Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Honeymoon Is Over

Why did I think I was going to have all sorts of time on my hands when I retired? So far I haven’t been able to finish a thing I have started. This is a bigger adjustment than I had anticipated. The friend I had lunch with today reminded me that I am only on day 2, so I should cut myself some slack.

The reality of retirement set in on Sunday, after the last party was over and I could catch my breath from the craziness of the past few weeks.

There is a necessary renegotiation of how ordinary things get done around the house now. David suggested that I might need to take on a greater role in things like getting the cars repaired since I was no longer working for money and he has two small paying jobs. I could feel the hackles go up!

I figured the next thing to come was a suggestion that I now cook every night instead of just on weekends as had been the arrangement when I was still working. Before that discussion could take place, I checked with my friends Bill and Kris who are both retired and found out they fend for themselves for dinner. If someone wants to cook, that person does, but there are no expectations. That’s the plan I proposed to David. He somewhat reluctantly agreed.

My original idea had been that every day I would tackle and complete a small house cleaning job – just a closet or a drawer or a shelf. So far I have managed to load up the kitchen counter with things from my past work life and the contents of a few drawers and the piles still await sorting and discarding and relocating. It would seem that I am just moving most of this junk from one place to the other without a whole lot of progress in getting rid of anything.

And where is all that free time I thought I would have? Thursday and Friday are totally used up and other days are quickly getting filled. I’m starting to understand those retirees who ask how they ever managed to work a full-time job!

This is perhaps the time to BREATHE, find a book, make a cup of tea, and put my feet up. David reminds me that the junk will all be there tomorrow. No one is grading my performance any longer.


Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Yes, you need to gear down! Give it a few weeks. I make lisys of what I'd like to do, but usually end up with doing the vital must do things. The world won't fall apart if you don't get half of it done! it's a real bonus if you do and you don't have to answer to anyone about how you put in your time.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

"No one is grading my performance any longer." Except you...and you may as well give yourself an A every morning and then relax :)

9:05 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I don't know about you, Barbara, but I am going to seriously take Pauline's advice!

Thank you, Pauline........

9:20 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Good advice, everyone! Learning a new attitude toward life is a challenge for me though. I was going to say "I'll work on this", but then I realized that perhaps the idea is not to WORK too hard on anything!

9:38 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Flop around for awhile, let everything be unformed. Pretend you're on vacation. And remember, this is only day three of your retirement! Love to you.

9:00 AM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

Girlfriend!! You have GOT to chill out!

Don't worry- you just need to get into the habit of making your own schedule.
I know I was so excited when I started working from home a year ago- figuring I would have way more time to keep the house clean, get the gardening done, etc.
Boy was I wrong! It's worse than ever. I dunno what happened.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- Flop, flop. Yes. It's 10 AM and I haven't even had breakfast yet. I keep searching for just a hint of a routine, but it's not there yet.

Gewels -- You mean I may still get to have an excuse for not cleaning my dirty house? Sounds good to me.

Coffee sometime next week maybe, yes?

10:12 AM  
Blogger steve said...

I make it easy for you
Repeat after me...
'Get your own damn Samwich"
'I'll get dressed...whenever"
"I think I'll take a nap first"

11:51 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- All those words feel good. You are so funny!

12:46 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I doubt very much that you are in retirement mode yet. It usually takes me 7 to 10 days to fully unwind from work, and, using myself as a template (strongly discouraged by Sofia), I presume it takes other people a similar amount of time to do so.

Let work fully wend its way out of your mind and body and then you will be in a better position to focus on living.

It would probably be wise to focus on the times when you are most productive. Since I am a morning person, I try to get as much done in the morning because come the afternoon, I am not really very productive.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous David said...

hey brother Steve - you're not helping the male cause here.

10:26 PM  
Blogger steve said...

David- I considered that for oh about 5 seconds, but my loyalties have to lie with the Lady on this. Do forgive me!

10:02 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- Love those loyalties!

10:40 AM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

You just tell David that getting cars fixed is a man's job! So are killing bugs and emptying the trash. Those car people take advantage of us women! (That's the totality of my sexism-cars, bugs and trash)

7:57 AM  

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