It was a year ago this week that I started my retirement. How odd it was to get up on Monday morning with no place to go. More accurately, no place I had to go. It was a liberating yet oddly displacing feeling. But I didn’t linger long, easily filling my days with long neglected projects, hobbies I’d suppressed for years, family, friends, grandkids! and of course workouts. Cycling, running, skiing as much as I like has been a treat. And I have enjoyed starting my “retirement job” as a freelance writer.
I’ve developed my own rhythm to my days. With Rich still working, I have a large degree of independence. Rich works remotely from our home in Duluth, so he is present, but occupied. I enjoy pampering him with fresh muffins mid-morning, and he freely admits that his life is a lot simpler now that I am available to handle the myriad home duties that we used to squeeze in after work hours.
But all that is about to change. Rich has announced his retirement as of April 26. Before long he will join me at home daily with an unstructured lifestyle. No doubt that will take some adjustment, accommodating his plans and needs into my new retirement schedule.
This week feels like a sneak preview of that routine. With Rich home recovering from his surgery, he’s here all day every day. But it’s not really a fair test. He’s flush with small projects, just like I was in the beginning. And more significant, his physical activity is necessarily restricted. That’s huge. As much as he’d like to be out skiing, he’s settling for short walks and trying to be a “good boy.” I’m not sure how long he can last.
We are entering a new era. After almost 30 years of marriage, the most free time we have spent together was 17 days on our one and only two-week vacation. But we’re ready for the challenge. Rich is already planning to do part-time consulting. I’m hoping that can fund our “exotic travel” account. I have my writing and hobbies. And we look forward to more family time. Best of all, we can indulge our love of doing long-distance outdoor sports together. In fact, several more long cycling trips are in the planning stages.
I’ve decided I like the preview. I’m ready for the full length feature – bring on Rich’s retirement.