friends are written in too. Almost every date is filled in. 

As one of my friends said recently, “When I actually have a day when nothing’s on my calendar, I feel that’s my day off.” 

I agree wholeheartedly!

I’m not complaining, really I’m not. It’s just that I find myself so busy some days, I don’t have time for my delicious afternoon nap. This old lady enjoys those naps. Not only do they refresh me, they give me energy to continue with all those scheduled events later in the day.

And by the way, I have my household chores to do as well. You know what I mean — cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping for groceries, because, yes, we have to eat. 

Our apartment is smaller than any of our previous domiciles, but still, the work needs to be done, right? My husband helps me, unless he has a meeting, is at the garage dealing with car issues or is playing hockey. You can tell, he doesn’t have much spare time either.

Nothing to do? I have just spent a full hour with my telephone provider trying to get access to my voicemail. When I finally did, there were 25 messages waiting for us! 

Two weeks of messages and to top it off, Kabeem, the person with whom I was dealing, told me he is in Jamaica. Jamaica! On this very cold day in Sudbury, guess what? This senior would prefer to be in Jamaica, too! Wouldn’t you?

Dealing with these issues really does take a great deal of my time. I know, I choose to do the many things I do, one of the benefits of retirement. 

I just don’t want anyone telling  me that I have nothing to do.

Erna de Burger-Fex is a writer and retired teacher who writes about aging and the funny side of getting older. Got a question for Erna? Email