I recently wrote a comment on a blog that said something like “If I’ve learned anything from retirement, it’s…” Which got me to thinking about what I have learned over the past two years of being retired.
- There are very few things that can’t be done tomorrow, or never if I don’t get around to it.
- Activities expand to fill available time. It now takes me three times a long to get something done that I used to do after work, while I made dinner. Activities that used to be tacked on to other chores have become primary activities. Whew! Sometimes you just need to take a nap.
- There are very few things that I absolutely have to do. I no longer have to spend time with people I don’t like or respect. My social calendar is smaller, but much more enjoyable. It takes a lot to nudge me away from home. I no longer attend “duty” events. If I don’t want to do it, I don’t. With no excuses necessary.
- It took me two years to be comfortable letting go of my work identity. I can now say simply “I’m retired” without going into what I used to do. I’ve let it go.
- It was difficult to let go of the “busy” excuse. I am no longer “busy” in the sense that my time is externally controlled, but I’m still not cooking gourmet meals, keeping a spotless house, or organizing get- togethers with friends. I can’t blame these failings on being busy; I just do only what I want to do now. I’m not busy, face it...I'm just a bad cook, careless housekeeper, and a recluse.
- It’s okay to stay up late. I don’t need an alarm clock to wake up. I can take a nap if I want to.
- I still don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing in retirement. I don’t even have a Bucket List of adventures and challenges to accomplish. In fact, I’m less interested in travel now because I don’t have to get away to be able to relax.
If I had to do it over again, I'd probably plan better. Or, maybe not. There's nothing to stop me from planning now, except I'm so busy...