Things you won’t accomplish in retirement:
- Sending out Christmas cards,
- Losing five pounds,
- Cleaning out your closets,
- Reading a ton of books,
- Keeping your house and garden in pristine condition,
- Watching less TV,
- Mastering a new instrument, language, or other field of study,
- Becoming Martha Stewart, or
- Saving The World.
That is, you won't accomplish them if you weren’t able to accomplish them while you were still working.
Will you become totally lazy in retirement? That’s a question my friend posed to me on our walk last week. It seems with her week off from work over Christmas break, she was unable to accomplish any of the “To Do” items she had set out for herself. She wondered if this portends laziness in her future when she gets around to retirement.
I’m afraid I didn’t have good news for her.
The only tasks I faithfully accomplish on a fairly regular basis are:
- My weekly walking date with a friend, and
- My weekly lunch date with another friend.
Those are exactly the feats of accomplishment I mastered while I was still working. All that other stuff, books, Christmas cards, closets and yard work tend to happen about as often as they did before I retired. It’s not that they don’t happen at all in retirement, it's just that they don’t happen any more frequently. And that’s mostly because in retirement, there’s always tomorrow.
What your job kept you from accomplishing today is now is not happening because there’s always tomorrow. Not to mention that there are much more fun things to do than cleaning your closets. And that fact, combined with the fact that there’s always tomorrow, means you might not get to that today.
I haven’t sent Christmas cards out for the last 15 or so years. I read about the same number of books each year as I did before I retired. And my closet, house, and yard are in about the same state as before I retired.
But I do travel more, write more, and generally enjoy myself more. When faced with the choice of doing this or that, I generally choose the one that either has to be done immediately, or the thing that is more fun. Seldom do I choose the thing that isn’t very fun and can be done tomorrow instead.
I used to think that was called lazy, now I just think it's called smart.
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