Reports of my demise were greatly exaggerated

Sorry I’ve been MIA for awhile. Life got…well…lively. In a good way, let me hasten to add.

On October 1, 2021, I officially swapped my status of little old white-haired lady for that of little old white-haired RETIRED lady!

I drove myself crazier than I already am preparing for this blessed event. Threading my way through the intricacies of Medicare looked particularly daunting, but with a lot of information from the Boomer Benefits website I was able to get everything set up and put in place well before the deadline.

People kept asking me what plans I had for retirement. Would I be travelling? Did I plan to work part-time? Even someone as socially inept as I am knew that my honest response–“pulling up the drawbridge and never, ever seeing people again unless I want to”– might be taken amiss. After some thought I decided a sweet smile, followed by “Catching up with myself” would do the trick, and it did.

I actually did have plans, of course. Nothing that involved buying an RV or a closetful of “work drag” for a dazzling second career. Humble little plans for a humble little homebody. (Two are listed below.) No problem there, right?

Plan #1: Sleep in! After years of enslavement to the alarm clock, I would wake up whenever I got around to it. Maybe do some leisurely in-bed stretching (for the body) followed by a short meditation (for the spirit). Maybe I’d even read a bit (for the mind) before officially starting my day. Très holistic!

Reality: My bladder is a harsh taskmistress. What she says, goes–literally and frequently. An equally harsh taskmistress is Peanut the Three-Legged Wonder Cat. As I shared in an earlier post, Peanut is a notoriously early riser. She has no concept of “retired” and wouldn’t bend a whisker about it even if she did. She still meows relentlessly until the Hole in the Bowl has been filled, the dead mouse on the landing has been admired or she has been turned loose to prowl the back yard in search of her obsession du jour.

Plan #2: Finally get caught up on all the household chores that fell by the wayside during my lengthy stint as an office minion. I would compile a color-coded chore list (green for light cleaning, blue for decluttering, red for public health hazard). I would devote all my waking hours to completing the items on that list and in one month…okay, two at the most….house beautiful!

Reality: Sometimes even I don’t understand me. What in the world made me think that:

  • after years of constantly doing–and feeling guilty when I wasn’t–I even had that kind of energy?
  • I could effectively wipe out in one or two months things that took years to accumulate?
  • I didn’t deserve a nice big chunk of down-time, not to mention having some actual fun during my early days of retirement? (I blame my Virgo ascendant along with a work ethic stuck in overdrive.)

Rather than tend a bumper crop of frustration while bemoaning my lot in life, I decided the wisest course of action was simply to adapt.

  • As far as the bladder is concerned, just go with the flow. 🙂
  • Peanut’s ridiculously early wakeup calls: respond to the summons. Now that I’m retired, I have the option of going back to bed or catching a nap. (Duh!)
  • Regarding House Beautiful, the only person putting a time limit on things was me. Time limit has since been removed. I have also revised my housework goals: progress, not perfection.
  • I don’t have to “earn” fun. I just do it as the spirit moves me. And the spirit’s been moving me a lot lately. Hope it has for you as well!

Take care, all!

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