This year seems to have gone by so fast that I am wondering if retirement is busier than working. Perhaps it is that retirement is so much more enjoyable that the time just passes more quickly! I certainly don't recall the time flying by so quickly.
However, looking back on the year, I guess that we have done quite a lot. It may just be an exceptional year but I don't recall last year being any less busy. Do you fellow retirees find that life in retirement seems busier than working?
Just looking through our calendar … we seem to rarely have a month that is quiet … looks like June was the only one! I know that we did our 'world trip' earlier this year but I am not including that in my thinking. We seem to have at least 3 major celebrations each year … e.g. this year - our 40th wedding anniversary, our eldest son's wedding, brother-in-law's 50th birthday. Looking at the number of times that we have been to London or other major cities for shows or dinner etc., I wonder if it is just us filling in the time that makes life seem so busy?
Well, at the risk of losing our last eight millennial participants, I'll jump in. A couple of decades ago I read a book, Flow (by a guy whose name I still can't pronounce after twenty years)
http://psychology.about.com/od/PositivePsychology/a/flow.htm and it really describes the retirement issue for me - the passion of immersing yourself in an activity for its own sake, very similar to athletes being in the zone.
Yes, I experienced flow while negotiating deals or watching a plan come together or seeing a company or individuals grow into success stories, but after awhile, it became a bit redundant. The beauty of retirement (with the exception of wild cards dealt by health or family issues) for me is the ability to pick and choose my own activities and they vary from year to year. I know I have worked just as hard in some of my volunteer projects as I did for an ROI back in "the real world", yet it's nowhere near as draining. My planning for my first ever trip to London (with Insiders as my handbook) was as well mapped out as any start up business plan and was done out of pure joy and interest, so it was far less demanding and much more fun.
It's funny, I literally (used in the old fashioned way) had just finished watching a youtube performance of Rent's 525,600 minutes and was thinking about the lyrics, when you posted, so I was 'in the zone' regarding this topic. And yes indeed, it does go by fast, which is the motivator like profchiara's recent post and everyone's replies about life being simple and making the most out of it, even the headaches ( thus I appreciate the fun Marriott Rewards provides me, it just keeps on giving ).
Sorry to bother you this Sunday morning but I need some clarification.
I searched to through my dictionary and couldn't find the word "RETIREMENT". Consequently I have no idea and/or a conception of the meaning of this work.
I'm only in my sixties with a daughter in college - is that why the word is missing?
Dear oh dear, misterchk, I think that you must be suffering from AAADD. You clearly should have retired but haven't quite realised it yet … or could it be 'daughter in college = expensive"
Wonderful post! I do really look forward to retirement when I can devote most of my time to writing rather than dealing on a very regular basis with whiny students who complain that they didn't get an A without ever reading my comments and corrections on their papers.
Yet every time I find myself thinking "I wish it were the end of the semester," or "I can't wait to retire," I remind myself that I am wishing time away. I think in the year and a half since I turned sixty I have been more aware of that.
Great point, Prof!
Once I turned 60 (6/14/2012), I found myself looking toward the day I would retire. I started to "count the days" as it were, even though I had not seriously put an end date on my working life. I too, found myself wishing my life away, and also distracted somewhat from my work. The idea of sprinting to retirement has some initial appeal until you realize you are also sprinting toward your eventual demise, So, I have chosen to refocus on my career, attempt to find ways to squeeze in a few vacations along the way, and let my mind and body tell me when retirement makes sense. Too many of my family and friends feel the need to justify retirement, as if they have a bit of regret they did so when they did. This recent (6 weeks ago) health issue I experienced was the perfect time for me to get a glimpse of what retirement might look like, and instead of embracing the experience, my wife and I are both looking forward to my return to work a week from tomorrow…..
By good planning, good luck, careers worked hard at & thoroughly enjoyed and the grace of God, my husband & I were able to "retire" a little early recently. Any concerns we shared about feeling fulfilled, staying active and wanting to learn & see new things were completely unfounded. Life is a delightful whirlwind of our own making, not dictated by anything else other than the wild cards erc mentioned that we all see time to time.
My biggest challenge has been to live in the moment. Sounds simple, but when for so many career years your "moments" impacted & influenced so many others "moments" it takes a new discipline for me to just let go & live consciously in my life.
So chrisf, I don't think it is filling the time that makes life feel busy, I think living our lives so fully just makes life feel richer! And fondly to the last remaining eight millennial Insiders, we love hearing from you!
Happy Travels & Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!
Hi 77paris … I am absolutely on message with you there. We look for any opportunity to 'do something different' or 'celebrate with friends' and have been lucky in these areas. My wife has put up with me for 40 years, so we decided to 'do something different' = a rooftop tour of Hampton Court Palace and 'celebrate with friends' = family/friends lunch at Nutters' restaurant. Such moments go straight into our memory file … 'no regrets' for not having 'lived the moment' … keep the Faith!
Two oldies on the roof at Hampton Court Palace
Family lunch at Nutters' to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary
The chef even customised our desserts
Oh, I love Hampton Court so much! That looks beautiful. I'm teaching a course on the Tudors second semester.
Here are some photos of London's East End from the Whitechapel 1888 Society/Jack the Ripper 125th commemoration conference, which I suppose could fit into the "Permanent Retirement" category. Sorry, couldn't help myself. I am glad I took photos of the East End for my History of Fear book over the past few years, because it has changed so, so much since then, and most of the historic sites are in danger.
Below is the Ten Bells Pub, where the victims often drank, and Christchurch.Inside the Ten Bells, I treated myself to some lager.This is Mitre Square, the only murder to occur in the "City of London." The following photo is of Church Passage where Jack the Ripper probably escaped.This is the White Hart Pub on Whitechapel High Street, alongside Gunthorpe Street, which used to be George's Yard, site of the first probable murder.For the banquet at the Mumbai Square Restaurant, we were asked to come in period costume. I did my best to look tawdry .And finally, here is Greg, a tour guide for Rippervision, who gave us all a specialized tour the first day.
Hi prof … tawdry? … I would go for chic!
The Ten Bells is a very interesting pub and has been through a few refits. I think that it now has a Grade 2 listing, so that should help preserve it. It has recently been getting a fairly good reputation for food … did you dine upstairs? What did you think of the food? My youngest son lives in Hackney, which is not far away. The other pub in the area with a bit of history is the Carpenters' Arms … the Kray Twins' local. ( I guess a bit too recent history for you.)
We joined the Historic Royal Palaces Society a couple of years ago, which gives us access to the main palaces in London, including the Tower. They organise quite a few events, they recently had a talk about the Tudors at Hampton Court by Leanda de Lisle … unfortunately, we couldn't make that one but others have been fascinating.
The Ten Bells does indeed have a checkered history. Besides what it was in the 1880s, I know it was a strip joint in the ?1980s, then called itself Jack the Ripper Pub in the 1990s? and then tried to disavow allegiance to anything Jack the Ripper in the early 21st century when it changed the name back. (Ripperologists who have written books have told me they didn't dare take their tour groups, even small ones, in.) I sat in the pub (dinner elsewhere) because I wanted to take in the atmosphere of the Autumn of Terror as much as possible. Cell phones, football matches on TV etc notwithstanding, I need to 'feel' history as I did with my Joan of Arc book. I had read about the restaurant upstairs but having looked at the menu, decided against (heavy on organ meats, not my favorite).
At the Sunday sessions there was a tour of Mary Jane Kelly's grave in Shoreditch (the last absolutely certain victim, who drank at the Ten Bells before returning to Miller's Court, now a carpark).
Even if you're not into such lurid events, I highly recommend one former Ripper site called Happy Days for the best fish [haddock] and chips I have ever had. It was the site formerly where one of the victims' aprons was found. Both take out and sit in, fabulous food at a cheap price. The first pic is of the Princess Alice Pub, where one of the possible but unlikely suspects drank. I can attest to the fact that a whole lot of people still drink a lot there today!
Happy Days doesn't look like much from the outside, but the food is worth it. And you're not far from Spitalfields' Market where I got that lovely red neck scarf I wore at the banquet. I also bought a wonderful heavy black wool cape for a mere 50 British pounds.
PS -- I LOVE the Tower of London! It is my absolute favorite place in London and I have been many times. As a member of the Richard III Society (whose remains were discovered last year in a northern English carpark), I favor the Bloody Tower. How could it be otherwise?
Smiley face again...
Wow, what a great set of responses! Certainly food for thought. I must admit to being one of those who retired a little early (at 59 … a few years ago). I think that it is great that some of you still enjoy your careers and have no desire to retire immediately. However, I was in sales when I decided to retire and was finding flying between USA / Europe and the Far East a bit exhausting. I know that we do a lot of travelling now, but travelling for pleasure far outweighs the trauma of travelling for work.
erc … thanks for the suggestion of Flow … I am an avid book reader and will check that out. Your point re planning is good … I tend to spend a huge amount of time planning our trips and have found MRI a great source for advice.
77paris … great posting … so many truisms in what you say.
Congrats to you both chrisf, that is amazing.
To answer your question short and sweet, yes I am busier now being retired....still don't know how I ever had time to go to work.
"Wishing time away," "Sprinting to your eventual demise," "A delightful whirlwind of our own making," "Living in the moment." Stellar Stuff.
Congratulations, Chris and Ann Marie, and great topic.
(sorry about the ad at the beginning.)
I noticed on your status that you were looking for things to do around Charleston. We've been in the area a few times but been based on Hilton Head Island. If you've not been to HHI, it is well worth a trip. In Charleston, we've been to Fort Sumter (pretty impressive and huge historical importance) and quite a few houses in the centre of town - best to check the tourist website for opening times …
One of our other favourites from HHI is Savannah … lovely historic town but probably about 2 hours from Charleston.