In about five months, I will join my husband in retirement. We live in coastal southern California, a place we are lucky to call home already – no need to downsize and move to warmer climes!
Although I’m very excited to enter this new phase of my life, I’d be lying if I said that I not just a little bit apprehensive. I have a really good job, working for a really great company. My one-way commute is less than 4 miles. My co-workers are very nice people and I am a significant part of a well-running team. Unfortunately, working part time at my current job is not an option.
So, why am I retiring? Well, I want to, and fortunately, I can. Over the past year, I have left the house each morning knowing that my husband had a day of unstructured bliss ahead of him. Now, he would argue that all is not bliss and that he does have a schedule (eat breakfast, exercise, projects, lunch, nap, outings on his road bike with his riding buddy, etc.), and I have to agree that he is no sloth. But, I am most envious of all the “me time” he has. And I want it too.
Two days over a weekend are just not enough for me. Some of it is taken up by errands, some with projects, some with house stuff, some with couple stuff. There is not a lot of time left over just for me.
I am starting this blog for several reasons. 1) I had originally declared (to myself, my husband, and my financial planner) that I would be leaving this year… in September… at the end of this month. I chickened out and I’m not sure why, other than it’s very different to say I’m going to do something in abstract versus actually doing it. Stepping off the cliff, even though I might see a lovely deep pool of water below – and I know that many have dived in before and have entered the water safely and happily (and I can see them swimming around contently), is still hard. I hope that putting my intent down on paper, albeit virtual paper will make it more real for me, and therefore more of a commitment. 2) I want to explore the idea of being retired and what that will mean to me. As much as spending my days reading, gardening, and relaxing sounds really great now, I’m pretty sure doing that every day will get old fast. I don’t have an obvious “passion” to pursue like golfing, grandchildren, music, etc., but I do have a lot of things I am interested in. Some of my interests could lead me to joining groups or clubs of like-minded people, some may lead me to taking classes, some to volunteering, some (like focusing on my health) to just getting off my butt and doing what needs to be done. 3) I want to consider what this big change in my life could – and will – affect my relationship with my husband. We approach many things differently. He is an engineer by training, and I have spent most of my working life in marketing. These two careers attract very different people. Now that we won’t be focused on our careers but focused on each other (or, at least existing in close quarters much of every day), will our different personalities meld well? I love him dearly, but his “interest” in what I am doing can feel a lot like supervising to me. My “relaxing” – reading a book, poking around on the computer – probably looks sloth-like and unproductive to him. Should I start saving up for couples counseling just in case?