Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Missing Work?

Since the day is mostly filled with work related activities, what happens when you no longer work?

They call it retirement.

The time when you do not have to get up early, dress in formal attire, arrive at a location on a specific hour, mingle and interact with people you would not ordinarily associate with.

The alarm goes off and you can turn over and go back to sleep.

Now, it takes a while to get over the daily rut and stress in trying to accomplish goals set by an unknown management dictating visions of former accomplishments.

First the realization that one can do whatever without scrutiny is revealing. That immediately reduced the stress level. (Note: if there is someone else at home that is unaware of this occurrence, be empathetic.)

Second, as you settle into this new life, put your “work” clothes into a space where they won’t be seen.

For that matter, put all your “work” associated materials into a box and place them away. Later you can go through them and realize you do not need them anymore. If you want to save this junk it is up to you, but your kids won’t want them.

Third is to change your routine. Go out for a walk during that 10 o’clock meeting time. Have lunch at 2 o’clock instead of noon. Take a nap or work out in the garden in the afternoon instead of trying to wrap up the endless problems of the day.

It takes a while to realize what “not” working means, but it will sink in.

Dreams fascinated me. I kept having dreams of problems and people at work as if I was still there. Slowly, they started to fade away to problems in new situations with faces I did not recognize. Now I am awed by the stories that my brain creates for me in the darkness with people and situations I was unaware of.

Also, if you allow yourself, you can relax. There will still be the interactions between family and friends and the constant daily occurrences that are unpredictable, but there is time for YOU.

Like when you were a child, the day is yours to explore and the adventure can behold wonders not covered up by the daily grind but available for the viewing as it always was.

This time, you get to learn who you really are. Without the restrictions of the work-a-day world your inner self comes out.

If you want to volunteer, do so. If you want to enjoy your family, do so. If you want to find a new relationship with your maker, do so. If you want to be a beach bum, do so.

It is up to you. These are the “golden years”, but the other side of the coin is the purpose for being on the planet, the reason for existence, is evident.

So the goal of growing up, being educated, finding substantial employment, and making a life for yourself, suddenly comes to an end; what will you do?

I thought about some opportunities that became available to me, but I compared them to the economy and the market and the daily stress and decided not to follow that path. I was lucky enough to be able to make that decision.

Looking back I learned a lot and met some wonderful people and had some good times, but missing work?

After two years, I get calls from old associates telling me tales from the office, yet I sincerely don’t care.

It is not a bad feeling. I know someone has taken my chair. Someone else is doing my duties. Someone will fill the void.

But I have accomplished more than I had anticipated, so I can release the balloon and relax.

1 comment:

TripleG said...

Couldn't agree more.
Reminds me of that last iconic scene in the old movie, "Charlie Bubbles," where he parks his luxury car on a country lane, walks to the red balloon anchored by a fence, gets into the basket and just floats away.
Also: last week saw, fleetingly, a poem, two lines of which are so true:
"Find what you are.
The gods wait to delight you."
There are four seasons to the year, and to our lives.