I guess my first lesson in retirement 101 was to plan less, see my earlier blog “Ah…Retirement, the sweet smell of Success” as well as “Retirement…What’s a guy going to do”. Everyone will want to know what you are going to do in retirement. Some will want to know out of worry that you may waste away while others I suspect are jealous and would like to scare you into staying on. If you oblige everyone with a plan list, you soon find out that the list gets too long and starts to include things even you don’t want to do. The less you plan the better you will be.
My second lesson now comes with the seasoning of almost two weeks of official retirement under my belt. And here it is, there’s just no need to rush. Remember that list, even though I advised against, I did have one and admit it so do you. Realize that you have a lifetime remaining to knock it out. Don’t hurry. Not only will there be plenty of time to tackle it, you never got to them before and you continued to operate just fine. That messy closet; it always was. Those little projects; still didn’t change your life. All those books you needed to read; you still carried on just fine without their content. Not only were you able to survive previously having not yet done them, you will need to lean on these little projects to get out of the big ones you don’t want to do later. Every gambler knows, never play your hold cards before you have to.
I personally lucked out on my first day. I was hundreds of miles from home watching a total eclipse of the sun. Not only was I unavailable to start any of the items on the forbidden list, I was too engrossed in the day to even worry about them. No one was going to speed up the moon so that I could get back to the list. In fact, watching it unfold was an epiphany of sorts. The beauty was in the gradualness of it all and that became my symbol of just how retirement ought to unfold. I left the day come to me and I took in what it had to offer. No rush, no deadlines, just an opportunity to relax into the moment.
There is no telling if there will be a series here so take advantage of these two pieces of advice as soon as you can. For those still awaiting retirement, know this, it is in fact scary going into it, don’t pretend you either didn’t or won’t harbor a few concerns, but the stress falloff is a treat. I suspect these first two weeks have extended my life by a year each. So plan less and don’t rush anything. Take your time. The more you follow this treatise, the more time you just might have to do all those things you never had time to do before.
Aaron Rodgers said it best “R.E.L.A.X”. He did and then so did we.