Well, I have to admit it – I had a 16 hour run at early retirement and I failed. Miserably.
This past week, the kids were at school and Mr. SSC was at work on Monday and Tuesday. I thought this was going to be great, the house to myself, I can catch up on some hobbies, and I’d even gotten a lot of around the house chores done so I wouldn’t feel pressured to do those on my days off. I was all set to be able to relax and have free time for me to do as I chose… And I was restless and bored!!! I wandered around the house finding random items to reorganize and put back in place. I even took two baths one day! (Seriously – that is more baths then I’ve taken in maybe 6 months!) I had no idea what to do with all the free time (ie.8 hours). Then, all this free time I had been looking forward to converted from restlessness to anxiety. I just sat on the couch thinking “Oh crap! How am I going to retire early? How will I fill my hours? What will I do with myself? What if my plans to teach or volunteer or find part-time work don’t pan out? AHHHH!!!!” I suppose I am too much of a go-go-GO person… the stillness was driving me crazy!
But then I thought, maybe this is a good thing to realize so far in advance – it gives me a few years to plan what type of part-time work or volunteering I might want to do. I plan to be more involved with the kids’ school and extracurricular activities which will take a good portion of my time. But what about the other 12 hours of the day?! I often hear the advice that retiring isn’t just about money, but its a mindset too – and while I’ve got a plan for the money aspect, now I know I’ve got to start thinking about the psychological side of retiring and making a plan to keep my sanity intact! My family has always suspected I would go crazy without a job, and now we know that I will. I admit it –> Mom & Dad, you were right! (Thank goodness they don’t read this blog)
Then I was reminded of when my Dad retired about ten years ago, he had this same ‘restless’ problem for a couple of years before he was able to ease into a less “go-go GO” situation. It drove my mom crazy, because she hadn’t retired yet, and suddenly here my Dad was pacing the house, constantly asking, “What’s next, what’s the plan for the rest of the day, what are we going to do tomorrow?” And Mom replying, “Well, it’s only 8am, I don’t have any plans besides getting out of this nut-house to get away from all this pacing…” I worry that could be me and Mr. SSC. He’ll probably adapt pretty easily to the retired life (maybe too easily…erring on to the side of sloth). Although, my dad was eventually able to settle into a retirement mindset, so If he can do it, I know there’s some hope for me.
Has anyone out there gone through this and what did you do to prepare for retirement? Help me!!!