Did I ‘Overthink’ my retirement? Oh Yeah.

I was doing some channel surfing a couple of days ago and came upon a very nice lady doing the weather on CTV Newschannel. I had no idea who it was, but, at the same time, I was glad that wasn’t me up there on the screen. I’ve done my share of weather for Canada AM and Newschannel, in fact I did it about 3,275 times in my career. (calculations of this number available upon request!) Not only did I not miss doing it, but I couldn’t conceive of a scenerio of ever doing it again. But about nine months ago, perhaps there was a time when I did.  I know now, that’s because I COMPLETELY overthought my retirement, and it took an ‘aha moment’ seven months later to realize it.

The ‘Urban Dictionary’ defines ‘overthink’ like this..”Something is on your mind and you continiously think about it, the thought gets deeper and you start thinking about circumstances, events and possibilities that could be…in the end you have far too many thoughts racing through your head.”   Yep.

By the time I retired, I had enough events and trips and good times planned to last me until almost the end of October.  Most were arranged before my last day of work. Several of the things I did were retirement ‘celebration’ related and totally helped mark the milestone, and Heather and I had some great away time together.  I accepted other invitations to things like golf tournaments and boys golf weekends, because I had the time to do things I didn’t in the past, but in the back of my mind, I also knew it would be something to keep me busy. ‘Keeping busy’ seemed to be the dominate self-imposed theme that I had to follow.  When people would ask me how retirement was going in the first couple of months, my go to answer was always ” great, but check back with me in the middle of a PEI winter!”   And that’s where we are now.

Yes, here we are in the middle of a PEI winter, and I’m loving not working the same as I did in the middle of a glorious PEI summer.  Why is that? It’s because I overthought what I envisioned my life would be in the middle of a PEI winter. So what changed?  I think when you approach the time in your life that you’re going to retire, and I was only 62, your first clear thought is..now what?  Then you think about not having a daily routine anymore.  Then you begin to think about what you will do ‘every day’ for the rest of your life…the. rest. of. your. life. I now have absolutely no trouble sleeping in until 7 or 8am, or later, and could immediately do that once I stopped working. But when I retired I was convinced I’d be getting up at 4am forever. I was overthinking sleep patterns for goodness sake. And here’s the absolute biggest question of all… are we set up financially?  Well, for us, an ‘aha moment’ told us we were and that’s when I felt comfortable about things. That moment came in January, which led me directly to the realization of ‘overthinking.’

Now, whether you’ve had an ‘aha moment’ or not, you’re still in PEI in the middle of winter.  So now what?  Well, after a very busy December/Christmas season, I decided in January that I wanted to continue walking as exercise, so I began to drive to Summerside, about 45 minutes from our driveway, to walk at the great facility they have there at Credit Union Place.  They have a wonderful, and well used, walking track around the top of the seating area in the arena.  Four laps is just a few metres shy of a kilometre and I usually walk about 8 kilometres or 70 minutes.  I began to do this 3 to 4 times per week depending on the weather, which was pretty good in January. My neighbour Tom couldn’t believe it when I told him I was driving to ‘all the way’ to Summerside to go walking, but I told him that if I could fly 1000 miles a week for almost 12 years just to get home, a 45 minute drive to Summerside is nothing!  You can also throw in a few kids hockey tournaments and games and presto, January was gone, and that puppy had 31 days!

In February, Heather and I took our annual getaway trip to Fort Lauderdale for a long weekend.  Just four days, lounging and relaxing and really not much more.  We got back on a Tuesday and on Thursday I was off on a solo trip to Ontario for my granddaughter Paisley’s first birthday that Saturday. A few months earlier, when booking the trip to Ontario, I just ‘happened’ to check the Toronto to Florida airfare, and much to my delight, I was able to snag a return trip on Westjet from Toronto to Fort Myers for under $280. This meant I was going to have to call on my (adorable) friends Paul and Susan again, whose house in Venice I stayed at in October, and they welcomed me back with open arms.  So, while PEI was getting hammered with three consecutive storms in 5 days, I was golfing four of those in sunny Florida.  Yep, retirment is great!   In October, I blogged about playing a course called Old Corkscrew in Estero, near Fort Myers, and my old high school friend Phil is the owner of this dramatic layout.  He wasn’t in Florida in October, but Paul and I played with him twice during the week, and while I didn’t buy the tee shirt that says it, I certainly got ‘screwed by Old Corkscrew’,again, but I’m not giving up!  As the snow piled up and the wind howled in PEI, Paul and Sue, and Phil and his wife Irene and I enjoyed a couple of dinners, and rehashed old times.  By the time I got back home, the wind had died down, the snow had stopped, the roads where plowed, and now we’ve got a big melt going, so right now, it’s Retirement: 1 PEI Winter: 0!

I got back to walking in Summerside this week, and when I don’t walk I’ve certainly discovered I don’t need to do something everyday.  I mean today is a blogging, laundry day.  Sometimes I just do a couple of chores.  I mostly do the grocery shopping and and run errands, and that keeps me busy.  Yesterday I finally joined a golf course, and know that for the first time in years I have the chance of getting in 75 rounds, maybe more.  I’ve got my Scenic cruises on deck, the first of which is the first week of May, and the next one in July, and already we know we have some friends coming down in the summer, with hopefully more to follow, and we’ll be traveling a bit as well. My daughter is getting married at the end of May in Kitchener, so that’s going to be another great complete family gathering.  It’s nice to always have something to look forward to, even when it’s months down the road.  I have time for, well, just about everything now.

I should mention here it remains amazing to me how little television I am watching. I don’t ‘binge’ watch anything at this point, and have yet to spend a day in front of the TV when Heather is at work and the kids are at school. Having said that, we like our football and hockey and watch plenty of that, and I know season two of ‘Billions’ just started so I’ll catch up with that. We do watch the local CBC news and how can you not tune in to CNN from time to time to watch the tragi-comedy that is American politics. Still no TV in the morning, but now, that’s mainly because I’m never up!

My ‘overthinking’ days are over.  When someone asks if I want to do something, I usually say ‘sure, I don’t have anything else to do’.  Upon leaving Flordia, my friend Paul was worried about driving his car back to Ontario, while his wife flew, because it has been acting up a bit and he doesn’t want to find himself alone and stranded. I totally understood. He was wondering about getting his brother to drive back with him, but that didn’t look like it was coming together.  So I piped up, “Hey, I’ll come back down to Florida and drive back with you..I’ve got nothing else to do.”  So, guess what…come the middle of April, I’m flying to Florida to drive back to Ontario.  Hmmm, I see on google maps that’s 2251 kilometres of driving.  Perhaps I should have ‘overthought’ that one….!

On twitter: @jeffhutcheson

On Instagram:jeff.hutcheson

Representation: Dan Champagne

danchampagne03@gmail.com

613-447-5543

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Author: iusedtobeontv

40 year Canadian TV broadcaster, recently retired, and one of three hosts of the now cancelled Canada AM, which had a 43 year run on Canadian TV..I was there for all or part of 24 of them..

16 thoughts on “Did I ‘Overthink’ my retirement? Oh Yeah.”

  1. Nice to hear that you’re enjoying your retirement. It’s been 9 months for me also. The only bad thing about it is that it goes by so fast. Keep busy.

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  2. Overthinking indeed! That is exactly what I was doing when I was working. Planning senior’s activity programs and a gazillion details during my long term care job, grandchildren visits, just keeping up with chores around the house. Now I have been medically retired for a full year (on Valentine’s Day), and have no difficulty filling my days. I don’t travel or golf, but RV season is on our horizon and our plans are gelling quickly! I can’t sleep in yet, but I’m never bored. Groggy, but never bored.
    I miss having an income to spoil my family with. But its all good.
    And when Mud Season here in Amaranth has passed, will be great to get back to outdoor walking again.
    Enjoy every minute Jeff, you’ve earned each and every one!

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  3. Well done Jeff! We very much enjoy your blog. Have to also say we still miss you in the mornings however we are so glad you’ve transitioned to retirement as beautifully as you have. It is amazing how the time fills in and as time passes events seem to fill our calendar. My hubby’s response to most invitations is “I’m in!”. We are all the fortunate ones that get to enjoy this retirement gig and our loved ones. Look forward to your next update. 😉

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  4. Love to read your blogs. We are at the point of retirement and wondering how we will manage both being in the house at the same time! It will be a challenge but after 47 years of marriage it can’t be all bad. Happy for you that you can enjoy your retirement. Marcie looks pretty happy on The Social and I have only seen Bev a couple of times but will forever miss all of you in the morning. Coffee just does not taste the same, but my scrabble game is getting better and old Trump and CNN give me something to be proud I am Canadian.

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  5. Oh my goodness! I had a similar “aha” moment as you! I retired from nursing in March 2014, my choice and no regrets! In the last year, I spent a lot of time thinking about events & conversations at work in that last year, and suddenly thought – who cares? Not me anymore! Now spending my time quilting (didn’t have time to do that before) and driving many hours as often as I can to visit grandkids! Isn’t retirement wonderful??? lol

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  6. Several years ago, as my husband was close to retiring after 30+ years at Canada Post a long-time retired, elderly man told him his rule for retirement. It was “Do one thing every day, and just take all day to do it! My husband lives by this motto. I retired in June 2016 and also love this way of life, in part because of the motto.

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  7. I do so enjoy reading your blog. When I first ‘retired’ I was 50 yrs old and my morning routine for a very short while was to drink my morning coffee, read the Ottawa Citizen and watch Canada AM. I have had quite a few ‘post retirement’ jobs and will turn 70 in April and still working part time one day per week. I no longer live in Ottawa and do not watch ANY morning tv . I read newspapers on line and watch tv shows that I have taped. I miss Canada AM but life goes on. I missed working at Bell Canada for 30 years but my life went on. I look at the Weather Network and CBC Netsnet now. That’s it……….but I do miss Canada AM!! Enjoy your retirement !

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  8. You deserve the fun and freedom Jeff. We still miss the three of you as part of our morning… no other media offering comes close . Keep the grest posts coming. They are always real and have a positive spin.

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  9. Nice to hear that you are keeping up on your golf game Definitely not time wasted. Looking forward to retirement should be in the next 10 to 15 years. LOL.

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  10. I haven’t posted on your blog for a while as I too am retired and finding ways to keep myself busy. I retired a few weeks after you from 29 years of teaching high school. I don’t miss the work at all but sometimes the routine and the camaraderie with my colleagues.
    I am one of the 1,000 ‘s that miss Canada AM a lot. As a result, I have not turned on the TV during the day at all. I have no desire since you and Marcie and Bev are no longer there to share the morning with.
    I too sleep in until 7:30 or 8:00 and think nothing of this. Why not! We earned this privilege.
    Please never stop writing this blog. It is our connection to you and a little bit of Canada AM still in our lives. I love your stories! So interesting!
    I plan to go to my local Chapters store and purschase this book you wrote. Wishing you all the best Jeff!

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  11. Another good read Jeff!

    Congratulations Jeff on being named A Canadian Ambassador for Canada’s 150th birthday!

    Now, by looking at the picture of you, am I seeing a little less of you? I think all the walking that you do is looking good on you!

    The first year goes by so very fast! You are travelling a lot which helps you to ‘overthink’ which airline should I book? Which Golf Course should I play at today? HA HA HA!

    Enjoy every moment but do remember that some days it is okay just to do nothing. Not one single thing! There is always tomorrow!

    Every night is Friday night and every day is Saturday!

    Oh and I still miss Canada AM and do not watch the replacement show.

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