Posts Tagged ‘retiring’

A dangerous precedent

November 28, 2009

It’s almost 5 pm and I’m still in my pajamas. I’m not exactly sure how it happened and yes, I do realize how pathetic it sounds. Less than a week after my official retirement and another week away from diving into book writing and I can’t even be bothered to change into actual clothes to face the day.

I yearn to point out that it’s a lazy Saturday, but honestly, can there be any excuse? I think not.

After several marathon packing expeditions, I finally cleared out the last of my belongings from my office yesterday — so today has been all about rearranging it here at the house and figuring out what stays in boxes and what comes out to use. Cleaning out my office was like an archeological dig — with layer after layer revealing itself. And it’s almost as bad here at the house. Just not enough room. Which leads me into psychological questionings about how much these physical reminders matter (very little) and how much stress I’ll incur trying to hang onto them.

Even so, it’s hard to throw stuff out. There’s the going-away page they did for me in Austin which featured my big dog Jeb or the Texas flag all my pals signed. Not to mention the collected stories, notes and knick knacks I’ve picked up during my 7 years here in West Palm Beach. What percentage is worth hanging on to . . .  and what belongs in the trash?

This question and others like it have consumed my day — and apparently rendered me unable to trade pajamas for street clothes. I’m staying in tonight, so even now I really don’t have a pressing reason to change.

So now I’m trying to remember the last time I spent a whole day in my pajamas, when I wasn’t sick I mean.

Come to think of it, I believe there have been a few pajama-clad Saturdays here and there, where I was left to my own devices and ended up puttering around the house, organizing a draw or closet, doing a small craft project or just writing letters. Days when I just kept discovering that the thing I wanted to do next didn’t require me to change clothes. Perhaps my pajama penchant isn’t the towering symbol of sloth I feared.

Nevertheless, confessing my attire to blogland has at last galvanized me into action. The second I post this, I’m dressing for the day.

Really. I promise.


So this is retirement

November 23, 2009

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.