I am finding it harder to write fresh thoughts about retirement these days. I attribute this to what Ram at Retirement Experiment, discussed last week: Hedonic Adaptation.
Now that I've been enjoying the good life for over a year, it just feels normal, like it's always been my life. It's hard to contrast it with my old, working life, because it just feels like I've always been living this way. My old life feels like ancient history.
And all those pesky retirement adjustments, like what to tell people at cocktail parties, "What I do," how to structure my days, how to deal with the guilt on days when I don't actually accomplish anything? I almost can't identify with those struggles anymore. I've adapted so much to my new life that it just feels like my life. The truth is, I think I'm beginning to take it all for granted.
The lack of stress over to-do lists, the freedom to behave spontaneously, the lack of HURRY in my life, I admit, I don't have the sense of awe over these advantages anymore. It's just the way I live, and so I tend not to appreciate the stark contrast from my old working life as much as I did in the past. My working life feels like it was so long ago, almost like it was someone else's life.
Every so often though, I do realize another benefit of retirement. On Saturday, I got a haircut that is so insanely short, I really want to minimize any excursions out in public until it has had a chance to grow out a bit. Like maybe a year from now. I was so happy this morning when I realized that in my previous life I would have had to get out of bed and face an entire office full of people as a bald woman. Instead, I just rolled over and hoped another hour of sleep would somehow accelerate the hair growth process.
(And lest you do not believe that it's truly that bad, I asked my husband to take a picture of said hair to put on my Facebook page, in order to give my friends some fair warning, and he said "You do NOT want to put a picture of the way you look right now out on the INTERNET!")
Ok Syd, now I've seen said haircut and I like it, but then I'm a woman who admires gutsy new cuts on women and men usually like to see their women with a little more hair on their heads. It must make them feel less masculine, like they are the ones that are supposed to have short hair or balding heads.....
I too have forgotten about the old days when I got up and drove to the office and although I may take it for granted, I also realize that I can't go back to an office like that again.
But I can create a new work life and that is ok. So, I say you've got many lives within this lifetime and you get to recreate yourself over and over, improve on what you don't like and keep what you do. Your at the next crossroads, have fun recreating your new life in this lifetime!
Posted by: Amy | April 28, 2009 at 10:31 PM
It is SO over, the working thing! Last night we went out for an early happy hour at Il Fornio. I was sitting there, sipping my beer, scarfing free happy hour appetizers and suddenly strange people started filling the bar, dressed in office clothes with their briefcases. And it really hit me...these people are working stiffs. You said it, we are taking this retired life for granted. However, I did have some sympathy for them. They did seem to be enjoying themselves.
Posted by: Larry | April 29, 2009 at 08:48 PM