5.27.2012

Retirement: Comparing notes with friends

We spent the day with friends who are retired and not yet retired. Jim is the only one still on the clock, but he's sure happy for Ruth... he says that she wakes up each morning with a smile on her face, and I think that's really sweet. The past 6 months or so we've talked about our retirement plans, and today was the first time we've talked about how three of us are adapting to retirement and what was best (so far) about our new-found lives.

It's been interesting, adjusting to the novelty of doing what I want with my hours and days. And trying to figure out why I don't miss my career. I spent 30+ years earning my living as a writer and editor. Before falling in love with technical writing and editing, I wrote articles for magazines and newspapers. I never expected to walk away and not miss it. But I don't. I can't exactly say this was the best thing to come from retirement. For me, it's that there's no more stress about any task I might choose to work on. No deadlines or specific timeframe I have to meet. There's something very relaxed about this, that if I don't finish something up today, I have tomorrow.

Ruth retired the end of January, and loves her new life... no surprise there. She spent a lot of time thinking about what she wanted her new life to look like, and how she'd spend her days. Like me, she wasn't worried about retiring and being bored. But her favorite thing so far was something she didn't even consider:  no more Sunday afternoon depression, thinking about and getting ready for Monday morning. Because her job in Everett meant getting up at 3:00 in the morning, she rarely could do anything social on Sundays. That's all changed, the stress is gone, and she's loving it. Sunday rolls around and Jim gets ready for Monday, and Ruth can keep on gardening or reading cookbooks or whatever she's doing, with no stress about the work week, because Poof! it's long gone, never to return.


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