Each of us has a unique path to a satisfying retirement. Yes, there are plenty of general guidelines and suggestions that are part of the process; the pages of this blog are filled with them! But, recently I was reminded of how personal and individual all of this.
A regular reader and commenter sent me a copy of a letter he penned to his friends and family some nine months after moving from his home in L.A. and retiring to Nevada. He gave me permission to use that letter as a basis for this post. I have done a little editing for space and time, but thought you'd enjoy reading his words:
I have found, after giving myself permission to retire, that retirement is about giving myself permission every day. I still think of my day in a very structured way ( more on that later) and it can be difficult to break away from that ( given my sometimes rigid and simple view of life).
However, I am getting better at it! Last night I gave myself permission to turn in at 8:30, because I was beat! Today I feel great, and gave myself permission to....postpone weight training until tomorrow, and ride into town as my hour of aerobic exercise.
But to truly understand my challenge, I want to tell you how I think of my time usage options...here we go..
*cook and eat meals....1 hour each, although morning is 2 hours including the paper, showering, etc.
*workouts...2 hours 6 days a week, dogs...1 hour walk, 30 minutes training and poop patrol
*bills and business 1 hour
*studying (trauma medicine for ski patrol)...1-2 hours plus classroom work twice a week 5 hours each night
*guitar practice....1 hr
*long bike rides...3-5hrs
*house/yard projects 1-6hrs
*unpacking (still!!)/organizing 1-2hrs
*walking around Home Depot...1-2hrs
2-3 phone calls to Laura (wife still back in L.A.) 30-45 minutes
*nap..30 to 60 minutes.
So, way more than 18 hours a day. Some activities get done daily, some weekly, and all of them get juggled and rotated. There are always extras like getting a Nevada registration, car issues, grocery shopping, vet appointments, library, and dinners with neighbors. Sometimes I have a beer in the evening and just sit and look at the mountains.
Things will change drastically when Laura gets here in 12(!) days. There will be time spent watching TV, probably a little more house cleaning, and lots of "together" stuff. When the snow flies, there will be entire days of skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. I will have 8 days a month of on-mountain ski patrol training.
Of course I miss my good friends in California fiercely, but they (you) are forever in my mind and heart, so those relationships will continue to bring me great pleasure.
So my friends, those are my thoughts 9 months into this chapter of my life. I expect things to change drastically over the next couple of years, with time to travel and discover so many more great things about our new location. I will keep you posted and of course, would love to have you come up and see us, during which time, I give myself permission to not do all that other stuff!
All the best, Keith
Before retiring Keith was a doctor, which explains not only his detailed scheduling but also his desire to use his skills as a trauma person for skiing accidents. By the time you read this his wife will have joined him. I wonder how his schedule will shift with her arrival and over time as they settle into their new home.
I thought this was an interesting look at the life of a recent (9 months is still recent!) retiree and how he is using his time. Thanks, Dr. Keith for sharing your letter and a peek inside your life! You are scaling the heights, to use Friday's post as a reference!