Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Retirement practice day


Suddenly the number of days in my countdown to retirement is one; tomorrow is my last day of work.  It has been forever and just an instant all at the same time.

People ask me how I feel about retiring.  Isn’t it exciting?  What will I do with all that time?  I understand.  They’ve all been dreaming, just like me, maybe just like you, about that day when they too will walk away.  Maybe they’ve imagined the moment for years and yet it seems unimaginable.  Far away.  Unattainable.  I know how that feels, and I have to say I don’t really know how to respond.  It hasn’t sunk in yet.  Perhaps it will next Monday morning, but if today is any indication, probably not.

You see, I have today off.  I know, it’s weird, but I do.

So last night I could have stayed up as late as I wanted to but I fell asleep shortly after 8.  I could have slept the dreamless sleep of a newborn, but I tossed and turned and got up with Katie at 2 a.m. unable to sleep.  I worked on the blog, trying to fix the Goodreads widget that broke several months ago.  I spent an hour, long after Katie had gone back to bed, tinkering and only managed to get it back on the blog sort of twice with a bunch of HTML showing.  It looks like it’s in the admin sidebar twice and I can’t figure out how to delete the wrong one.  I hate this stuff.  I went back to bed at 3 a.m. defeated.

Which would mean Katie and I slept in.  Right?  Of course not right.  She was up at 5:30 exactly like any other day.  So we got up.  I did some dishes, put away some stuff from last night, read some blogs, took a shower.  Watched the news.  Noticed it was only 6:30 a.m.  Hmmm.  Puttered around a bit more then went up to the mall to walk.  I figured I could walk awhile, then look for some shorts that I can fit into when the stores open.  Buying new shorts sounds oh so much more sensible than losing the weight in order to fit into last years shorts.

I got to the mall at 8, thinking that it opened for shopping at 9 and I’d walk for an hour, find some shorts, then go to the post office to buy stamps as I knew that didn’t open until 10, and then on to the library to return a book, because the library doesn’t open till 10 either.  And guess what?  The mall stores don’t open at 9.  They open at 10 too!  What is with this retirement world?  Every work day for years and years I was at my desk between 7:30 and 8 working on the next big problem.  But the rest of the world dilly dallies around until 10?

Huh.  I’m going to have to get a new sheltie alarm, one that doesn’t go off till 8 or 9 in the morning!

I walked for awhile, around and around the mall, then got bored and went out to the car to sit and read.  By the time I went back inside the mall, shortly after 10 I was no longer motivated to find anything, so of course I didn’t.  Mostly I was tired and hot.

I gave up, went home to the local post office which turns out opens at 9.  Great.  This retired lady needs to get her facts straight.  Then on to the library which was quiet without kids, so different than being there on Saturday morning.  Lovely.  And now home to consider what to make for dinner.  And it’s barely noon.

On the whole what I’ve learned after one half day of practicing being retired is that everything is more relaxed when you don’t have to fit it into the two (or less) precious days you have free each week.  I feel less worried about wasting time, more prepared to sit and do nothing.  Sure there are huge gardens overrun with thistle, and laundry piling up, a kitchen that could use a bit of elbow grease, a dog that apparently needs entertaining, plans to make for travel, closets to sort, basement and garage to organize.

But I have time.

And that, essentially, is what I’m going to do with myself after tomorrow.  I’m going to enjoy having time.  I’ll try not to make those of you still working too jealous.

But I can’t promise.  Cause it’s going to be good!

Wanna play Mama?

Wanna play Mama?

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

30 thoughts on “Retirement practice day

  1. Yes, it’s going to be GOOD!


  2. Ooooooh! Congratulations! I’ll miss your window views, but not enough to encourage you to go back 😉 Enjoy your TIME!


    • I’ll have to find another way to watch the weather. One good thing about my desk was that I had that panoramic sky view, and sometimes the clouds were just wonderful.


  3. Sounds like you need a holiday from the angst of retiring. Hang in there!


  4. Maybe you should get Katie a little sister when you retire. It will keep your hands busy – that’s fur sure.

    In the meantime, my mommy will just dream about retiring probably in like 25 years. (I don’t think it’s appropriate to start a countdown at 25 years, is it?)


    • Well you could count in months for awhile….and though I’d love a little sister or brother for Katie I am not sure I want my hands THAT full!


  5. So very happy for you my friend. Will be thinking of you tomorrow. A retirement well-deserved.


  6. Good luck finding a Sheltie alarm clock that lets you sleep in! Mine seems to need entertaining, too (and after he makes sure I’m awake, he drifts back to sleep!!). I think this might be the reason I don’t want to retire, Dawn — lots of TIME on one’s hands, no schedule to maintain, plenty of chores to tackle. And nothing to complain about, ha!


  7. YOU’RE KIDDING! You’re RETIRING? As of TOMORROW? I know you and Katie will enjoy your freedom to the max!


  8. Based on my experience you’re entering the best time of life. Good to maintain a few time commitments to give life some structure. If you get antsy you could always join the local garden club that meets once a month in the morning at the township Civic Center.


    • I think this WILL be the best time of life. That little slice of life when you’re young enough to enjoy it and old enough to appreciate it. Do you live in Springfield Township?


  9. How fun to enjoy more time! Do more of what you love and find more of what you love….so you are not just tired of life, but engaged and full of doing what brings you joy!


  10. It is going to be good! Time is everything. You’ve earned this!

    During summer break both the dogs and I tend to sleep a little bit later each day…..just when we get used to sleeping until 7:30, it’s september again, and I wonder how the heck did I ever get up at 5:30? The dogs wonder too, and walk around in a groggy daze for the month of september.

    So, maybe there is hope for “resetting” that adorable sheltie alarm clock.

    Enjoy your last day!


  11. I did exactly the same thing the other – it had been years since I went to a mall but I wanted to go to Penny’s to look for a skirt – I arrived at 9.00 on dot only to find they don’t open until 10 and on Sunday they don’t open to 12.00 !!!! After working up the courage to not only drive in the traffic to the mall and then go into the mall (I don’t like crowds) I could do nothing but grumble all the way home. It is much easier to get your head around retirement if you think about the first few weeks as just being on holiday.


  12. You will develop some sort of structure over time, and you will get out of the habit of rushing. It takes time, but it happens. As to the resetting of the alarm, mine awakens me a little later in the winter than in the summer – summer seems to be between 6 and 6:30, winter about an hour later. I have been known to let dogs out, feed all animals and go back to bed occasionally. So far I haven’t figured out how to control the alarm times.


  13. Your first day’s experience is just what I experienced back when I started working only part time for several years– oh, I have PLENTY of time, Ill just relax and get around to it eventually. Turns out that gradually, I started getting less done with 2-3 extra hours a day than I had accomplished during the 2-3 evening hours when I was pushing to get it all done because time was limited. Well, as long as you enjoy yourself and don’t go stale! 🙂


    • I could fall into the trap of getting less done pretty easily. Facebook is a huge time suck. But the garden is screaming for help and there is so much to do out there that I shouldn’t be able to come up for air for weeks. Though I will of course.


  14. I don’t think I will have any problem retiring. Now my mom, she likes to be busy. She works two volunteer jobs. So she works Monday thur Thursday. I guess the difference is, she knows she doesn’t have to. Any she is doing something she likes .


    • I don’t know if I want to volunteer, at least not right away. I want to enjoy not having to be anywhere on any schedule for at least a little while. Though I will eventually find something to volunteer for. Maybe not 4 days a week though!


  15. I have a feeling Sheltie alarms can’t be reset, but you never know. It’s a good retirement project. 🙂 Today is your last day at work! I am so excited for you. Time gets a little weird at first. Some days you feel as though you have all the time in the world. Other days (and for me, those are errand days) time speeds by so fast you wonder what happened.

    Your Goodreads widget looks like it’s working to me.


    • Yep I fixed the Goodreads widget thingy. It was easier in the light of day. I’m very excited about starting the next chapter of my life. Time will probably be weird..but that’s OK…I’m weird too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.