I have now, officially, been retired one year. My last day of “work” was last year on June 30. So I thought I would share with you what I have learned from one year of retirement: you can while away (a wonderful phrase which means “to cause time to pass, especially in some easy or pleasant manner”) a lot of time doing not much of anything. I used to have long “to do” lists and only half of the things on them ever got done. Now, if I don’t finish something today, I just shrug and think that I’ll get to it tomorrow. Or the next day. Or whenever. It’s amazing how few things feel important when you don’t have deadlines (or people) breathing down your neck.
So I have time for the things that are most important to me. I spend a lot more time reading devotionally and praying. I focus on the people that I love, which means we spend a lot of time with family and friends when we are in Ohio. We have also connected with friends out of state that we have not seen for years.
I spend most of every day with Tom and am constantly amazed and blessed to realize how wonderful spending time with him is. I get to read. In fact, if I get really engrossed in a book, I might spend the entire day reading it! I spend time writing. The blog is one example of writing – sending my thoughts out into the world to let people read and respond. I also have several books I am working on and someday I might actually try to get one of them published (or just let someone read one!).
The best thing about retirement is experiencing new things. Tom and I both love to learn and any job, even a job that you love, can feel like you are just doing the same old thing after a while. So this year we have traveled to a lot of new places, which makes us learn all kinds of new things. Just walking into a new grocery store and trying to find everything on your list can be a challenge. Learning to drive the RV and BIG truck. Fitting our 13′ 4″ tall RV through a tunnel of trees to get to a campground. Cooking on a gas range. Learning all about Death Valley and Scotty’s Castle and finding ways to interpret them to others. Practicing new skills at the Habitat for Humanity builds we did. I have energy to try new things, and that energy was missing while I was working.
Sometimes I feel selfish because it seems like I am taking this time to focus on what I want to do. But it turns out that what I really love is being involved in the lives of others and helping them. So Tom and I are finding ways to serve God wherever we are. I must confess that I spend some time every day playing “Candy Crush” but even when you are retired you need to do something mindless and relaxing.
I’ve been retired one year and it has been great. I can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for us in the year to come.