Retiree Musings

I’ve just discovered a web site that calculates the time that has passed since an event occurred. So, it calculated that I’ve been retired for 19 months—or 580 days, or 13,909 hours and so on. But I’m not counting.

What has been happening since then? I’ve had the usual problems with letting go of my professional identity, still having them in fact. I’ve posted a quote from another retired psychiatrist, H. Steven Moffic, MD.:

Plan for retirement, even if you don’t plan to retire. This means sound financial planning, developing other interests, and nurturing your relationships with significant others. Retire, even if you are not retired. Take enough time off periodically, and completely, with no connections to work, so that you can feel emotionally free from concerns about patients and practice. Of course, there is no reason to retire if you really love your work and relationships just as they are.

H. Steven Moffic, MD

There was also an article entitled “When Should Psychiatrists Retire?” written by Dinah Miller, MD. It was published in Clinical Psychiatry News January 2022 issue, Vol.50, No. 1 as well as Medscape on November 17, 2021. There is no consensus on the answer to the question, although there are several opinions by the commenters.

There are a lot of articles out there about what it’s like to lose your professional identity and the potential consequences of that. One thing I’m learning is that, while I may not be fully reconciled with losing my identity as a consult-liaison psychiatrist, I’m gradually starting to have more fun just being a clown sometimes, which pre-dated my becoming a doctor.

Maybe I just need to grow up, but my interests are everyday stuff I tend to make fun of.

Like dryer balls. Now, I don’t want to offend anybody who believes that dryer balls are effective at drying clothes quicker and the like—but the jury is still out on that claim.

In fact, there are many articles on the web, both pro and con about dryer balls. One of them is by somebody who did what sounds like an exhaustive study (just with his own laundry; you won’t find it published in any journal). He swears by them. Then there was the article which pretty much debunked dryer balls. It mentioned an “in-depth experiment” by an 8th grader in 2013 proving that they don’t reduce dryer time. My wife, Sena, says they don’t work. One ball got snagged in a fitted sheet pocket.

What I don’t get is why dryer balls look so much like the spiky massage balls (hint, it’s the green ball; the dryer balls also have holes in them). I think everybody just takes for granted that massage balls work. Sena says it works. She also has what she calls a massager which looks vaguely like a headless alien doing the downward dog yoga thing.

But what I find puzzling is why I can’t find any mention on line of clamshell eyeglass cases which have a steel trap-like spring-loaded hinge. You don’t want to get your fingers caught in them. They should have a safety protocol for use—so of course I came up with one.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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