February 17, 2014
I Survived Week One of Retirement
A regular reader sent me an e-mail a few weeks ago. It was a recap of the first week of full retirement for her and her husband. I thought it captured the excitement, fear, joy, dread, anticipation, sense of freedom and change so well, I asked if I could use it here. Other than removing the names and a few minor adjustments, it is a real-life glimpse into the first blush of the phase of life I call a satisfying retirement:
WHEW! It is NOTHING like I thought it would be. The party is over.
Key to business was handed over to next (young!!) guy.
But-- first of all, it's only a week! I am finding that hubby and I are processing retirement completely differently! (We worked together so retired on the same day.)
I am DONE. FINI! Can't even bear to TALK ABOUT the industry that has BURNED ME OUT TO A CRISP!
Hubby...still nostalgic, going through his scrapbooks and thank you letters from the clients. Still wants to talk about all the good times.
ME: Anxious to buy the RV.
Hubby--taking his time with research.
ME: Thought we would IMMEDIATELY PLAN LOTS OF TIME TOGETHER
Hubby : Needs a lot of time alone to process this, for now!
ME: Thought I would want to immediately jump into some "FUN" part time work/hobby, but I DO NOT! I can't BELIEVE this feeling of relief and freedom! I am not going to work any time soon!! This is a true surprise to me, this feeling of wanting to NOT WORK AT ALL. Ready to PLAY,read,NAP,hike,travel.
Hubby: Still thinking he may want at some future date, to work part time... he is leaving it open ended.
I am also having dreams/not quite nightmares, but INTENSE dreams related to the work I was doing that aggravated me so much-- like my SOUL is throwing it all off, night by night. Till I am "cleansed!"
hmmm..this retirement stuff is not for wimps is it?
Also--I have days I feel really "safe" and secure, and a couple of days when I am saying to myself "WHAT WERE WE THINKING WE MAY NOT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO LAST TILL WE ARE 100..we may become bag people!! LOL!!!"
Well,it's just week one.
I am sure this journey gets.. a bit easier, right?? right??
If I could have written an e-mail that perfectly describes the rush of emotions and thoughts in the first seven days of retirement, it would have looked very much like this. I had forgotten about the dreams and almost a sense of "flushing" the old from your system, but she has it absolutely right. That happened to me in just the same way.
I assured her she and hubby were exactly on track. All of these emotions and the sorting things out will take weeks, maybe months before a more settled mindset begins to assert itself.
But, then, one day, husband and wife will turn to each other and wonder" why did we wait so long? Life is meant to be lived on our terms.