I’m pretty sure that I was supposed to be fantastically, amazingly happy and content the first minute of my retirement, but I’ve always been someone to completely disintegrate a perfectly happy moment for no apparent reason. I guess I thought a weight would be lifted and I’m just a little bit sad that I haven’t had that feeling just yet. I feel adrift and a bit put out to pasture—even though it was my own decision. It’s not that I’m not happy having left my life as a librarian, it’s because I don’t have a set path of “new” life in front of me. Yeah, I’ll probably travel, and yeah, I’ll spend time with my kid, but what in the hell else is out there for me? Please. Tell me. I need to know.
Two weeks in and I’ve already made a bunch of homemade dinners. And not necessarily good ones. It was much easier when I could justify going out several nights a week because the hubby and I were so tired and now I’m constantly concerned about how much money I’m spending without bringing home my nicely padded monthly paycheck. I’m afraid that going to say hello to Shelly at the grocery store is going to be my big trip out of the house every day. Don’t get me wrong, Shelly’s great but it’s not the big retirement joy I was looking to have.
Damn it, I am going to make my life more exciting than that! I even got a notebook to write all my shit down and everything: I will work out every day (I’ve only broken this one two time in three weeks), and write in my blog a couple of times each week (please don’t hold your breath on this one), and make more homemade dinners (probably of the taco variety), and spend time with my kid (although I’m pretty sure that letting him practice driving my car while I’m in it is probably out). I will not default to taking showers three times a day when I’m bored and I will not watch all of Glee for the twentieth time. At least, not until after I’ve written in my blog.
The first Monday after retirement I thought I had it all figured out. I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish during the entire week and ended up waking up early and finishing half of the list by 10 am. Then I went shopping. For nothing. I need nothing. I want nothing. I went for nothing. It was awesome! I came home and worked out. I cleaned the bathrooms. I. Took. A. Nap. Bliss! I cooked dinner. I worked out again (not even kidding) and went to sleep dreaming the dreams of the fulfilled and retired soul. I felt on top of the world.
Then Tuesday came and I could not have cared any less about the list I had created only 24 hours before. Screw the car—it can wash itself! Some other Robotics club mom can go shopping for snacks! George can take a walk by himself! Working out could suck it! I even put back on the clothes I wore the day before. I slept on the couch for three hours after I dropped the kid off to school. I dreamed happy thoughts knowing that he was in school and I was able to slink around the house and not do a damned thing. Hell, that night we even went out to dinner! I went to sleep dreaming the dreams of the unfulfilled and retired and I felt like the world was sitting on top of me. Not great.
And so has the ping pong of my life gone for the last couple of weeks. I miss some things. I have to talk to myself about why I made the decision I did. I’m not even ashamed to admit that I still sneak into my old work email to see what’s going on and elevating my mood by being reminded that those aren’t my problems anymore. I miss my friends and I kind of miss my desk. I’m seriously a basket case, you guys.
Please bear with me as I make my way through this phase. I’m cool if you think I’m a big cry baby and should just shut up and be retired (like so many people can’t) and I’m cool if you get what I’m saying and allow me a little leeway to feel my feelings. Just let me get my wacky thoughts out into the world and out of my tangled web of a mind the only way I know how—through trying to be funny in these crazy posts. I count on you all to keep it real and keep me whole. And I appreciate it.
So, now I’m off to try to find some way to stay warm in this empty house (I’ll put on five layers of clothes before I put myself in the position of being lectured about the heating bill now that there’s a person here all of the time) or find a semi-permanent place out in the world to call my own when I want to get out and write. In fact, I’d be writing this somewhere else right now if I hadn’t already tried to sit in two Starbucks (both closed), and a library (forgetting after two weeks of the librarian life that branches are closed for most holidays) already today. I had to actually use my home desk. Yuck! Things are truly dire.
But, for now, maybe I’ll just get back to my list. I have some Halloween lights to put up outside and some lovely (mostly dead) retirement flowers to move to the trash. I have a dog to walk and a house to vacuum and a visit to Shelly to get fixin’s for dinner. Don’t count me out for more interesting things in the future, though. I may be a little down and out for the moment, but this is truly only the beginning.
© DRB 2021
Give yourself time. I know it is not the same, but those feelings you are having reminded me of being home with Dulce. I worked since I was 14. All of a sudden, I was home alone not contributing to the income and had no adults to talk to. It was lonely. Then I walked across the street to the library and met all you wonderful people. You will find your next. Just give it time.
I love you, Josie. Thank you!
Wish you enjoy your retired life.