Q: What has helped you enjoy and make the most of your retirement years?
Life is a PC for which each one of us does his own programming. Ours was what
could be considered the first generation of working moms. We took upon our
shoulders the dual responsibility of demonstrating to the world that we were
more than capable in the workplace, and those 24-hour work days took their
toll. It has now been five years since I stopped working at the university and
said good-bye to friends I had known for many years. My retiring had a ring of
finality: tout fini. The end of my business life, chapter closed.
Before I left, some of my co-workers had warned and joked about the perils of
retirement: boredom, imaginary health problems, lack of purpose, and possible
depression. None of these things has happened to me. Why? I exchanged a
grueling 9-to-5 routine for a well earned casual and carefree lifestyle. And
there starts the next chapter.
It's midnight. I suppose I should go to bed.
I'm not tired.
There are lots of good programs on late night TV. In fact, I feel like having
a snack. Maybe I could hop in the car and scoot over to the 24 hour diner for
a hamburg. You know what...this is actually a good time to catch up on my
laundry. Who would be using the washing machines in our building now? And
after the clothes are cleaned and dried I'll put a ton of cold cream on my face
and nestle down in a soothing bubble bath for a half hour or so. Maybe I'll be
sleepy by then, but if I'm not, it's o.k. No problem. No matter how late I go
to bed, I can sleep as long as I want in the morning.
I'm no longer bound by time a schedules.
No, I'm not tired, I'm Retired.
6:00 A.M. came quickly. Time to get up, take a fast shower, put on make-up,
get dressed, gulp down a cup of coffee, jump in the car and prepare to battle
But not for this gal!
I simply rolled over and went back to sleep with a smile on my face. To this
day, after 5 years of not getting up in the morning to go to work, the smile is
still on my face.
Do I miss the challenge of the workplace that had once been so much a part of
my persona? Heavens, no. My days are filled with healthy
activities...swimming, working out at the gym, shopping, bicycling, taking
classes such as writing, art and yoga. In the evenings there are movies,
concerts, dining and dancing. Soon, I may do a little traveling. And you know
what? If I don't feel like doing anything at all except lounge around my
apartment, I'll do that too.
I have the choice to do whatever I want, now. There is a whole new kind of
life ahead, full of experiences just waiting to happen.
Some call it "retirement". I call it bliss.