Retired and missing work

How’s retirement? Folks ask me. Well, retirement feels like a week of Saturdays with another six following that week. Retirement provides time to tackle my “bucket list.” Retirement says good-bye to the nine to five routine.

That’s somewhat true, but I did not stop working one day and begin retirement the next. No, I transitioned into retirement with a six month recovery after breaking my shin bone and wrist. It took three months of daily working my way through four to six hours of exercise before I spent all my accrued vacation time and sick leave. Still I went to my retirement party in a wheelchair and spent another three months building up my muscles and learning how to maintain my balance when walking.

Before I ever officially retired, I had already slept a lot, read a ton of books, watched mindless television shows and YouTube videos. Or, as Hubby observed, “I have never seen you watch so much TV” Because I traded work for exercise, I eased into retirement so smoothly that I can only describe retirement as “my days are too full to miss work.”

Still, I do miss some things about going to work.

I miss twiddling my thumbs on the steering wheel as I wait on the rush of school traffic to give me a break so I can turn onto the highway to go to work. I miss having to wear a sweater during a summer spent in a refrigerated office. I miss the pressure of a looming newspaper deadline as I wait for someone else to finish using the computer I need to do my work.

I am perfectly fine with missing all of that. I have enough to do: daily exercises for my leg, a weekly column, Bible lessons for three classes at church, sewing, cooking and family picture albums to prepare.

I don’t miss the expectation that I must sit upright in a chair at a desk to write. I finally can write laid back in a lounge chair or propped up on my elbows on the bed or while riding in the car as my chauffeur drives.

I don’t miss fighting the after lunch slump. Now, if I feel sleepy, I take a nap just like I did when the children were little. I have always embraced afternoon siestas.

I do miss reading a week’s worth of cartoons ahead of time. I miss doing interviews and taking intelligent phone calls. Now I answer robo-calls, scam calls and calls wanting me to donate to yet another organization.

I miss the opportunity to jerk awake, rush to dress and leave after my husband would ask, “Aren’t you going to work today?” Now he asks, “Do you have your column ready?”

I lounged on the couch reading a novel the last time he asked that.

Nope,” I said and turned the page. I had absolutely no urge to jump up, dash to the computer and begin typing. I did wake up 12 hours later with a full blown idea and began writing in my jammies in the middle of the night.

I don’t miss work clothes.

I can’t miss most of my co-workers. Most have retired or resigned. I barely recognize the office staff anymore.

And for sure, I don’t miss seeing the grandchildren, not anymore. Now that I don’t have to be at work, I can go see them in the middle of the week and stay for a while. Someone has to help make the cookies and cakes with the kids, and my name is Someone. Someone at home and available.