Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How does it feel to be retired?

This is a question that's been asked of me repeatedly since I jumped off the workbridge three months ago. And each time I'm asked, my eyes glaze over and I get this goofy smile on my face before replying, "It's fanfreakingtastic!" But when I actually took the time to analyze the feeling, what I discovered kind of shocked me. You see, the nearest comparison I could find to the elation of retirement is.... falling in love! Now please bear with me as I explain how I came to this seemingly ridiculous comparison. If you're an old shriv like myself, and married or involved with the same person for a number of years, you may have to go back in time and memory to recall the exact feeling of that "falling in love" experience. Ahhh... remember it now?.... that time of your life when you actually KNEW what it felt like to be on cloud nine? That time of your life when nothing could get you down because your heart was floating too high to lasso? Remember going about the business of your day and having that "feeling" suddenly pop into your thoughts?... and the warmth and glow of contentment that accompanied it? Well, that's what I've been feeling since the end of April. I wake up in the morning still forgetting that I don't have to get up and go to work. Shortly after I open my eyes it hits me.... I'M RETIRED! My eyes glaze over and I get that goofy smile before quickly rolling over and falling back to sleep. Throughout the day I find myself whistling and busying myself lightheartedly with the very same chores that used to make me so cranky. Why? I'M RETIRED! I can take all damn day to get them done! And if I don't get them completed today I can do them tomorrow... or the next day... or the next. It's exciting to me to know that every day is my own, to make of what I choose, to spend in any way that makes me contented and fulfilled. I'm a completely different person these days, feeling so very free and unburdened...... and falling in love with life all over again.


Nanan said...

AMEN Sister - and I have a 4 year old to enjoy it with!!! I think I did it the right way!

Greg said...

After 40 years of marriage with my awesome wife, there are times I would look in her eyes to remind me of how much I love her. I agree with you that it is important to constantly jog your memory of how your partner means to you. It will certainly make the love lasts. Last week, when I visited my sister in one of the nicest retirement communities in Charlotte NC, she shared to me that each morning that she and her husband wake up, they tell each other their feelings and how much they mean to each other. Her story inspired me and when I came home that day, everything that was left unsaid, including those three simple words that most of us are afraid to say- I said it loud and proud.
I have to say, being retired is not so bad after all. It even makes us appreciate life more. Thanks for sharing this great post.