Before I retired, I never really gave much thought to what I’d be doing with all of the “free time” which retirement was supposed to place at my disposal. Based on the number of hobbies and pursuits that I have: such as ham radio, reading, photography, writing, etc., I suppose I assumed that I would occupy most of my time in the pursuit of those activities.
After nearly six months of retirement, that’s not been the case. Bummer? Well, maybe.
We all know that those two evil twins, Accountability and Responsibility, will raise their ugly heads when and where you least expect them! Paying bills, balancing the checkbook, buying groceries, doing laundry, cutting the grass, running errands around town, and other mundane, yet very necessary tasks, fill as much of my “free time” as those aforementioned hobbies and pursuits.
Quite frankly, I believe that’s the way it should be.
It turns out that retirement is not like being set free on a giant playground with no responsibilities and no time constraints.
That said, I’ve recognized that retirement grants you, and you alone, a great deal of freedom in determining when and how you choose to address those things which still demand your attention and for which you are still responsible. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.
It took a while, but over the past few months I’ve come to the conclusion that the greatest reward of retirement is simply having:
Freedom of choice when it comes to the deciding when to do those
tasks you need to do versus those activities you want to do.
If you manage that freedom properly, it’s still possible to find yourself with an abundance of free time to do whatever it might be that you want to do each day; or conversely, to elect to do nothing at all!
And what a joy that last option can be!
I’ve come to believe that success in having an enjoyable and rewarding retirement will be determined by how well individuals balance this new found freedom with their on-going responsibilities.
In retirement, you really do become your own boss and take it from me, that’s real freedom!
That’s why, when others ask how I’m enjoying retirement, I tell them that I feel as if I’m residing in a very pleasant Alternate Universe from the one in which I existed during my working life.
And make no mistake, it’s a very satisfactory universe at that.
Photos by Toa Heftiba and Raquel Martinez on Unsplash