Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Retirement: What I learned about myself since retiring 3 years ago

Who could resist these beautiful leaves?

Today is the 3 year anniversary of when I retired.  Wow!  It's really hard to believe that 3 years have elapsed since I left the work force.

Here are some things I've learned about myself as a retired person:

Living in the moment comes easier now. I don't have to think about work problems, and that allows me to focus on on the moment and the people I'm with.

I am learning how to procrastinate.  Bad thing when you manage projects, but an ok thing in retirement.         I don't have to do everything today.  Sometimes it can wait until the next day.  I haven't yet reached "I put the pro in procrastination" status which is how Mike defines himself, but I certainly cut myself more slack.

I am still way too analytical.  Somehow I can't seem to turn off that part of my brain.  I analyze the heck out of everything.  Sometimes that's ok, especially when it prevents an error.  But other times it's just a pain!

I am learning to breathe in nature.  Whether it be flowers or trees or clouds, I can easily get lost in the moment.

I am finding my own routine as a retired person.  I love the freedom to relax in the morning with a cup of tea and the news. This is such a delight after decade of racing off to work.

I enjoy variety.  Too much of the same bores me.  Not much has changed here since work days.  If things are the same too long, I'll change them.  I think that's why I have a variety of interests, and I focus on one for awhile and move onto the next.

I am still a type A personality, but I've softened a bit.  I smile and laugh more, and I'm generally a happy person.  But as Mike can tell you, sometimes "the old Diane" kicks in and pushes too much.

I love creativity, and I'm so happy to apply that now to art, photography and writing instead of solving work problems.  My happiest days are ones where I've created something new.

I can sleep now.  I am able to remember my dreams, and they are no longer dreams about people chasing me and wanting to harm me.  If I wake up now, I fall asleep quickly.  And no alarm clock.  It's a dream come true.

I am learning my way around Indy. I thought it would never happen, but I can now find my way to major destinations here.  Still direction impaired, I'm thankful for the "Maps" application on my phone and iPad.

I am comfortable in "our house" now.  I was so afraid this would always feel like Mike's house, but by merging "stuff" and tastes, we are creating our own place.  And it feels great!

I am paying more attention to my health.  Ok, that doesn't yet mean I'm exercising more, but if a problem comes up, I'm pretty quick to get it checked out.  In the past, I was always too busy to leave work, but now I can schedule a doctor appointment quickly as needed.

I don't spend money like I used to.  Mike told me tonight that I'm thinking like a "true retiree".  I really evaluate whether I need that new sweater or pair of boots, where in the past I would have spent money without much question.

I enjoy traveling, but I love my life at home.  We've been to some great places since I retired, but  I no longer NEED to get away like I did while working.  Now it's more a matter of places Mike and I want to visit.

I love the ability to spend time with family and friends.  With Mike and I being in the same city, we are able to plan and have impromptu visits with family and friends.  It's a priority for both of us.

I am learning some carpentry skills by being an apprentice to Mike.  We've worked on building a bike rack and rebuilt the porch this summer.  I am getting a better understanding of how things go together, but I am still not comfortable operating power tools that have blades.  Probably for the best!

I am still a klutz.  Falling on a hickory nut and breaking my arm while walking through the neighborhood last Fall tells me that grace and agility do NOT come automatically with retirement.

I do not miss work.  At all.  I am starting to think about a next activity, but I'm pretty sure it will not be project management.

I am grateful.  I thank God every day for all the blessings in my life.

Here's a look at the last 3 years:

Mardi Gras parade in Ensenada

Hiking at Beehive Basin in Montana

Cabra Castle in Ireland

Caribbean cruise with friends

Indianapolis Indians game
Family visit


Volunteering at Lucas Oil Stadium before Indy's Super Bowl
Iron Man and Black Widow
Woodstock Party
Painting the bike rack
Cleaning old cast iron chairs
Creating our new music room
Sewing coin purses

Rebuilding the porch
Enjoying the moment!


  1. Hi Diane,

    I wanted to pop over after your kind post on Retired Syd's blog. Finding you happily celebrating your third anniversary as a retiree is just icing on the cake! Congratulations at having made the transition . . . I remember you having a few nervous moments in the beginning!

    Over 'here' rest assured I'm as engaged as ever, just a bit calmer about pretty much everything as I move through my day. We've barely been home this year between almost six months of RV travel, several 'big' trips overseas and time spent at my daughter's helping out with our first grandbaby. Life seems to just get better and better, to my utter amazement, and I'm confident that will continue to be the case with you.

    And so happy you are continuing to make and enjoy that amazing bruschetta recipe . . . I had to pester my girlfriend for over two years to get my hands on it!

  2. Tamara, it's great to hear from you! I miss your blog, but I am happy to hear that things are going well for you. Do you miss writing your blog? I recall your comments about blogs lasting 3 years,and I've been thinking about that with my own blog. Take care and keep in touch!