I was in my young fifties when I decided to retire. I dreamt of lazy mornings, afternoon naps, endless hours of nothingness.
But my husband warned me that the complete halt of my daily routine might be a total shock to my system. He understood I wouldn’t miss the stress, the commitments, or the harassments I was leaving behind in my old job, but what about the social aspect of my life, the challenge of learning something new on a daily basis, the pleasure I got from living an industrious life.
I needed to ease into retirement, he said.
I was going from working with thousands of people on a daily basis to just him for lunch. I was involved in the latest trends and information in my field. I liked working and being productive. He gently told me how much he loved having me at home, twenty-four/seven, taking care of our house, making him lunch and dinner, catching up on all the books and DVDs I had bought over the years and never taken out of their wrappers, BUT he was afraid it would keep me happy for only so long before I would get bored and come to resent the confinements of our life.
I needed to “get out there,” he said. Find stuff to do. Make new friends. Register for classes. Take up a hobby. Or start a new career. He was kicking me off the couch. Launching me into space. Telling me to get a job.
I resented his advice at first, but now six year later (don’t you dare tell him this), I realize he was right.
At first, I toyed with selling real estate, but soon after I got my license, I decided I wanted to dedicate all the time that entailed to something else – I wanted to write. I found several writing groups and settled into the one that proved the most effective for my needs. I joined a diet group and a gym and never intended to make friends with the women in these groups, but they befriended me and I was hooked.
Left to my own devices I would be wasting my time on lazy mornings, afternoon naps, and endless hours of nothingness; instead my life is full. I have a weekly routine that fills my retirement with friends and fun and fulfillment.
I got a job like my husband advised.