For the few months of retirement I seemed to be consumed with my "schedule." After all, my entire life was a schedule: meetings at work, appointments to be made after work days or weekends, weekly grocery store trips, etc. So here I was one beautiful summer morning without one. Without a schedule.
It almost made me physically uncomfortable. What should I be doing? When all else fails, one can always go to the grocery store. You always need something at the grocery store! Yes, this would give me a purpose that day. I headed out.
While there, I ran into a neighbor from a few streets away. Conversation! Yes, this was a good idea. Well, this conversation consisted of this neighbor telling me all the bad things about retirement and how he wished he had never retired. Nothing to do, boring days, etc.
Needless to say, this was NOT what I needed that day. Again, I felt almost sick, and I thought that maybe I had done the wrong thing. Maybe retirement was not in my best interest at this point.
I bought my few food items and left the store. I was not feeling so well. Panic.
The walk home.... I found myself walking pretty fast. After all, there were things that had to get done within the schedule. Right?
Wrong. That wasn't right. I could, was it possible, take...my...time. During those couple of miles back to my house it dawned on me that I had been given a great gift. The gift of time. I was in control of all those open time slots before me. That morning that idea had scared me. No longer I thought.
It has been something that I have had to work on almost daily. It took me, dare I say it, a lot of time to understand that it was OK to not have anything planned on any given day.
To be truthful, those unplanned days have been some of my best post-work days thus far. How often had I been able to just spend the day taking me to a place I hadn't had the time to be before- like, on a whim, cleaning out the front closet for half a day, deciding this was the day to actually walk those 2 miles to the park with my dog at a leisurely pace, or even just getting on the commuter train to the city to just explore with no agenda. (I'm not kidding about the closet. I keep opening it and smiling.)
I gave myself permission to enjoy each of the non-scheduled days ahead of me. I'm still learning.
So far, so good.
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