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About Me

My name is Gary Mills, and I worked for the Postal Service for 32+ years, most of those as a city Letter Carrier. I joined the NALC Branch 343 union, and became a union steward the last 10 years or so of my employment. Happily, I retired from the Postal Service at the age on 55 and one day - wasting no time getting out once I was eligible. Even in retirement, I have continued my association with the union - I handle local union grievances for Branch 343.

For me, the most unexpected thing about retirement was the perception, before I retired, that I was going to have lots of time to do all those things I never had time for while working those 8 - 10 hour days.

Boy, was I wrong. I still work; I knew when I retired that I would have to supplement my retirement with at least part-time employment, and I planned ahead. I work for a non-profit ISP and Community Information Provider in an office, managing public access computers with high-speed access to the Internet. I only work a couple of days a week, and the hours are 10 - 5. You can aleady see that is a vast improvement over my letter carrier job. Banker's hours, climate control, and nobody but me running the office on my days to work.

Another benefit of the part-time job is that it gets me out of my wife's hair a couple of days a week. She says she needs an adjustment period before I spend all day every day with her - I'm not exactly sure what she means by that?

In addition to my part-time job, my wife and I run our own long-arm quilting business from our home. Without going into a lot of detail, we basically take the quilt tops that have been pieced together by quilters and machine-quilt them using a commercial long-arm sewing machine, using designer patterns. We do this on the days I don't work my part-time job. My wife retired from her full-time banking job some years before I did, and she also works part-time from home on on her computer, but on the days we're not working our part-time jobs, we're usually quilting.

When we're not working or quilting, I like to create web pages for NALC branches and state associations. If you're interested, email me and I can give you a quote.

In 2005, our grandson was born, and needless to say, any spare time we have left after all that work goes to the grandkid. Ryan and his family live 100 miles away, so when we visit them, which is as often as possible, we usually stay a few days. We spend more time with our extended family as well, and often take short trips with them.

Still on the list of things to be done is a vegetable garden, a long honey-do list, and several hobbies I'd like to pursue. I just can't seem to find the time to work those things in. I can remember the days of going to bed early to get up at 5 or 5:30, coming home exhausted at 5 or 6:00, too tired to do anything else, and basically just getting ready to do it all again the next day. Now, I work at jobs I love, visit with family, watch as much TV as my schedule allows, stay up till after midnight if I want to, and get up without an alarm in the morning, sometimes not till 8 or 9:00am. I hit the floor running and don't usually stop till way after I would have gotten off work as a letter carrier, but I have no complaints. I HIGHLY recommend this retirement stuff.

In summary, I write all of the above to communicate one fact -> If you, like me, have visions of a leisurely retirement full of hobbies, fishing or laying around, or your wife thinks you're finally going to have time for all those honey-dos, you might want to know it doesn't always work out that way. My father, who is a retired rural letter carrier, used to always say he didn't have time for this or that after retirement, and we always thought he was joking! But the truth is, after retirement you fill your life with so many things you couldn't do while you were shackled to the old postal ball and chain, that you really do run out of daylight before you're ready to call it a day. My wife is fond of saying she quit a job with long hours only to put in longer days after retirement than before. But we're both in agreement that it's ok - no, it's positively great - because you enjoy what you're doing a LOT more! Hang in there, this is worth working for!

Future Goals
My future goals are easy. More of what I'm doing right now. Nothing beyond that, this IS what I was working for all those years. I'm happy to be at this place in my life. Sure, I'm still working, and in many ways it seems like I work more than before I retired. But my work enriches my life now, instead of draining it, and I may continue to work right to the end. But who knows? I'm free to choose now, and I'll just do what I want day by day. What could be better?

Feel free to Contact Me