It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right


My first full week as a semi-retired person has passed, and I’ve been doing a bit of informal analysis. How am I holding up with this new lifestyle?

There are ups and downs. I wrote in the last post about the depression I felt the first couple of days. Giving notice to my contemptible former employer felt really good, but then he didn’t even let me finish out the two weeks’ notice, choosing instead to make it effective immediately. He probably feels like he was in control and fired me, but my resignation is on record.

But that part passed (pretty quickly, I think, considering how much of my life had been spent there!) and aside from this missive and from relating to friends and family what happened, I’ve scarcely given the bonehead boss a further thought.

Linda and I spent a nice Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with her daughter, then had Christmas dinner with her parents and sister at the assisted living facility. Presents were exchanged, and a very nice time was had by all.

This past week was the real test, though. How would I manage to get through the week without the structure of working an outside job that I had been doing for so many decades?

In a word: spectacularly!

It actually started on Sunday afternoon, when I usually feel the “next-day dread” settle in on me. I noticed the difference this week. That dread was completely absent, as it also was on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. No longer do I have to feel the dismay and aversion for something that used to take up roughly a third of my waking hours.

I’m able to spend more time with Linda over (and after) breakfast, rather than having to rush back upstairs to continue my morning of work. I’ve had more time to write, whether my own works or freelance.

Suitable freelance jobs are pretty few and far between so far, but I’m looking at other ways of bringing in a little extra money, since we don’t want to use up our retirement money if we don’t have to. It helps that, before I gave notice, I paid off my credit card. I had been carrying a balance on that thing for years, dating back, mainly, to when Linda and I got married. Linda, primarily, planned the wedding and I planned the honeymoon. So the flights, rental car, lodging, and even an evening of Hamilton at the Boston Opera House (not cheap!), went on that card.

I still have one credit card, one that racks up travel points with all my purchases, and I use that for gas, groceries, etc., then pay off the balance every month. So aside from those monthly expenses, I’m debt-free, which is something we needed to accomplish before we make our big move.

My idyllic week was interrupted this past Wednesday. On Tuesday, I went to get my COVID booster, and I was in pretty bad shape on Wednesday. With the body aches and lethargy, I felt as if I had been hit by a bus! But it was nice to be able to spend time in bed when I felt I needed to, rather than feeling pressured to power through another day of the grind.

Thursday, I was feeling much better and I took the dogs for a walk in the morning. Then, I was back to writing, reading, whatever I felt like at the time.

I realize that this may sound overly glowing. It’s not to say that my life is just raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. I still have all the same responsibilities around the house that I had before, but I have so much more time to do them. I no longer have to work for an unappreciative taskmaster, then try to fit the other responsibilities into my time off.

So, the result of my analysis: it’s been good. I highly recommend it. If you can manage it, do it. Life’s too short to spend so much of it doing something you don’t like. Believe me, I know how trapped you can feel. But start making changes, even little ones. They add up!

In time, maybe you can pay off that credit card and cut it up, like I did. Reduce your debt and maybe you can get by with a little less income. Small changes compounded over time can add up to a much happier life.

Overall, it’s been a welcome change!