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Retirement: One Year In

March 30th, 2024 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, what better way to enjoy retirement than go my own quirky way?

It has been a full year since I turned in my key fob and rode off into the sunrise of retirement. It seems like a good time to take stock and answer the questions that people typically ask.

Do you miss your job?

My answer is emphatically: Not all. Not one bit! I was fortunate to work for a good employer for the last two decades of my career. But I was eager to disentangle myself from the relentless web of technology and the constant waves of new programs to which I was forced to adapt.

How are you spending your time?

I have been immersing myself in nature which is my first and enduring love. I treated myself to a DSLR camera and telephoto lens so I could expand my observations from butterflies and dragonflies to the full gamut of the fascinating world of insects.

Would you believe that I have taken over 9,300 shots with new camera? Probably hard to believe but it is true. I have observed 600+ species of insects in the last year. Yes, I am a full-on nature geek. The web of nature is one I am happy to be drawn ever deeper into.

I was rather dreading the winter months. But fortune smiled on me with an El nino winter, aka the winter that never was, that will undoubtedly be recorded as the warmest winter ever in these parts. I was able to continue to pursue my passion and discovered to my delight that there are some hardy insects which remain active on warm winter days.

Did anything exciting happen?

I am not sure if it qualifies as exciting but my 14 year old car gave up the ghost at an importune time. The timing belt snapped late last summer when on was on Highway 407 on a Friday afternoon. It is a sinking feeling when you realize your car has lost power on a major highway.

Fortunately there was a wide shoulder at that particular location. I was able to steer off onto the shoulder before it quit. I am now the proud owner of a new(er) car which should last me another eight or ten years. Yes, there is a lot of technology packed into the car which draws me back into the technology web to a degree. But I only use a few of those features.

Do you have any plans for the next year?

The main plan is not to have a plan. I will continue to do what I want, when I want and at the pace I want. There are over 55,000 species of insects in Canada so that hobby will keep me occupied for many years to come. In-between nature outings I will continue to work on the next great Canadian novel.

There are numerous metaphors for retirement. The best fit for me, as referenced above, is disentangling from webs. Life in these complex times ropes us into multiple webs of responsibility. Retirement has allowed me to disengage from many, although admittedly not all, of these webs. Freedom to go my own quirky way is what retirement is all about for me.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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