But what’s it like?
I know retirement is different for everyone. But for me the sensation is like being weightless. Light. Timeless. It seems filled with infinite everything. Though of course I know intellectually that’s not true, the infinite everything part anyway.
Snowstorms no longer keep me up at night wondering how I’m going to get to work. Weekends have no meaning, in fact I rarely know what day it is. Time is both elastic, stretching out into the future and moving so fast that my old life seems like a movie staring someone else.
I feel a bit suspended, both in time between chapters in my life and way above the world just watching, as though I’m an archivist taking note of events that somehow have no direct impact on me. Which, intellectually I also know is not true.
A more solid answer, one that would have fewer eyes rolling, would be to describe a day in the life of a newly retired me. I’m sitting here in the breakfast room scanning in photos that my mom had stored in a box high in a closet for many years. They’re mostly photos of all of us as kids, school pictures, formal sittings for church photos, snapshots of random moments that didn’t make it into an album. I’m truly lost in time.
And I’m not at work in a beige cubicle. I’m not turning down loans, not arguing with brokers, not attending meetings, not pushing production. Not working weekends. Not commuting in rush hour. No, instead I’m sitting in a sunny room surrounded by the faces of my family. And my view from this work station is spectacular. Sunshine, brilliant white snow, birch trees, blue skies, puffy clouds. Don’t think I don’t know how lucky I am.
So what’s retirement like?
The truth is it’s indescribable. I guess you’ll have to experience it for yourself to understand, and I hope you all have that opportunity sooner than you think. Based on experience I can tell you it will be here in the blink of an eye.
And you’re going to love it.