Retirement Reflections: Week #2

HammockThe second full week of Not Working has felt much like the first. I’m still chagrined by the amazing freedom to do stuff in whatever sequence my mood dictates, and to interrupt whatever I’ve started doing with something completely unrelated, knowing that there’ll be Plenty o’ Time to get back around to the initial task.

About mid-way through the first week, I realized (but forgot to record) that part of this first phase of my retirement delight has to do with the fact that, at long last, I’m taking that stay-at-home vacation everyone dreams about taking, but never gets around to because the lure of going out of town with one’s meager portion of one’s pathetically limited vacation leave is irresistible.

Part of the pleasure is lolling about surrounded by the conveniences and comforts of one’s own familiar domain. But the other part is undertaking tasks that one actually has time to finish (or make impressive headway on). Nest-feathering is a lot more fun when there’s time to consider, at leisure instead of hurriedly or haphazardly, how this or that might be improved. Dragging furniture around, for example, is a lot more interesting when the ticking clock is just another background sound  rather than a depressing portent of one’s work schedule coming around to interrupt one’s domestic activities and experiments.

Speaking of clocks, can it be that it’s time now already to wind the grandmother clock in my living room, like I do every Sunday? Seems like I just re-wound the thing day before yesterday, rather than a week ago. This is really the only new thing to report about being retired: time goes by faster than I thought possible. The month of March is almost gone, and soon it’ll be time to take a trip I planned a while back. Surely this racing-clock phenomenon will dissipate soon? After all, I’m getting up before sunrise as I always did, so it’s not that I’m sleeping more so there are fewer hours in the day to experience. Strange.

Actually, I suppose I am sleeping more, as I am now taking naps! Almost every day! One day this past week, two naps! Ah, bliss, bliss, and double-bliss! I’ve already decided to try to find a place for a hammock outside, so I can take some of those lovely naps  outdoors…the better to hear the birds chirping. (Who knew there were so many in Candler Park?)

Because of the steadily improving weather, outside is where I’ve spent a good portion of this past week. The patio fountain’s up and running again, I’ve completed the dreaded annual task of dragging my over-wintered plants from the sunroom onto the patio, and restored the sunroom to an inhabitable state.

During the rainy days when I was forced to stay inside, I began the tedious but necessary chore of merging the electronic files I brought home from work with the files on my computer at home…and I began the onerous chore of sorting through 32 years worth of paper files imported from the office, deciding which ones to keep and which ones to toss. If I can have those four boxes of files disappeared from my study by the end of the summer, I will be a much more contented retiree. (I’d take the boxes to the attic, but there’s no more room up there, for files or for anything else. In fact, once I take care of those files, I want to tackle the attic and get it cleared up – ideally before year’s end.)

Meanwhile, in between restoring the patio and the sunroom to their proper spring-worthy states, I’ve finished two wonderful books, watched a couple of videos, had a two-hour (and very reassuring) planning session with my financial advisor,  and signed up for a square dancing convention that will happen in July.

Finally, although I’m excited by two upcoming trips I’ve planned, I’m also looking forward to the time here at home in between the trips: spending more time both in the garden and inside this light-filled house, and taking some extended walks around the about-to-burst-into-bloom neighborhood to punctuate the various errands that (thanks to the warmer weather) I’m now running on my scooter again. (Retirement) Life is (Still) Good!

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