“But I’m really enjoying my retirement. I get to sleep in every day. I do crossword puzzles and eat cake.”

The wind is blowing and even the tree trunks are swaying. The sun is more decoration than warmth. The high today will be in the low 60’s and tonight we’ll go down to the 40’s. The house is cold every morning. I still need my sweatshirt. The windows are closed because of the cold and because of the pine pollen. My car is covered in that yellow-green pollen. When it rains, small puddles are ringed with pine pollen while bigger puddles have a slick of pollen not unlike an oil slick, just a different color. The wind blows the pollen in small clouds. I sneeze a lot.

I’m at the stage of my life where sitting around isn’t boring. I don’t have to accomplish anything. I don’t need to be busy. The days go quickly regardless of what I do or don’t do. Some days my bursts of energy have me dusting and polishing. I do a few loads of wash. Gracie and I go to the dump. I buy some groceries. That is my busiest sort of day. It merits an afternoon nap.

When I worked, I got to school at 6:20 and got home around 4 which left little time to do anything but read the mail, have dinner, watch a TV show or two and go to bed early as the alarm rang at 5:00. In winter I was a mole and seldom saw the sunshine except through a window. The weekends were for doing all the chores and errands. I grocery shopped, changed my bed, did laundry, cleaned a room or two and went to the dump on Sunday. If I did anything fun, it was usually Saturday night. Back then I never stopped to think how narrow my life was. I was too busy with every day.

When I was getting ready to retire, I was asked if I had any plans on how to fill my days. I didn’t. It was enough knowing I no longer had to set the alarm and get up at an ungodly hour. I loved being retired from the first day. If I had nothing to do, I was fine with that. Each day was a blank piece of paper ready to be filled or even left blank. This summer it will be ten years since I retired. They have been remarkable years.

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12 Comments on ““But I’m really enjoying my retirement. I get to sleep in every day. I do crossword puzzles and eat cake.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Yup, I’m right with you on retirement. I had the same experience. Up at 4, out the door, work all day, not see the sun, home by 5, eat, read mail, sleep. Rinse, repeat.
    I had no plans on how to fill my days when I retired. It’ll be 5 years at the end of June. Almost every day had nothing scheduled and yet I have managed to do something interesting with all of them. Even the ones where I did nothing at all. I haven’t regretted a single day.

    The sun is brightly shining but it’s long sleeved shirt temperature out there. The breeze is cold. The house is cool. If I sit in a sheltered, sunny spot outside, I can be very warm. Rocky and I have already done that a couple of times so far today.
    I furminated Rocky while we sunned on the top step. The sparrows always come and take his shed fur balls off to line their nests. The breeze caught one fur ball just as a bird was ready to grab it. He chased it all the way down the sidewalk before he managed to knab most of it.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I have friends who won’t retire because they can’t figure out what to do with their empty days. I try to tell them how amazing having day after day to do anything is such a gift.

      The sun is gone but the wind remains. It looks like rain, and it is chilly. The house, though, has gotten warmer.It isn’t an inviting day.

      Have a great night.

      • Rick Oztown Says:

        It’ll be 11 years at the end of August for me. There seem to be two kinds of folks: those that like being retired; and those who are bored to death at being retired and either go back to work or die quickly.

        I seem to be the former.

        We just welcomed an intern from Chihuaua state in Mexico for two months with us to be an intern at our church. She’ll learn a bunch of English, and, I hope, go back to Mexico with a bunch of Texas friends and a slightly (heck, really much) broader view of life and how people are. I found a free app today for the Kindle Fire that gives translation either way English Spanish. I will regain a lot of my 54 year old Spanish ability. And my wife will get some Spanish, I’ll wager.

        See what retirement offers you? A chance to serve others in ways that you can think up…or not!

      • katry Says:

        Rick,
        I am now on the library board and a volunteer at the museum, both right up my alley of interests and kind to my back.

        You are right about the opportunities to help. I always wish I could do more but that back of mine is iffy day to day.

        It is amazing to me how much I love being retired and how easily I can while away the day with no regrets. Reading a good book is a great way to spend the day.


  2. Kat,
    Your attitude towards retirement mirrors mine exactly. The freedom to just putter is wonderful, not to mention all of the extra time for books, music, friends, blogging, movies, reflecting, eating whenever, traveling, etc., etc. It’s surprising the number of people who just don’t seem to consider that simple joy.

    Marie

    • katry Says:

      Marie,
      I swear some people are built for industry, for doing something all the time. They aren’t happy taking the world slowly, savoring each day. I have a friend like that who swears she can never retire even though she has been eligible for years. I’m sorry she is missing so much.

  3. olof1 Says:

    My days are much like Your old work days but I have the Fridays when I stop working early and do get thechance to see some sunshine and I do work in two different factories and walk between them and then I get the chance again 🙂 🙂 🙂 I long for retirement!

    Warm and nice here today but we were at the border of a thunderstorm and that sort of disturbed the day even if it really never came close, I guess the one last weekend still ist too fresh in memory so we stayed inside for a few hours until it had passed.

    I’ve done some replanting and I’ve watered some plants that still are too yopung to have deep roots, it’s really dry here now but I still rather water plants, I wish for the bog to dry out so all fly larvae dies 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      You will be one of the best retirees as you have so much you like to do. I can’t imagine how beautiful all your flowers and plants will be if you have all day to work with them.

      Not a nice day at all here. The sun goes in and out and it is chilly. It would be nicer if not for the wind.

      It is also very dry here as well. Rain is coming but I don’t know when.

      Have a great evening.

  4. Coleen Burnett Says:

    I don’t think I will ever truly retire. I hate doing nothing, but I also will take time out to be lazy if I can…does that make sense?

    I guess what I am saying is that I enjoy my job and when I am out covering a story I am quite the happy puppy…but I also enjoy a day like today, when all I have to do is compose that story with only a ballgame on the TV to keep me company.

    I do not know if this post makes sense. I think I am trying to say that you pick your spots…to be busy when you are busy, and quiet when the time calls for it.

    Making no sense but waving, 🙂

    Coleen

    • katry Says:

      Coleen,
      It does make sense. I think being able to take time to do nothing makes life fun.

      I loved my job too and wanted to leave still loving it.

      Yup, it all makes perfect sense to me. You remember to have fun and that’s important to keep life from becoming stale.

  5. Adele Hooper Says:

    I am just one year into retirement. I was so ready to end the
    pre-dawn wake ups and the grueling schedule of teaching and then the race home from work to care for home and family, only to be followed by planning, grading, and the next get up call.

    I’m off the hamster wheel and while aging parents, children, and grandchildren require my time, I let the unoccupied hours flow where they may…love it.

    I also really enjoy your writing. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Adele,
      It is nice you’ve dropped by to visit! Thank you for the compliment. I blush.

      I totally get how grueling your schedule was especially adding family to the mix. I had only myself, and that was difficult enough. It is amazing how easily we have fallen into enjoying retirement. I love my days and, like you, let the hours flow as they may-a perfect description.


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