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June 4th, 2022

Retirement Feels…Weird…

I guess it was supposed to feel wonderful. And in some ways it does. I’m very lucky. It’s not a fabulous retirement but I can afford to pay my bills and still have some left over for a little discretionary spending. Being mostly debt free (save for the mortgage and DVC points) helps out a lot. Paying off the credit cards took a big chunk off my monthly expenses, and I’m in a situation now where I really don’t need to be using them anymore. So money wise, it’s pretty good. I can relax. What I didn’t expect was that being a problem.

My time now is all mine. And it just feels strange. Almost immediately after my last day at work I skedaddled for my brother’s place in California…a land where I’d always planned to retire to eventually. I spent a lovely three months there…the longest I’ve ever been away from home in my life…but I kept stressing about the house, and the cute little street cat I left behind. My neighbors on both sides are cat lovers and they took good care of her, but I still stressed about it. She’s a small little lady, fierce though she is, and getting very old for a street cat. And the house. I stressed a lot about how the house was doing.

I’m back home now and slowly waking the house up from the coma I put it into before leaving. Water turned back on okay…furnace/AC back on…power restored to this and that…everything looking good. The cat is fine, and I think has mostly forgiven me for going away. Now I have all the time in the world for art projects and Harry Homeowner things I’ve wanted to do. And that feels…weird.

It is more disorienting than I expected to not have work days anymore. I reckon I’ll get over it eventually, but it just feels so strange. Even during COVID lockdowns I still had office hours to keep, albeit at my home office. But still, it was a clock I had to keep, and deadlines I had to meet. And that’s all over now and even with all the stuff I have to do around the house and in the art room I feel adrift, plus feeling like I shouldn’t feel like that because I have so much to do. It’s not like there isn’t anything to do. And I’m doing stuff. I’m busy all day long. But there is no clock anymore. Things get done when they get done. Then I move on to the next thing. There is no clock tapping me on the shoulder all the time and it feels weird. 

I spent an entire adult life tied to the clock. And even when I was a kid, there was school. This isn’t summer vacation. This is something else. Something really strange.

I just had a thought that I’d buy one of those old school bells and have it ring, like at lunchtime and the end of the school day. And then I thought…NO! This is fine…I’ll get acclimatized to it. A little strangeness in your life is helpful. It keeps you thinking.

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