Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Retirement conjures up images of "playing" all day, doesn't it. Getting on your bike and riding for hours any day of the week; spending hours in the garden; hopping in your boat and just drifting along on a lazy, sunny afternoon; or maybe hiking the entire length of the Appalachian Trail with no thoughts of work or stress. I was warned that once retirement is official, the busyometer will be full and little time will be available. You think you are busy while you work? Just wait until retirement. That wise soul couldn't have been more spot on. You spend an entire work career waiting for the day when you don't work anymore to do all those things you'd like to do but work seemed to get in the way. That's 30-40 years worth of planning and when the big day comes, boom - it's all at your doorstep waiting to happen. Volunteer for a couple organizations, house maintenance, expand that garden, take up knitting, clean out the attic, organize the potting bench, go through a couple decades of receipts and clean out, make flowcharts of expenses and keep track of everything, put in a new fence, build new trail in the woods and so on, and so on. Whoa! That's a bunch of shit to do now that retirement is here. And it seems overwhelming. So you decide to prioritize. This can wait, that can wait. I'll put that off for another year or so. Oh, that's not as important anymore so let's just forget about it for now. Today I have food to plant, grow and harvest and elderly parents to tend to - everything else will have to wait for now and that includes going on day-long adventures into the woods. That first year is spent getting the feet wet and settling into your new-found "career". Sure, you do a bunch of those little things that you put off for too long but the bigger stuff tends to be put on hold. It took that first full year to finally figure out how this retirement thing will fall into place and yes, just like when I worked, time management comes into play. Hubby had me paranoid there wouldn't be enough money and now that we calculated and analyzed every cent coming in and going out, I feel slightly more at ease that I don't have to grow the majority of food and there are some things that ARE cheaper to buy; thus, the garden isn't going to get as much attention as it did last year and playtime will increase. Time Chunking is my plan of attack this year. There are xxx things to do and xxx hours in the day, so each one will get a chunk out of the day. This year, I'm gonna ride that bike a little more and get on that paddle board more often... there's a chunk reserved just to play and I'm gonna take advantage of that. It's supposed to be retirement - a time to sit back and relax and enjoy life for a change. That, we are doing - enjoying it all - we DO live in paradise, after all. It just takes some time to figure out everything else and after a year of trial and error, that time has come. Saddle up... gear up...load the V-dub... let's head to the woods and water, Honey.