A New Challenge

reflecting on retirementAs I spend time reflecting on retirement, I realized I’m my education is not yet complete. Who would have thought learning to live the life of retirement would have a learning curve. But it does. There are old habits to leave behind and new challenges to tackle.

• Just because you can sleep in doesn’t mean you will. Now that you don’t have to get up and go to work, it’s more fun to get up early because there are so many possibilities for the day.

• Writing thank you notes for retirement gifts takes a long time when you include a story with each one.

• There still isn’t enough time to read all the books on your shelf, play as long as you like, and do puzzles all day.

• Housemates expect you to clean the house better than you used to.

• You don’t need a key to go to the bathroom!

• They only make about four different “Happy Retirement” cards. Fortunately, most people add their own little notes inside.

• It may be possible to put off cleaning out closets and reorganizing bookshelves indefinitely.

• It is still necessary to carve out blocks of time for writing.

• There’s no excuse for not visiting the people you’ve promised to visit but didn’t have time for all those years.

• There’s no longer a reason to dread the end of another week of summer break. 

• Fall is far more beautiful than it used to be.

• I enjoy making a schedule and a plan for the work that needs to be done for the day.

• Routine is a good thing.

• Co-ordinating the routines and schedules of non-working people in the same house takes some figuring out.

• One might easily forget personal hygiene care like flossing and make-up when not standing in front of 50 highly observant adolescents every day.

• Grunge wear gets old pretty fast. I’ll need to find an excuse to wear my nicer clothes.

• There’s not as much money as there used to be.

• There are more discounts if you ask for them.

• If I started reading a book and didn’t really enjoy it before retirement, I probably won’t enjoy reading after retirement.

• Teachers collect a lot of books and resources in 26 years.

• Amazon sells sturdy and cheap storage shelves for the basement, and colleges take educational resource donations.

• It’s okay, and sometimes necessary, to say “No.”

• A person should probably get in good physical shape before you retire so you can do more after you retire.

• The best part of a jigsaw puzzle is putting in the last piece.

• The worst part of a jigsaw puzzle is staring at 1000 pieces all jumbled together in the box.

• It’s unwise to sit for too many hours a day. 

• …unless it’s time spent talking to people. Visiting people, especially older people, is never a waste of time.

• Grocery stores are open every day of the week!

• If I had started with retirement first, I probably wouldn’t have bothered working all those years.

Perhaps I should stop reflecting on retirement and get some of those tasks on my work schedule done. But why hurry. There’s always tomorrow.

For more quotes on retirement and growing older: Quotes on growing older

Advice on retirement living: 20 tips for a happy retirement

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