So this is retirement

I’m halfway through my first workday as a retiree and so far, it looks alot like vacation. The weekend was filled with packing and parties and feelings of turning over a new leaf. But today, with the rest of world at work and me out running errands and checking things off my list — well, it feels pretty vacation-y.

On Sunday afternoon, when I realized I still had a huge bag of books in the car that I’d hoped to deliver to the used book store, I groaned, thinking I’d have to carry it around another whole week, waiting for time NEXT weekend. But then, my newly-acquired retiree’s brain kicked in with the reminder that I could do that MONDAY — because, you know, NO WORK!

So clearly, this is all going to take some getting used to. I spent the morning doing errands, with strict instructions from my retired self to spend the afternoon at the beach, because, honestly, if I’m not going to get to the beach more often as a retired person than a working person then there’s really no reason to go on living.

But the clouds piled up while I visited the bank, the book store, the mall and the grocery store, so I’ve slid beachtime to tomorrow’s to-do list — marveling that I have a tomorrow available for this sort of thing. To know that I can sit by the ocean — and read or not, sleep or not — and not have it be a day of my vacation, is hard for me to accept. During my 7 years in Florida, I’ve occasionally stolen a day or afternoon to sneak away to the beach nearby, but my enjoyment is severely hampered by the knowledge that I’m only stealing time from myself, that once I return to the office, I’ll have twice as much work to do to make up for my truancy.

That’s just not true anymore. Now I’m off the clock, for good. And it’ll take my brain longer than a couple of days to get used to it, no doubt.

Meanwhile, I’ve granted myself 2 weeks of rest and reflection — before I dive into writing my book. A part of my brain that refuses to be silenced assures me this is shameless procrastintion, but several people I trust have assured me it’s appropriate to take a bit of time to pat myself on the back for a job well done, allow the brain to go fallow for a short while — and THEN start the next great adventure.

So that’s my plan — and part of why I want to get to the beach. Is there a better spot for absorbing the past, feeling the absolute joy of the moment you’re in and also dreaming of the future? I think not.

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