When I was still working, I always dreaded that first workday after returning from vacation. Mondays were bad enough, but after a week or two off, making it through that first morning back was torture. Adjusting from life in the hammock to life in the office chair was always a bit tough for me.
You would think that in retirement, after “vacation” (which I guess means being retired in town you don’t really live in, instead of being retired at home), there would be no transition back to “real life.” These days, the transition is more about getting my social calendar, exercise routine, and writing schedule back in order. Not quite as bad as the old days, but still it requires a shift.
While I unpack my suitcases, do a few loads of laundry, and attack a month’s worth of weeds and overgrowth in my garden, I’ll share some reading that made an impression on me over the month that I was off exploring the nooks and crannies of New York City and the charming villages of southern Vermont.
-As most of you know, I appreciate the freedom of retirement more than certain comforts provided by a steady paycheck as Jacob talks about in his post, “The Voluntarily Dispossessed.”
-While it would be hard to accuse me of having been addicted to my job, as a recovering CPA, I enjoyed Steve’s “Job Junkie,” and appreciate having escaped that “slow trickle of stress.”
-I’m happy to have recently discovered Ryan’s blog, Lifestyle Shock. We seem to share much the same views on time versus money. I enjoyed his comments on whether a job is really the best measure of a person’s potential, in his post, “Early Retirement – Is Fear Standing in Your Way?”
-Although I can’t really claim to live a very frugal lifestyle, I identified with this AARP article (thanks to Analise for that link). The quote from mountain biker Jacquie Phelan says it all, “The relentless pressure to buy more crap makes things like sleep, free time, and relationships the real luxuries these days”.
-But the post that I've been thinking about the most is over at another new-to-me blog, The Rat Race Trap, “Would you Rather Be Right or Be At Peace?” As is usually the case when I’m vacationing, I get my news only from print journalism, not the talking heads on cable. I learn what’s important without all that opinionating, and I feel more at peace. If I can now just take it to the next step, not debating politics, I think that would add few more happy years to my life. As Stephen contemplates “I’m fairly sure that when you are lying on your deathbed, having alienated people around you, you are not going to be grateful over all the arguments you won with your superior logic or the time you spent ‘winning’. It’s something to think about.” And I have.