Sunday, January 1, 2012

Top Ten Joys of Retirement

At the end of 2011, we see many top ten lists.  They are a way to look back over the last year and reminisce.  Now that I have been retired for six months (6 months!) , I thought that I would do my own top ten: the Top Ten Joys of Retirement.  Here we go:

Not Going to Work: This may be the most obvious, but it is worth mentioning!  While I miss the people I worked with, I do not miss getting up every day to go to work.  I don't miss the stress, the lack of sleep, the politics, and the (pardon me) the bullshit!  I feel like I did great work, but it was time for someone else to move it forward.  I know that I made the right decision at the right time!

Sleep: I was always so sleep deprived when I was working.  I'm such a night owl and would stay up until midnight whether I worked or not.  My weekends were spent trying to recover from exhaustion.  Now I often stay up until 1:00 or 2:00 AM.  I usually get up around 9:00 AM but sleep later if I really want to do so.  My alarm goes off at 8:00 AM.  I listen to the radio and ease into the day.  I am so much more rested.  It is so-o-o wonderful!

Cooking: I am cooking again!  I am also enjoying doing it.  I have rediscovered some of my mother's recipes, and I have discovered new ones.  My not-so-secret addiction is a new TV show: The Chew!  They inspire me to try new things and to explore the joys of cooking again.  Now I have to figure out how to cook and not eat everything I have cooked.  Moderation is going to be the key for me this year.

Reading: I've read over 40 books on my Kindle and more hard copies! This is heaven for me.  I love to read, and Kindle has made it so much easier for me to access my favorite authors anytime I want a new book.  Every day I check to see what the Kindle Daily Deal is although I rarely buy them.  I've also read magazines and newspapers.  I carry my Kindle in my large purse and pull it out to read anytime I have an extra minute.  Many Thursday afternoons I have sat at Starbucks reading while drinking my latte!

Writing: I've thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog during the year.  It was nice to chronical what I was going through as I retired and as I've tried to adjust to my new world of retirement.  My blog has evolved over time and has become more about my mission to find joy in my life every day and less about retirement.  I have also been writing memories from my childhood so that I can share these with my children.  There are memories that I have that no one else has now that my parents are gone.  It has been personally rewarding.  I can't wait to get back to it after the holidays!

Not Getting Dressed Up: I LOVE getting up, throwing on my robe and slippers, making my coffee, and reading the newspaper in the morning.  I don't have to rush to get dressed.  Better yet-I don't have to wear make up every day!  If I want to be in my jammies all day, I can.  I also bought new clothes when I retired so I can hang out in my jeans and sweats.  I am comfy!

Owning My Schedule/Non-Schedule: It is great to be in control of my time.  Some days I accomplish a lot-errands, chores, etc.  At other times, I just watch the birds at my bird feeders or the squirrels chasing each other in our yard.  Some times I do marathon TV watching.  I am also having fun exploring my family history!  It's great not having meetings to go to or deadlines to meet.

Taking Care of Abbey: I have had the pleasure of taking care of my granddaughter, Abbey, two afternoons a week when her mom went to classes.  Her dad picks her up on his way home. It has been great getting to see her change each week as she grows and learns.  I'm happy that she feels comfortable with Grandma.  I'm honored that my daughter-in-law trusts me with her precious daughter.  I am thrilled to have time with my son every week.  I am looking forward to more!

Time With Family and Friends: I am so grateful that I now have time with my family and friends.  Since I'm not so tired all of the time, I spend time with friends.  I stay up late and hang out with Dane, my son who's in college.  I am home when my husband gets home.  We actually have time to do things together.  These lovely people are most important in my life.  It is a blessing to finally share my time with them.  I can do things with my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter.  We are all looking forward to the arrival of our new family member in June when Abbey becomes a big sister, and I can't wait to spend time with him/her.

Being in the Moment: The best thing about being retired is being in the moment.  I had forgotten how wonderful it is to just BE!  I have learned to appreciate the changing seasons, the people around me, nature, and whatever I am experiencing.  I take the time to have philosophical conversations.  I savor a glass of wine or a leisurely dinner.  As a result, I find joy everywhere I look.

Thanks for sharing 2011 with me!  Happy New Year to you!  I look forward to writing more blogs during 2012 and hope that you will enjoy them.  If you enjoy reading my ramblings, share them with others or send me a comment.  Whatever you do, be sure to look around and discover joy in your life!

Have you found your joy today?