I retired a little over two months ago, knowing there would be other things in my future but not in any rush to get to them.  Here’s what I’ve found out about retirement so far:

My days are full.  They say you always wonder how you ever had time to work and that’s true.  I’ve thought about it and decided that you just slow down.  There’s no rush to get things done, so you don’t.  I try to accomplish things every day, although there have been a couple I’ve piddled away.

The options are endless.  I make lists of all the things I want to do so I don’t forget.  Tasks around the house, day trips, long trips, people to call, things to read and make, physical activities.  Endless.

The future is shorter.  Retiring means you have to face that your time ahead is limited and figure out how you want to make the best of it.  Of course, none of us know how long our life will be, but this is kind of a major reminder.  Yikes!

You slow down.  I’m not one known for doing things slowly, but you have the time to appreciate and look around you.  I still have to make myself slow down, but I’m taking more time enjoying…

If you weren’t a manager before, you become one.  Do you want to outlive your money or have enough to leave to someone?  There are daily decisions to be made.  That part is scary sometimes.

There are people in your life who need you and you have more time for them.  Or you have fewer excuses for doing what you should have been doing.

Your health becomes a priority.  While looking at this vast unknown expanse before you, you want to make it across with a bit of youth in your step and a twinkle in your eye.  This takes more effort all the time.  Your mind may be sharp and your body wearing out.  Or your body may be fit and your thoughts a little dimmer.  It’s a job to keep it all together even if you’ve been diligent all your life.  Some of my fittest friends are replacing parts or dealing with health issues they never imagined.  Old age is definitely not for the meek when it comes to dealing with anything in the health system.

It’s fun and freeing.  When you’re working, you’re working.  When you’re not, you can take the time to see what else is out there and find the ways you can take all those talents and all that wisdom you’ve accumulated and create a new path.  It may be volunteering, it may be a new career, it may be a combination of a lot of things.  Time to get creative.

Oh, I know people who retired and never did anything they planned.  They kept meaning to get to it and didn’t, which is a tragedy, truly, a waste of time.

Me?  I’m overwhelmed at all there is out there.  I’m grateful I can have the choices.  I’m enjoying the adventure.  Just give me time…

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