Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Monday, February 4, 2013

One month in: A reflection on retirement

The most asked question/repeated comment in my life right now concerns the joys of retirement. A month has passed already. Wow. The ability to retire and take care of my health is such a blessing, you can't know. I know this was the right decision.

I've learned a lot in the first month. Ive also come up with a plan that I'm trying to stick to every day. And you know what happens when you make plans? God says, "HA!"

In this first month, I've had to deal with medical issues, medical bill mistakes, coordination of my retirement check, and other general amounts of paperwork I've also gotten my new home office space in order, and I've started to work on my blog again. I've worked on some PR projects (pro bono) and have also written a lot of letters of recommendation. And I've spent a lot of time streamlining my mail, unsubscribing from lists, etc. That is a lot of hard work, let me tell you!

my little corner of the world

I set three rules for myself in retirement. I got the idea for this from my Daddy, who has been retired for almost 30 years!

1. Get up every morning and do what needs to be done. For me, this is usually some kind of house chores to keep Casa Del Whack running. On Tuesday and Thursday it means conveying Jeffrey to work in the morning. Mostly it means keep busy doing stuff. I have a to-do list that is quite impressive :-) And it isn't all done yet.

2. Get some kind of exercise every day. For me this was supposed to include aquacize, but that has been delayed sadly by various colds, flus, and infections. Instead, though, I've been walking the dog every day, and generally keeping busy.

3. If I don't feel well, truly don't feel well, it is OK to rest. And I have. I no longer have to feel guilty about being sick.  I felt that for almost three years, and I don't now. If I can't make something, then I don't.

This, oddly, has been the most difficult part of retirement -- giving myself permission to do what I need to do to reclaim my health.  That means rest. And I still am largely exhausted most of the time. For instance, I spent 5 hours the other day riding back and forth to Locust Grove, and when I came home, I slept for three hours. I did very little to exert myself, but everything still tires me out.

I've also been cooking, freezing, canning, and preparing food.
Magnificent Mushroom Ragout on gluten-free Pasta

Most of my bizarre culinary exploits are chronicled on Facebook. Im still there a lot, and also on Twitter, but I've dumped LinkedIn. Simplicity.....

Right now, my biggest challenges are getting the paperwork together to see a new specialists at John"s Hopkins. There is a specialized vasculitis clinic there, and they have giant cell arteritis trials that I might be a a good candidiate for.

Here are some additional answers to questions I've been asked:

1. No, I don't miss teaching per se, but I do miss my students, colleagues and friends on campus. But they know how to find me, and I them. I really don't miss bikers running over me on the sidewalk, skateboarders on the sidewalk who try to hit me, and students who are just rude to people and the lovely GC Campus. Today is actually the first day I've had a twinge of missing teaching class -- I always always love the day after the Super Bowl for the advertising discussion. (And in this order: Dodge Ram, Taco Bell Old People, Clydesdales, Oreo, Pistachios). And GoDaddy, I HATE YOU.

2. I was really worried that my retirement check wouldn't be enough to live on. Turns out it's just fine. I'm good.

3.  Yes, I'm still crazy coupon/stockpile/markdown lady.  That makes no. 2 work even better.

I hope you have a great day, week and month.  I sure hope to!

Much love,

1 comment:

Jena said...

I'm so glad it's been rewarding. I've been thinking about you so much over the last month (year), and I know how difficult the decision was for you to make, but clearly, it was the winning choice.

I can't wait to see you! LOVE YOU!