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What is a typical retirement skill you don't have?
Old 12-10-2010, 11:17 PM   #1
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What is a typical retirement skill you don't have?

For me alas, it is the inability to back up a trailer! I just can't do it, I can back up a truck like nobody's business, but you add a trailer behind the truck and my mind goes blank! Intellectually I 'know' what I am supposed to do, but unless I go super slow I just have difficulties doing it.

We have a small pop up trailer we use camping. I drive it to and from the camp site, but once we get there, my wife typically backs it into the spot. She is awesome at it! She is a former farm glrl and grew up backing up tractors and trailers. Thus I am secure enough in my maleness to recognize that she is better at it then me, so she should do that task.

It isn't that important to me to learn. I am sure I could learn it, but damn, she is so good at it, I figure why?

So what typical skill for retirement do you lack?
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:24 PM   #2
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I have no skills when it comes to gardening. Sometimes too much water, other times not enough, it usually turns brown and dies in the end.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:29 PM   #3
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Wood working is something I'd like to do in retirement. So far I'm not doing too well.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:43 PM   #4
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What is a typical retirement skill I don't have? I don't know. Probably all of them.

Luckily, my retirement is progressing very nicely anyway, since I defined it myself.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:44 PM   #5
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Uh oh, we have to have skills in retirement?
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:05 AM   #6
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Uh oh, we have to have skills in retirement?

Well it seems like it. Probably just internal pressure, but when you pull into a camp site with lots of Rv's, man it seems they all line up to watch you back up! Talk about pressure!

I needs skills man! Or at least in my case marrying the right woman who has them.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:12 AM   #7
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Not really sure. I got the sitting on the porch, drinking beer, smoking cigars, complaining about the government thing down. I got the fishing thing down. Golf, check. I can back up my trailer. I sleep in pretty well. Maybe naps. I haven't taken one since I retired. I can do it though.

I had problems with work skills. Never really fit in. Hated dressing up, schedules, office politics, kissing ass. Ug! I think I was born to retire.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:14 AM   #8
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Maybe naps. I haven't taken one since I retired. I can do it though.
As with any other carefully honed skill it takes practice, practice, practice.

For me the the skill I want to develop now is "the photographer's eye". I have the technical details of exposure, aperture, shutter speeds, depth of field, etc. down pat. I've read book after book on composure, lighting, creativity, and the lot. Other people are impressed with what I can do in Photoshop Elements.

However, I'll look at a scene and know there's "a good photograph in there" but the result is more often than not disappointing. So I'll keep practicing, and I'm thankful for digital photography since mistakes don't cost anything but time.

There are occasional successes:
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:28 AM   #9
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Never learned to weld and don't have a welder. Something I wished I'd learned a long time ago.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:51 AM   #10
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Sounds like you need a second hitch on the front bumper. Takes a minute to swap out, but works like a charm.

My major deficiency is focus. My interests are a mile wide and an inch deep
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:20 AM   #11
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For me the the skill I want to develop now is "the photographer's eye". I have the technical details of exposure, aperture, shutter speeds, depth of field, etc. down pat. I've read book after book on composure, lighting, creativity, and the lot. Other people are impressed with what I can do in Photoshop Elements.
Nice picture.

Photography is something I plan to explore. Golf is my primary hobby, but I thought this would be a fun side hobby. I bought a entry level DSLR camera back in the summer, but didn't really get into it that much. I don't have the technical skills you mention above, but just bought a book and dvd relevant to the camera I purchased. So I plan to tackle that this winter. And my local community college is offering a beginner photography class next spring. Might do that.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:16 AM   #12
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Fishing. Just can't get interested. In the Aleutians used to fish when needed dinner, salmon, when running need no skill to catch. Just throw in the line real hard an snag'em.

The other skill lacking is spinning yarn, aka serious bull$$hitting.

But hey, got plenty more time.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by hakuna matata View Post
For me alas, it is the inability to back up a trailer! I just can't do it, I can back up a truck like nobody's business, but you add a trailer behind the truck and my mind goes blank! Intellectually I 'know' what I am supposed to do, but unless I go super slow I just have difficulties doing it.

We have a small pop up trailer we use camping. I drive it to and from the camp site, but once we get there, my wife typically backs it into the spot. She is awesome at it! She is a former farm glrl and grew up backing up tractors and trailers. Thus I am secure enough in my maleness to recognize that she is better at it then me, so she should do that task.

It isn't that important to me to learn. I am sure I could learn it, but damn, she is so good at it, I figure why?

So what typical skill for retirement do you lack?
I was hopeless at first, but I learned to do it well. IMO this is a relatively easily acquired skill. DH started at first even though I did the rest of the driving. Turned out he was a skilled backer-upper from his water-skiing days with his Dad. But once I figured out which visual cues to use while backing (I watch the trailer tires on each side), I quickly caught on.

Audrey
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:40 AM   #14
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(I watch the trailer tires on each side), I quickly caught on.

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Old 12-11-2010, 10:06 AM   #15
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Well it seems like it. Probably just internal pressure, but when you pull into a camp site with lots of Rv's, man it seems they all line up to watch you back up! Talk about pressure!

I needs skills man! Or at least in my case marrying the right woman who has them.
It's really not that hard at all. Like Walt says, you gain skills from practice (and not in front of everyone at the camp site). So find a huge, empty parking lot somewhere - - the kind of place where you would take a kid for that first driving lesson. We used an abandoned air field just outside of College Station, Texas, but I'm sure you can figure out a place.

Anyway, go to a place like that at a time when it is deserted - - 6 AM on a Sunday morning? Practice backing up for a while and I'll guarantee you will gain that skill pretty quickly. Even though it may not be intuitive to you at first, it's perfectly simple and you will be able to do it in your sleep after some stress-free practice by yourself.

Then you will look forward to pulling into a camp site where everyone lines up to watch you back up.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:20 AM   #16
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One time when we still had the Trailmanor trailer, I pulled into a tight campground. The guy at the adjacent site asked if I needed help, which I appreciatively declined. He then went to his RV, retrieved a folding chair and somewhat vindictively took his place conspicuously watching my every move. DW gave me her usual "straight back" arm signals (unfortunately she uses the same generic gesture for left, right, and stop, but that's another story).

Almost by accident and dumb luck. I slid the thing back and nailed it the first time -- and I mean nailed to the inch between two trees and the hookup post. I got out and did a walk around, looked at the neighbor and gave him a wink.

Doubt I could do it again.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:44 AM   #17
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Typical retirement skills? Who knew!

My major retirement skill is really enjoying happy hour at one or another of the thousands of happy hours available throughout the week- though neither my wallet nor my liver could deal with attendance on this schedule.

Ha
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:54 AM   #18
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My major deficiency is focus. My interests are a mile wide and an inch deep
I hear ya. I got the same problem. Everything is so interesting, I feel like I want to do it all but it would be nice to really master one or two things.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:08 PM   #19
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Decorating. I can't do décor worth a damn.

Of course I couldn't do it when I was working, either, and I've made no effort to learn about it in ER. It holds zero interest for me.

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My major deficiency is focus. My interests are a mile wide and an inch deep
And I have a short attention span, too...

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Anyway, go to a place like that at a time when it is deserted - - 6 AM on a Sunday morning? Practice backing up for a while and I'll guarantee you will gain that skill pretty quickly. Even though it may not be intuitive to you at first, it's perfectly simple and you will be able to do it in your sleep after some stress-free practice by yourself.
When our kid was learning parallel parking she was stressing herself out over all the other distractions-- street traffic, the cars parked in front & behind, scraping the wheels on the curb, me sitting in the doom passenger seat, and so on.

So we measured a typical street parking space, marked it off in our cul-de-sac with duct tape like it was painted on the street, and put plastic trash cans around the periphery. No damage to worry about. I parked myself in the driveway on a lawn chair with camera and suitable frosty beverages, figuring that the police wouldn't mind an unlicensed driver doing doughnuts in front of our house without me actually sitting in the car. (No pressure!) Then, with all other distractions removed, she practiced to her heart's content. It took about an hour but she was much better and had total confidence, especially when the crowd of neighbors began to gather...
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File Type: jpg Oops.JPG (416.7 KB, 1 views)
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:46 PM   #20
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I don´t spend a couple/several hours reading the newspaper, nor doing errands, nor in the gym, nor taking leisurely/athletic walks, nor household chores, nor napping, painting, building airplane models, playing online games....

Now, come to think of it.....What do I do all day long, day in day out?
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