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!