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.