It’s been hard for me to write about retirement these last couple of weeks. Mostly because I haven’t felt very retired these last couple of weeks. I recently started my supposed-to-be-part-time consulting gig, which hasn’t been very part time yet. I’ve had a couple of very stress-filled days during those weeks, a far cry from the stress-less stretch of time I’ve enjoyed over the last 2 ½ years of retirement.
Having said that, I’m having a blast.
I knew that this gig would require extra time at the front end, so that’s no surprise. I’m definitely in the honeymoon phase, so part of the reason it’s taking so much time, is that I want to spend so much time doing it. The other thing is, I’m doing most of the work from home. When you work from home, it’s hard to make yourself stop working. If I think of something that needs to be done, I do it. It’s hard to leave your work at the office when your office is right next to the family room.
I’m finding this whole working-while-retired thing fascinating though. It’s not something I ever thought I would want to do. I’ve read a lot about how the vast majority of baby boomers want to do at least a little work in retirement, not because they’ll have to, but because they’ll want to. A 2005 Merrill Lynch survey found that only 17% of boomers hoped to never work again in retirement. Up until now, I thought that other 83% were nuts.
Up until now.
I’m under no illusion that what I’m doing is helping society in the grander scheme, but I do feel like I’m helping two really nice people run a very successful business. It’s also a novelty to work when you’re not concerned about building your career. I can be myself, just relax and enjoy the ride. (Well except for those days when I’m stressed and enjoying the ride.)
I have to admit I’ve taken retirement for granted over the last several months. I’ve grown accustomed to the freedom, and lost a bit of that sense of awe that I’m goofing off while others are slaving away. Well, there’s nothing like a little slaving away to make you appreciate when you’re not. I’ve spent the last few days reading magazines in my back yard, enjoying social activities with friends, and relishing the down time. Nothing like a little work to make you appreciate retirement.
This is a post from Retirement: A Full-Time Job.