Periodic Contributor

Retirement Musings - Destination Unspecified

“Ground control to Major Tom, ignition on, commencing countdown and may God’s love be with you.  This is Major Tom to ground control.  I’m stepping through the door and I’m floating in the most peculiar way.”

                Ah yes, I have retired and it feels like a free fall, an unrestrained motion into the abyss.  Peculiar feeling.  Merriam Webster defines peculiar as “different from the usual or normal.” Well that’s an understatement.  There is nothing “usual or normal” about this.  This is like my navigation system that just hit the area that has not yet been mapped and screams at me in big green letters on my dashboard stating “unknown road.”

 My work life was a perfectly choreographed manuscript.  My I-Phone and Outlook were a synchronized set of identical twins.  Before that, there was my aptly dubbed Crackberry with reminders set when and where I had to be on what day, before that there was my day timer, before my day timer, there was a desk calendar, and before that well there was a Big Chief tablet (yes seriously).  I knew pretty much what I would be doing every day of my work life.  If I wasn’t finding it for myself, technology was telling me where I had to be and what time I had to be there.  Then I retired.  Disconnected from my e-mail, my contacts, my calendar.  Free, unburdened, peculiar.

                What am I going to do now?   My response to that question has been jaded, cynical, sarcastic even with a bit of sass mixed in.  Quite possibly one might think a little defensive of my new “every day is a holiday” status.  Why do I think I HAVE to do anything? Every gray hair on my head, every crinkle around my eyes, every furrow on my forehead, all earned my friends.  They are my badges.

What am I going to do now?  I am going to live in the very moment I am breathing in as “the past is never there when you try to go back.  It exists, but only in memory.  To pretend otherwise is to invite a mess.” – Chris Cobbs

Warm regards,
Super Contributor

I like the way you think. We may be young at heart, but that's of no use when the body is falling apart. I've also learned not to expect a place to be the same after 10 or 20 years. Too much has changed with globalization. We tend to romanticize places we have lived long ago, but prepare to be disappointed. Been there, done that.

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Super Contributor

Now that I'm responsible just for myself, I spend my time working on my web sites, reading, working on Sudoku puzzles, watching TV, going to a movie if there is a really good one which is rare, eat out every other week, play Yahtzee with a friend after dining out, joined a coloring group and visit the town Senior Center to play it's 6 games of bingo (LOL) and to meet other people. When the weather gets nicer and the plantar facsitis has yielded, I will walk for exercise.  The rest of my time is spent keeping my apartment in good order.


Just retired last year.  Busy everyday but only as busy as I want to be.  Volunteering is a part of my life now that I never had time for while I was working.   First time in 40+ years that I needed to check my schedule to see if I had time to do something.  Prior to this...........I knew that from 6am-6pm; Monday thru Friday-------work was the only agenda and I didn't have the option to "phone it in".  Giving back to the local community and mankind in general is why HE put me out here.  It's much more rewarding to give and I've found I don't need the "stuff" I thought I needed.  Priorities definitely change.  I don't have a lot but I have so much more than many.  Being an advisor to high school kids or driving other seniors to the doctor lets me know how fortunate I really am.  So far, it's a great life and I've had more time to look at the bigger picture.  


Retired 9 years ago, it has been a hard transition, can’t say it has been a totally successful one yet. G.

Not applicable

@GregandCindy wrote:

Retired 9 years ago, it has been a hard transition, can’t say it has been a totally successful one yet. G.

💥Has things improved for you @GregandCindy ? Angela 💥

Periodic Contributor

I agree. I applied for a part-time job, was hired and then decided I didn't want it because I don't want to HAVE to do something. I can't figure out what I want. Not a good feeling for the rest of my life.

Regular Contributor

I thought I’d like to work part time, but I don’t want anyone telling me I’m late.  I don’t set alarm clocks anymore. 

Regular Contributor

I defininitely didn't plan on retirement. Ever. Not growing old, but actually retiring.

I am a writer and have suported myslef as a writer almost since I got out of college.

It''s a competitive process and I love competition.

At first I took every commision I coud find, then I was able to occasionally work on my "love" projects.

NowI have all the time to write whatever I want to write -- and I have the most enormous writing block of my career

I also act professionally, but there aren't many roles for women my age and I decided In o longer wanted to learn lines.

I was writing as I raised my children, they're gone now -- before then my life centered on kids, writing, a few church activities.

I think artists who continue to pursue their work, like Picasso, into the 90's can't conceive of doing anything else. It was the gift we'were given and we need to use it.

I am takiing two trips this summer, to England and Ireland, to perhaps give myself some perspective.

I would volunteer -- but my writing (after the kids) is the only thing that gets me up in the morning.

Am I a selfish artist, probably, after teaching w iting/playwrighting/creative drama, for years to all ages, I nded to be done with that. If I had a partner, I could travel full time willingly, but it's only me. I was born and bred in Chicago but it's expensive to go "home." I don't have much affection for where I ended up, I was brought here by a husband Idivorced, and would like to find a small, artistic leaning, liberal community to retire to. I'd love to be on the Atlantic, but Lake Superior and Lake Michigan work almost as well and the MIssissippi. Right now I am in the happy heartland, the fields,  the grain silos -- they make me sort ofdesperate. But big water and a dog might just allow me not to write.

Except -- I'm still writiing well. Bettter than before.


Yeah........but no rush to "have to do" anything.  Everything is your own pace.  I'm thinking about going back to work maybe 15-20 hours a week but that's not on the agenda right now.  Volunteering or working with service organizations is my focus and it's good for my soul.  Spent a lot of my first 65 only thinking/caring about my (selfish) agenda...............and now .....gosh, I had it made once I see the track so many others are on.   I am truly blessed. 

Super Contributor

And I am truly blessed for having lived that lifestyle in my 20's and also not so long ago when I was unemployed during that recession we had. I can't wait to retire!

Super Contributor

It's me again. I totally forgot about this post! I forget a lot of things now. Anyway, I just finished writing a new post, so it's kind of like a 'before and after' thing.

Trusted Contributor

My plan is, IF I ever do get to retire (big financial hurdles at the be continued...) will be to pursue creative projects, love on my grandbabies, generally be a BIG pain in the rear for anyone and everyone who wishes to be in my life (disclaimer).  In other words, do what I want, when I want, however I want...for the first time in my life!  Unless the good L-rd has other plans for me (?) this is the ultimate goal for that every-elusive thing we call "retirement."  NO plans to rust out-but rather to go out in a flaming comet of my own choosing...!

Trusted Contributor

Whatever I want to, whenever I want to. Or nothing at all.

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