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I have been fortunate to experience what retirement feels like at the brisk age of thirty-five. This experience was compliments of Coronavirus and not by choice.
I still worked part-time but was paid full-time. This resulted was an excessive amount of free time. It was an experiment in retirement. All before I quit during the pandemic.
It Feels So Good!
My short stint of retirement was quite enjoyable.
After a brush with a panic attack, it felt good to have an opportunity to think about what I want to do. My life before this golden hour seemed to be full of a constantly growing to-do list: paint the sheds, laundry, just keep cleaning, and while you’re at it, cooking too.
Sometimes life gets so jam-packed with stuff I “need” to accomplish and I lose sight of living. It feels like life is a cruel joke of a never-ending list of adulting.
Retirement makes all of that moot. Now, I have an ample amount of time to accomplish all the things and so much more. The “more” part is where I blossomed. I learned that I enjoy having more time to read, draw, write, and run. Not to mention hike.
So. Much. Hiking.
I cried a lot during this period. I chalked it up to the excessive amounts of oxygen laced with nature. Weird nature affinity aside, I enjoy life when I have more time to enjoy it.
This Feels Like A Panic Attack!
Initially this started with what felt like a panic attack. It was a mental overload.
First, I hand to think through all the things that needed to be done. Cleaning and cooking, rinse and repeat madness. Next up, the free time to do “other” things. This inner dialogue was somewhere around: Do I want to try new things? Do I want to do those things now? Maybe I should save it for when I go back to fulltime. This thought lingered like a dark thunderstorm looming on the horizon.
It felt like a firehose of thoughts and my brain couldn’t keep up. Instead, my brain focused on a racing heart and the deluge of unanswered questions. It was short-lived. I fixed it with lunch ad meditation which turned into a nap.
Less Fun Lessons
There are some things I am not a fan of.
Having less structure and not interacting with people were at the top of that shortlist. I miss talking to people, which was shocking for this self-proclaimed introvert. I guess I am more of an ambivert than I thought.
I also miss having a purpose in my day. Before this golden era, I used to get excited about time off but now there seemed to be less excitement about nonworking time.
The trial run in retirement lead to the realization that I would like a dash of employment when I retire. Probably not forty hours but a few days a week seems ideal. Just enough to keep me on track with what I want to do in my off time and force me to interact with humans.
As my schedule changed and work returned to “normal”, I aggressively pursued a more mindful approach of what I let back into my life. I wanted more hobbies and less business.
When I do embark on tasks, I want to be more mindful of what I am doing and why. Not just accepting each task until I am overwhelmed with busyness.
I value time more than money. Which may not have always been a theme in my life before this experience. Making less than average tends to push me into making more whenever possible, even to the detriment of my sanity.
Retirement is AMAZING. I was happier, healthier, and more aware of what I wanted in my life. I am fortunate to have a personalized experience of that.
I can move forward with more intention and craft a plan that will enhance my permanent retirement. During this experience I gained insight into what the future may hold and it is now my favorite bright shiny finical object!
Life. If it isn’t throwing lessons, it’s throwing blessings. My motto – make the best of every opportunity. After all, can I judge if it’s a lesson or blessing while in the middle of it?