11/04/2013

Retirement: Ten Years Later







On the 13th of this month, I will be officially retired (just nine days from this post now) ten years from my job with the federal government. It doesn't seem possible it has already been ten years. To quote Dickens, "It was the best of times, the worst of times."  That basically is the best way to describe my ten years into retirement.  I made a post about seven years into my retirement that adequately described my feelings about retirement up to that point. In the three years since that post things are somewhat different.  In that earlier post of seven years into retirement, I discussed how much I enjoyed retirement initially.

I talked about the benefits of not having to get up 5 or 6 days a week for the daily grind.  I enjoyed retirement...at first.  But, as I stated in that post (linked above), everything I was doing got kind of old rather quickly. To be blunt, I got bored by it all.  To top things off, my marriage was rocky prior to retirement which soon escalated to divorce. I did plan financially for retirement.  I can't say that about a number of my colleagues who are now trying to find other employment in their "retirement."  It's sad, but a stone, cold fact some people are like the grasshopper in the Aesop's Fables story of The Ant and the Grasshopper.  I'm not sure how people don't understand they will not always be 25 years of age.  There is an autumn of their life for which they must plan for carefully.  Sadly, many do not plan.  They now must suffer the folly of their mistake.

In the tenth year of my retirement, I am very well settled into a daily life of not worrying about a job.  I don't concern myself with the rigors of establishing a routine around a job which seemed to dominate my everyday life. I don't concern myself with why my old friends didn't/don't contact me after my retirement and then my divorce.  It still hurts, somewhat, that certain people I thought were my best friends ignore me.  But, I've moved on past them.  It is something I will never understand.  Life goes on.  I now devote myself entirely to my writing and the two blogs I own.  I have a small residual income from both as a result.  Retirement, like so many other things in life, is exactly what you make of it.  If you sit around and moaning that you have nothing to do, then you will be bored to tears.  Lots of people engage in their passion, such as hunting and fishing.  They have time for that in retirement....lots of time.  You need other hobbies.  If you enjoy hunting and fishing, more power to you.  But, you need to expand your interests prior to retirement.  If you are 50+, there are lots of activities for you at Senior Centers at most cities in the country.  I've just never been able to get involved in those Senior Centers.  But, that's just me.  You may be different.  You've got time to travel in retirement.  Do it while you are still capable.  I've discovered just recently I may very well be going to the scenic and highly popular tourist site, Aspen Ski Resort.  Which brings me to my next point...

As I mentioned in my post, "Reconciliation:  Life Can Be Strange", my ex-wife and I are on the path toward reconciliation.  In year 10 of my retirement, there have been many twists and turns.  Retirement, divorce and then possible reconciliation with my X is not something I could have ever visualized even in my wildest imagination.  It's been ten years of highs and lows.  The low of 2005.  That was the year I was divorced.  That was the year that Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast and caused major damage to my home of which I had only moved into three months prior to that storm.  It was a horrible year to be sure.  Now, eight years after that event and the tenth year into my retirement, my ex-wife and I realize how much we miss each other, how much we need each other and how much we love each other.  I said some horrible things about her in this blog of which I will have to apologize for so as to be at peace with myself.  That is something I have to do.  In the tenth year of retirement, I am much more at ease with myself, my lot in life and where I am at this stage of my life.  Are there things I need to improve on?  Yes, of course, I do.  That is both in regard to my own emotional demons and physical-wise.  I need to lose weight like so many my age.  

So, that's where I am, right now, ten years into retirement.  I'm more settled into retirement, though not necessarily entirely comfortable.  As stated, I am more at ease about it now.  But, not going to work (after being in the workforce for 35 years) is not something you get over even after ten years.  But, you adapt and you accept.  That is where I really am at ten years into retirement; adapted and acceptance.  I think that sums it up pretty nicely.  

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