10 things I didn't expect re: retirement

  1.  So much snail mail. I hadn't bought stamps in a year and a half. Pay 99% bills online. It's like waking up in another country one morning--lots and lots of business for "retirees" in the real mailbox outside.
  2. So much paperwork in general. Some as a result of moving house, some retirement, some Medicare, some Social Security. As far as the USPO is concerned, I've slipped into the never-neverland of "older American," and ads and offers and schemes are threatening to overflow my recycle bin. Get a clue. I'm not going to buy anything from any of you, so quit wasting trees, folks.
  3. Time to sweep and do dishes. Or at least I don't have the excuse of going off to work any more. Time to read. Just finished Neal Stephenson's Baroque Trilogy: Quicksilver, The Chaos, and The System of the World. Dynamite historical novels about England and beyond in the late 1600's, early 1700's.
  4. How awesome it feels to be out from under a crazy-making system at work. Still decompressing. 
  5. The hindsight to find out more about retirement sooner. There's too much information to absorb it all and take care of the necessary paperwork in only two months. I'd say start 5-10 years before you expect to retire. 
  6. Needing a lot more sleep than I ever got while working. It's much healthier for my body to wake up when it wants to, rather than when someone or something else wants it to. Disclaimer: of course this does not apply to Linus, who will get me up if he really wants something.
  7. And that's OK, cause NAPS! It is so much easier to control your blood pressure when you can just doze off whenever you need to. See #6. 
  8. As much as I love teaching, learning, and promoting higher education, I do not miss negotiating campus--the parking, hordes of students, traffic, nasty politics. My friends are still my friends, and we have a better time off campus than on, anyway.
  9. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Shed non-essentials. But don't trash things that bring you pleasure, no matter what they are. Now I have time to do those projects I've always thought I'd do: slide/neg digitizing, organizing into databases, making jewelry again, other artwork I've been collecting materials to put together, more photos, much more of the fun stuff.
  10. Nice things do happen. Saw the Blue Lapis Light group dance on the side of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum last night. Perfect evening: dinner chez niece/friend, driving back streets to BBHTM, sitting outside, chilly enough for a jacket, amazing aerial dance/light show. 
All in all, even Linus likes retirement.


Cowtown Pattie said...

Austin can be a cool place!

I would be in frantic crazed panic without a job at this stage of the game - 56. Too much debt, of which we are working on, but one step forward lately has resulted in TEN steps backwards.

kokopelliwoman said...

Hi, Pattie. Frantic crazed panic describes it perfectly. Re: debt--I finally gave in and contacted a debt management organization and I'm glad I did. They can negotiate with credit card companies much more effectively than an individual can. I will have @ 15K paid off less than a year from now, for a total of 4 years in the program. You pay the company a set amount monthly and they distribute it to the creditors. It's like having an extra car payment every month. The peace of mind is liberating.

Austin can be cool, especially when the weather is nice. Can't take the grinding heat any more. Thanks for commenting!

Alice said...

Five years before he planned to retire, and he always said it would be at age 62, Hubby began marking X on his office calendar each day. When people inquired what all the Xs meant, he told them, and everyone thought he was teasing, as he was so devoted to work. Come his birthday five years ago (March) his last X was marked and he's never looked back. A real retirement success story, just as yours seems to be turning out to be. I don't understand people claiming they wouldn't know what to do with themselves if they retired. Enjoyed the post. You know it was featured in TGF.

Alice said...

Sorry, it was yesterday's post. This one is worthy as well.

kokopelliwoman said...

Hi, Alice. Thanks for commenting. Good for your husband! I also liked what I was doing, it was just the politics that screwed things up. I have more projects going than I can ever finish, and so I'll never be bored or run out of things to do. It's just a matter of prioritizing in order of cost, fun, and eventually bringing in a modest income. I didn't know Ronni included me in TGB until someone commented. She's the greatest!