Thursday, March 25, 2010

Adjusting to Retirement

It is hard for me to believe that I have been retired for over a year now, but I don’t think that I am any smarter or wiser about how to be retired.  When I made my last minute decision to retire I told people that I wanted to clean out the garage, update my kitchen, and travel. I cleaned out the garage, but it has managed to accumulate new clutter since last spring. My kitchen is unchanged…other than the soot on the ceiling from that small grease fire when I forgot to turn the stove off after cooking bacon!  I’ve traveled a little, to Hawaii and a cruise to Alaska, and frequently to Texas to see the grandchildren.

Today I went to the doctor for my regular six month check in. My blood pressure was excellent…maybe stress does have something to do with blood pressure. A stress-free retirement lifestyle is agreeing with me.

I spent years using the “I don’t have time” excuse for every undone task and unfulfilled goal. Now that I don’t have that excuse, I’m learning to own my behavior and tell the truth…I just don’t want to do it, ever. I’m only doing what I want to do.

The biggest challenge for me has been unstructured time. I don’t do well without an external structure…left to my own devices I manage to put off everything for another day. And, if I’m truthful, I feel a little guilty about not being productive. I’m still working on accepting that pleasing myself is enough. I have learned to schedule necessary tasks in the mornings. If I have an appointment in the morning it forces me to get dressed and get going. That fifteen minute appointment for blood tests gets me started and I make good use of my time for the rest of the day.

I am working with several school districts on preparing federal grant applications. Over the years I’ve had great success securing federal grants. Grant writing was a hobby and since it wasn’t part of my regular job, a low stress situation. The stakes are a little higher now as I start to consult. What I enjoyed about writing grants was “winning” the money. Implementing the project was not as much fun. Grant writing may be the ideal second career for me. I can take on only projects that interest me, work on my own schedule, and just win the money. The trick will be to not fall into the trap of stressing about the competition…that would make it too much like work, and I’m retired!

1 comment:

  1. Great post. We must be kindred spirits. I appreciate you checking in on my blog from time to time.


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