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May 28, 2014 / Retirementallychallenged.com

So Far, So Good!

I really didn’t know what to expect of the first week my retirement. I had hoped to check several things off my to-do list as well as explore a few activities I thought I’d enjoy, but I also gave myself permission—at least during the initial few weeks—to just kind of see what happened. Ease into it slowly. No pressure.

So much to do...

So much to do…

I hadn’t envisioned that I would jam my little toe into an unmovable object hard enough that it’s been too painful to wear anything but flip-flops. It also never occurred to me that I (who NEVER gets sick) would come down with a cold bad enough that I would have stayed home from work for a couple of days, had I a job to stay home from. Neither ailment is a big deal, but they have impacted my plans enough that I am anxious to be rid of both.

I know there will be many discoveries—both good and bad—along my retirement path, but two that stand out after just over one week are:

The retirees’ mantra, “I’ve never been so busy” is true. I always figured that it was a conspiracy among retired people to say this to their still-working friends just to annoy them. But, it’s a fact! It’s not that I’m running around (actually, hobbling around) all the time – but it’s so easy to fill up the day with… stuff.

Because it’s easy to forget exactly what all that stuff was, I’ve started to write a few lines in a journal before I go to sleep so I will be able to remember the highlights a week, a month, or even years from now. I may never look at the journal entries again, but I have a feeling my future self will want to look back to see what the heck I was doing to fill up my time. Better yet, if I maintain the journal into our retirement journey, it could help me recall the name of a restaurant where we shared an amazing meal, a hotel where our room featured a breath-taking view, or the details of a once-in-a-lifetime experience we were lucky enough to have.

It’s so easy to get distracted. There are so many things I want to do; so many projects that I’d like to start or finish. Without the hard deadlines that work provides or the confines of a weekend to accomplish a task, it’s easy to start something then get distracted and move on to something else. I find myself starting something, let’s say, a blog post… then I realize that I need to water the plants… when I’m outside, I notice that our 20-year-old patio furniture needs cleaning… but, why clean it when we really should take advantage of the sales and purchase a new set… hmmm, I wonder if Costco has what we are looking for… I should check online to see… oh, there’s my half-written post… I really should finish that. (Yes, this really happened.)

Several friends have asked me how I am enjoying retirement so far. Although I try to be gentle (they are still working, after all), I have to say that I LOVE IT! I understand that it’s only been a little over a week and I’m in the honeymoon phase, but so far, I’m settling in just fine and anxious to fill my journal with tales of adventures—both big and small.

Now… which plants did I finishing watering before I got distracted?

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20 Comments

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  1. Polly / May 28 2014 5:18 pm

    Congratulations on finally retiring! I’m looking forward to seeing
    what you will do as time goes along.
    Distraction…yep, it’s a part of your new life! Go with it!

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / May 28 2014 5:31 pm

      I feel like I’m living a dream! The BBQ island is almost done, and we are ready to grill all summer long.

  2. Kristine PUzel / May 29 2014 8:57 am

    Once again, congratulations!! Good idea to ease in slowly….maybe the cold was your body’s way of saying ‘let’s take this easy’..! It’s a bit like the early days of marriage; there are years ahead of you, but the early days are special in their own way! I laughed reading your ‘circle’ of distractions!

  3. Paula Karlberg / May 29 2014 4:57 pm

    I can identify with your post. I retired just a couple of years ago and have been surprised both by what I have and have not done. Also have a blog that looks at the blessings and curses of retirement. Perhaps you’d like to visit me.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / May 29 2014 5:20 pm

      Thank you for stopping by! I hope to add more accomplishments on my “Have Done” list… but right now I’m enjoying not doing all the things I no longer have to do. I’ll check out your blog too; I can always learn from those who have gone before.

  4. Intrepid Explorer / May 29 2014 6:26 pm

    Your post brings back fond memories. I retired, sort of, about five years ago. I have absolutely NO free time. I keep saying it is because I savor life now, instead of galloping through it! L.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / May 31 2014 4:57 pm

      I’m still in the phase where it feels like I am on an extended vacation. When it truly sinks in, I hope to start savoring my time too.

  5. PCgal / Jun 2 2014 8:42 am

    The daily journal is a good idea. There are many weeks when I seriously can’t recall where the time went. I also keep an annual Shutterfly book which contains photos and journal entries of just about everything I do throughout the year. It is a great resource for “instant recall” of restaurants, places we visited, etc. And, I just got done reviewing 4 years worth of Facebook entries. Wow! Retirement life looks pretty good on me! Best wishes.

    Suzanne at LifeOutLoud

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 2 2014 9:55 am

      I will have to look into Shutterfly – what a great idea! I really like to concept of combining a journal with pictures. With our first post-retirement trip coming up soon, I’d love to have a memory-capturing system in place. God knows I can’t always rely on my brain cells to remember everything!

      • Tamara in S. California / Jun 2 2014 10:57 am

        There is a Groupon deal right now, to pick up a 8×8 Shutterfly album for $10. That is a great deal!

  6. Tamara in S. California / Jun 2 2014 9:43 am

    Well, I’m not sure if this is good news or bad news, but I’m still just as scattered now, three years into retirement, as you’ve described in your post. There are just so very many things to do and take care of once you are freed up from the hours normally consumed by work and commuting there and back!

    Like now, for instance – I’ve been in my running clothes for over two hours now, and keep getting distracted. All good stuff, but still . . . 🙂

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 2 2014 11:13 am

      I’m thinking both good and bad news! I will probably need to create schedules and “due dates” for some of my activities (just to ensure I actually complete them), but as for others… I kind of like the freedom to be scattered.

      Also, I think that ANY movement you make in running clothes can be considered “exercise.”

  7. Eileen Hopkins / Jun 3 2014 4:39 pm

    Enjoyed your post! I am heading in the same direction with only 18 days of work left. I already relate to the easy distraction thing so once the restrictions of work schedules are removed – YIKES! But, I am really looking forward to the freedom to explore and do and see at a slightly slower pace than my current one and, if I get distracted – I am sure something or someone will get me back on that path! I am hoping my blog will keep me writing and learning and exploring and the rest will just fall into place!!

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 4 2014 7:32 pm

      You and I are just about in the same place! I had to Google your new home – I had never heard of a “desert” climate in Canada before. It sounds wonderful!

      Enjoy your last few days of work (unless you are like me and work like a mad woman to the very end) and, most important, your new life! I will be happy to follow your progress!

  8. Kelly@Try New Things / Jun 8 2014 4:05 pm

    Welcome to retirement!

    I am a year and a half in and I am in the happiest place. I loved my career but being free to do what I please has been amazing. I tracked my plan to retire 5 years before I made the leap and blogged about it on my blog.

    I have retrained in an area that I love (not sure if I will work though), I travel all the time to amazing places and now I am taking on the building of a new home. I have not posted on my blog for a couple of months but will be back.You may identify with some of the best parts of my last year and a half of actual retirement too. It is such a good place.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jun 9 2014 6:34 pm

      Thank you for stopping by and your words of encouragement! I love hearing that, after a year and a half, you are happy and engaged.

      I took a look at your blog and signed up for the ride… it sounds like you do a lot of amazing things. I look forward to reading more. It appears that I can learn a lot from your experiences!

  9. Tom Sightings / Jul 5 2014 5:22 pm

    HI, thanks for visiting my site. Welcome to blogging, and welcome to retirement!

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Jul 6 2014 3:01 pm

      Thank you! Although everyone’s retirement experience is different, I enjoy learning from those who have gone before me. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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