Day 62: Retirement Benefits

Normally at this time in August, I’m feeling pretty stressed about going back to school. This year feels like summer with benefits.

So far this has been a pretty normal summer, with all the fabulous Chicago activities, the family reunion, travel to California, and delicious evenings of music at Ravinia. Next week will start my real “retirement” — when my teacher friends all start making their way back into their classrooms to set up for school. It’s going to feel very different from how this summer has felt. I’ve already booked a lunch and a photography outing with a friend next week. This would not have been a possibility for the last twenty years.

I love going out for breakfast, and I plan to do this often during retirement.

Yesterday I had a celebratory breakfast with a friend who retired at an even earlier age than I did. She brought me two gag gifts, these decision dice and a “grow your retirement account” pig that expands when one puts it in water. I love the concept of being able to decide what to do based on the throw of a pair of dice. Nap? Put something off until later? Sounds good to me.

I also love that I’m able to pursue something interesting without stressing about “wasting” time.

While at the dry cleaner’s, I saw that there was a mattress store next door, one that I’d never even noticed. I’ve been wondering about memory foam mattresses, so I stopped in. The owner was lonely and garrulous; he talked my arm off about the pros and cons of sleeping on foam. I thought it was interesting enough to share here…

  1. Memory foam is not green. It is indestructible and will never break down in a landfill.
  2. Memory foam initially feels cool to the skin, but will build up heat after about 45 minutes. One must vent the mattress appropriately, and using fitted sheets just escalates the problem.
  3. To combat the heat problem, in the last six months manufacturers have added gel capsules to the foam mix to cool it down.
  4. One of the major complaints of memory foam mattresses is that it’s hard to have sex on them because one cannot easily slide around.

I’m kind of sad about the heat build-up issue because the mattress actually felt wonderful when I laid on it. It really supported my back well. And then there’s that pesky problem with sliding about…

See? Aren’t you glad I’m retired so that I can save you the trouble of buying a memory foam mattress? I might like this pillow, though.

Now I need to throw the dice to decide what to do next.

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