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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

One Year of Retirement

One Year of Retirement

All I can say is, this is the best thing I have ever done for myself.  I just love not working.  Sure, I still work with the horses, work in the garden, work in the house and work taking care of my ever so demanding cat, Thunder, but this is work that I want to do.  I didn’t want to work for anybody else, anymore, unless they have 4 legs.

I haven’t done anything spectacular with my time, and that is just what I expected in retirement.  It is about the day to day living, not the big events.  I take long walks with my dog--that’s not exciting--but when I find a new dragonfly or flower, it is exciting for me.  

Of course, I ride nearly every day.  I have to make a conscious effort to give Cole a day off.  Most days, the rides aren’t long, but they are always fun.  I contemplate getting a second horse, but that’s as far as it gets.  I do help my sister take care of her retiree, Ranger, so it is almost like having a second horse when she isn’t there.  I just take him on walks.  He is a good walking companion--something I missed when Cruiser died.  I mostly walked him the last year of his life, too.  

I joke about it, but there is a lot of truth when I say that I retired so I could take better care of Thunder.  We formed a mutual admiration society.  My day isn’t complete if I don’t get to spend a lot of time with him.  I don’t know how I managed on those busy work days when I went right to the barn after dinner and right to bed after the barn.  He wants me with him all the time.  I am so glad to say that he never seems to get tired of me being around.

I get along much better with my dog, Maggie, now that I can spend more time with her, too.  Sounds odd, but she just needed more attention and longer walks.  Now, I hardly ever call her Dumb Dog, anymore.  She is a fun little dog to be around.

I can finally get enough time in the garden without thinking I should be doing something else at the time.  I try to time it during Thunder’s naps.  My veggies are doing well, so far.  If I get any bumper crops of anything, I have all kinds of new things I can try with them.  Right now, it looks like I will have more peppers than I have had in years!

Of course, I spend lots of time with Kevin, too.  I think he is as happy as I am that I retired.  He rides with Ellen and I quite often.  We hike all the time.  Now and then, we go on excursions--but not as often as he’d like.  I have a hard time taking time away from Thunder...We watch a lot of DVDs, too.  Both of us get them from the library, of course.

Retirement has brought me to a very contented state of mind.  I seldom feel like I am in a hurry--something I always felt when I was working.  I was very depressed after my dad died, and that lasted so long.  I truly didn’t shake it off until I did retire.  Sometimes I still feel a little down about “whatever” but I don’t feel the black cloud enveloping me, anymore.

Oddly, I don’t worry about money half as much as I used to, even though I get no paycheck or pension.  If my investments go south, I will just have to deal with it.  After weathering the great recession, I feel like I can get through anything besides a huge disaster.  I can’t predict the future, so I no longer worry about it.  

So retirement has meant more time and less stress.  I recommend anyone who can afford to retire early--should.  Life should be about enjoying it while we can.

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