I have the next two weeks off. In getting ready to retire I realized that I had accumulated a fair amount of unused vacation time and so I’ve booked most of that in over the summer months so that I can work pretty much straight through in September and October until R-Day (when I actually retire). I don’t actually remember the last time that I had two weeks off – no office to go to, no classes to teach, no children to shuttle from point A to point B – with no real plan for what I’m going to do in site. You might be thinking to yourself: “how wonderful” but truly I’m sitting here right now vibrating with anxiety. If it’s this hard to figure out what to do for a two-week stretch, what am I going to do when I retire and there are endless weeks stretching in front of me and so much blank space on my daytimer?
Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t that I can’t think of anything to do … I just don’t have a road-map, and there’s nothing beyond my deciding that’s driving me to do anything at all. There are so many things that I’ve been waiting so long to do that I am frozen into inactivity. Working on this blog is a high priority. My garden is in good shape; my closets are another story .. and one of my plans is to do a small space every day and see if I can reduce the clutter in my home by 50%. I have to prepare for a board meeting at a local Drop In Centre tomorrow night which is one of the ways I am trying to give back to my local community. I do need to update the syllabus for the Social Justice in Education course that I teach at a local university. There are hikes to take, aquafit classes to get to, bicycle rides waiting for the right moment. Just because I’m not working, it’s clear already that the “to do lists” won’t be disappearing.
It’s getting close to noon already and so far today I’ve mostly sat around worrying; worrying about how to use this day well, worrying about what will drive me to do anything at all, worrying about being too busy and worrying about not being busy enough.
Please tell me that there’s more to retirement than worrying about it!
- How do you decide, day to day, what you want to be doing?
- How do you plan your days without feeling like you’re back at a full-time job?