5 Surprising Things I've Learned in Retirement
1 - It's surprising, I only need about 1/3 of the current wardrobe in my closet. Most of those pencil skirts, silk blouses, short jackets and mid-height heels are simply not as necessary with my new lifestyle of working from home. Hello consignment shop and donations bags for the items that don't thrill me! I will need to spend some time creating my casual/active wear day-to-day style but I'm not in a huge rush. For now, I'm weeding through what I already have and no longer need. That process always feels good.
2 - Integrating my work office and my home office spaces was more difficult than I anticipated. Odd little things like which stapler, pencil cup or desk accessory to keep for my home office space gave me pause. Some of these tools had been my daily essentials, in two separate work spaces, for many years. Figuring out what to keep and what to get rid of took some time so I decided not to rush the process. I'm finally completely unpacked and organized into my home office space.
3 - It is no surprise that waking up to an unstructured schedule reduces a tremendous amount of stress. It's a bit like a perpetual week of Sundays and it's a life changer! I feel like I can now plan my days, weeks and life with more intentionality. One of my main goals has been to restructure my priorities and fitness is right at the top. One of the best changes is that I've added a consistent yoga/Pilates schedule to my week and have even started scheduling them in my calendar. When I make an intentional appointment it helps with my commitment. Though it could be tempting to loll on the couch and watch reruns of "Flipping Out" or "Below Deck", I'm finding my days are quite busy and productive.
4 - When you make a big life change, and leave a day-to-day workplace behind, you can't know how much you will stay in touch. I'm happy to report that friends/colleagues from my former workplace want to connect. I've been surprised at how many texts, calls and invitations I have received. It feels good not to be forgotten. I also find that I'm more of a "Yes" person now. My husband (the more spontaneous one) loves that I agree to more gatherings and events now that I'm not as stressed out with work.
5 - Despite the euphoria of retirement -- real life intrudes -- no surprise. Whether it's a medical issue, as with our sweet kitty, Jack, or the ongoing concern for a close family member struggling with serious addiction issues, real life is that rude awakening sometimes. It is easier to be consumed with worry, or attempt to solve problems beyond control, when you have more free time. It's important to stay focused on life balance, especially when serious issues creep to the forefront. Keeping that balance is one of the main reasons Scott and I committed to turning off the phone and celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary last weekend. It was lovely and thank you for the wonderful wishes!!
Have you been surprised by anything lately??