It is week one of my newly acquired retirement. I feel compelled to let my worriers know, so far so good, and for those of you approaching retirement a few pieces of advice.
First and foremost, don’t over plan. Everyone wants to know what you are going to do. Don’t be shy, tell them you don’t know but you will seize every opportunity. Only in this way can you disconnect gracefully and not create a guilty conscience at day one. Let life roll towards you now. Instead of trudging up that hill, tackling each day, let the day come to you.
My day one, without any intent or knowledge on my part, was the day of the total eclipse. My daughter Bailey, had planned it several months prior and it never dawned on me that it would be my first full day of retirement. What an incredible way to start. We took off on Sunday morning bound for St. Louis with daughters and grandchildren in tow. Monday we traveled 35 miles south to the center of the path in a little town called Festus, MO. I would explain the origin of the name but that can be your adventure. At 1:18 pm the moon and sun reached totality. No words can explain the emotion but save to say we shared it with about a thousand people. The cheers from the crowd, followed by the awe as we gazed upon the eclipse was worth all the effort. We were surrounded in a 360 degree sunset which leaves one stunned and speechless. Birds were flying crazily to their nests and the insects came suddenly alert with a cacophony of noise. Two minutes and thirty seconds later it was over. We had traveled four hundred miles and spent nearly seven hours collectively in our cars to witness a two minute and thirty second event. To stand there and witness it first hand in the mid day dusk was priceless in every sense of the word. That evening even my three year old grandson Jackson, was telling his dinner friends all about how the moon swallowed the sun and he saw it!
Though the picture cannot do it justice, totality and 360 degrees of sunset.
Not bad for day one. The next two days found me exploring a museum with Jackson and then time spent catching up with a dear friend and his family in a neighboring city.
Jackson with his body guard, Kathryn, about to enter the high point of this insane structure. We will title this “no fear” but maybe a little vertigo for Kathryn.
Threw in a visit to the Gateway Arch. More vertigo, some claustrophobia and an awe struck Jackson peering through the windows 630 feet up.
It is now day three and I am promising myself to add some routine to my days. Nothing too big, just activities I can build on. Oh yes, and the honey do list. That started this morning and in my opinion I did a bang up job. This is by no way an invitation to make this a habit but my suspicion is it will become one of the routines. Well, at least now I have all the time in the world to do it.
I admit it is early, but I think I just might like this gig. I am feeling that all the effort that went into the journey was worth it and that I am feeling a great sense of success at its end. If you are close, I hope your first days are just as exciting. Just remember, don’t chase them, let the days and the weeks and the months and the years all come to you. And then embrace each one for the gift it is.