Saturday, July 14, 2012

Reflections on retirement

Visit to wine country
It’s been 9 months now since I retired, and I’ve been reflecting on where I’ve been and how I feel since leaving the working world.  Here are some rambling thoughts and photos…

I do not miss work AT ALL.   I don’t know if it was the job-maybe I was just burnt out on project management or the politics, but there hasn’t been a single day I wished I was in a project meeting or a meeting to discuss lack of resources.

With Joleen and Tracy at retirement party

I DO MISS my friends from work.  I miss the shared experiences, laughter and camaraderie.   I miss the sarcasm and eye rolling at crazy stuff that happened.  I still dream about people from work.  We are generally working on something together, but it’s NOT a project from my work life.

I try to stay in touch with my favorite people from work with an occasional lunch or drinks.  I love catching up with their lives and what’s happening at work.  It is strange how things moved on at work, but  yet the themes are the same.  

A glass of wine with Betsy
Retirement is not what I expected.  I had these crazy thoughts of exercise, writing, art and friends.  Instead it’s mainly working on my house with a little time for exercise, writing, photography and friends.  I can see this will improve over time.

On the canal in Indy
I now have time to do things right.  As I look back at work and my personal life, I rarely had time to do things well.  I was always racing and hating how much time each thing took.  I am learning to slow down and enjoy all the moments of doing a task, even some that are not my favorites.

I must have been wound up tighter than a top!  At first I just transferred stress from work to my personal life and race to sell a house.  Not saying I am less intense about selling my house, but I find myself breathing now.  I am not as quick to snap or fly off the handle at things.  Don’t know if Mike would agree with this or not…

Celebrating art with friends from work
I love having time to exercise again.  I still have to make it a priority, but it seems easier to find the time now.

Hanging with Chuck and Melanie
I am thrilled about the progress on the house. Mike and I have both learned amazing things about remodeling.   I am excited about how we can use this to spruce up our house in Indy (notice that I'm trying to call it "our" house instead of "Mike's house").

I am getting a bit nervous about how to spend my time when my house is done.  I had a dream the other night  where I was bored and didn’t know what to do next.  First time this has happened.  It’s odd because I normally think about all the things I can do once I move to Indy and the “job” of fixing my house is finished. I haven't had time to dwell on this, but it's clearly a sign of moving ahead.
George, Mom and me at St. Louis Cardinals game
Family dinner after Cardinals game

Everywhere I go I look at people doing jobs and see if they are happy and enjoy what they do.  This is some of my criteria if I get another job.  Here’s where I’ve seen some of the happiest people:  Lowe’s (amazingly friendly and helpful customer service staff; ok maybe we are on a first name basis!), Kohl’s(and who wouldn’t be happy saying “you saved $800 today and here is $75 in Kohl’s cash”), the receptionist at John Stoddard Cancer Center (who is the kindest, gentlest person dealing with  people with cancer)  the meat cutters at Fareway (pretty sure I’ll never do this!), and the granite and tile installers (go figure on this one-I think they like having perfected their trade and making customers happy).  I know what you are saying...maybe I need to get out more if these are the only jobs I've seen.  Let me know if you have others to recommend…
With Gretchen and Craig in Ensenada, Mexico

I feel I  have more to contribute. I’m not sure if this is a job or something else, but I try to keep my eyes and ears open to the possibilities. 

I still don’t like being referred to a “retiree”.  It’s a demographic, not a person.  Seems like I’ve lost my identity from a career, and there aren’t any other clear labels to define me, yet. 

Every single day I thank God for where I am in life: not working (aka retired), living with my sweetie all the time, having great friends and family and good health!  I try to not take any of these for granted. 


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