I've just discovered another great benefit of being retired: being more comfortable being me.
I didn't realize it while I was working, but it takes a lot of energy being who you need to be at work. I knew I would enjoy escaping the stress of deadlines, the demands of bosses, and even managing people. But there is also another tension that I am happy to be leaving behind, walking that fine line between who you really are and who your employer wants you to be.
From the clothes we wear, to the political views we express (or don't express), even the degree of delicacy we must adopt when interacting with others; we can't always be as relaxed as we want to be on the job. While some might relish being non-conformists at work, as Penelope Trunk points out, "it's not fun to be eccentric if you really are. It's only fun to be eccentric if you aren't."
Perhaps you've had a conversation with your boss where you held back your true opinion, or conversely regretted over-expressing your opinions in a round of office gossip. The truth is, we spend a fair amount of energy second-guessing ourselves in order to fit into the culture of our work environment.
Perhaps some of the anxiety people feel when adjusting to retirement isn't really the loss of their work identity, it's realizing that much of that identity wasn't even us to begin with!
I still struggle with what I consider to be my greatest flaw, wanting to be liked. But how much of what someone did or didn't like about me at work wasn't even really me?