Sunday, 13 January 2013

Just Get to the Point

I called this blog “A Joyful Retirement” because I wanted to talk about how retirement is for me. But it seems that I haven’t really spoken about that so far. It’s about time I did.
It’s been a bit over two years since we retired. My husband (Les) and I retired at the same time. We celebrate that day each year, with a lunch out somewhere. So far it has been at the same place – a nice café not too far away, but on the water’s edge, overlooking a pool. In the coming years, it will probably change because we are moving to Bathurst, and I can’t see the need to travel down to Sydney just for a lunch. Bathurst has nice cafés too.

We retired a bit earlier than lots of people do – Les was not yet 50, and I had only just turned 50. We had planned for it, and done lots of preparation. We’d worked through the finances (well, Les had, since he is the financial wizard in our partnership), and we’d worked through the emotional challenges, and we knew we were ready.
Our main reasons for retiring were so we could spend more time doing things together (but not excluding doing things on our own – we still do that), and actually enjoy our life together, doing the things WE want, at our own pace.
Some people were sceptical. Won’t you get bored? How will you keep your brain active? Won’t you miss things about work? These are valid questions, and part of our preparation for retiring was to find OUR answers to these questions.
For now, the short answers are:
v  Yes, sometimes I am bored, but mostly, no, I’m not. I have so many things to do, or that I want to do, that my biggest problem is deciding which I’ll get started on at any given time.

v  Sometimes I think I’m losing it, forgetting why I went into the lounge room, for example. But I don’t think that’s unusual – it happens to everyone. I keep my brain active in so many ways – the usual way of doing puzzles and games, but also by learning new things, talking to interesting people, being interested in things.
learning to mow the lawn!
v  And yes, I do miss things about work, but these things can be handled in another way, not by going back to work (believe me, I tried it, and it wasn’t the answer). I can still catch up with the people I miss. I can still mix with a variety of different people (different ages, different backgrounds) by getting involved in a variety of activities.
view from the venue of 21st birthday party we attended
As this blog goes on, I’ll write about these in more detail.
Are you thinking of retiring? Have you done so already? Are you enjoying it? How have you handled the challenges that you’ve encountered?
I’d love to hear from you!

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