Retirement – reflections on the first year

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Retirement, the first year

It has been just over a year since I retired. One year and a week to be exact. The plan was to post something on October 1, my retirement anniversary. I missed. Hardly surprising. Being retired has allowed me to fill up the ten daily hours formerly occupied by a commute and cube life. It’s easy to sleep later than I need to, overbook my activities for the day, or spend more time on the less important than I should. Often there is a combination of all these.

Having the freedom to be extremely flexible with my routine is probably the most rewarding benefit of retirement. It may also be the most challenging. I finally get to be the one making decisions about what I do and when I do it. It’s harder than one might think. There are responsibilities to consider and other people to think about.

Looking back over the year it has become clear that I can choose to do stuff in retirement or do nothing. I suppose there is some point in between, a sweet spot between doing and not doing. I choose to err on the side of doing stuff. No, not all the time, but I have so much time available to invest in others and myself why would I waste it putting butt divots in the couch?

Right now, I choose to spend my retirement doing.

  • Doing photography.
  • Getting involved in my community.
  • Being involved with my church.
  • Spending time with my wife and friends. (They’re retired too.)
  • Helping and adding value to others.
  • Improving myself.
  • Working our home business.

It’s not a complete list, nor a list that is always completed. I’m always thinking of more things to do. Sometimes I even do them. Sometimes I write them down to go back to later.

Retirement going forward

Now that I have passed my retirement probation what’s the plan going forward? Take a look at the list above. Probably should add travel. Travel definitely has to be somewhere in the retirement equation, right? Maybe I’ll find time to write a book. I could always take up golf again.

Enjoying retirement can not mean doing nothing. Not as long as I have something to contribute and can add value to others. As long as I am breathing I have a God given purpose to fulfill. We all do. You included. Retirement isn’t the end of that purpose. It may only be the beginning.

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