Sort of planned it.....
by Jeff - Maine
I recently retired on December 14, 2018, a couple of years earlier than my target date. I decided a year ago to do it while I'm still relatively healthy. It seems too many people I know (including family) work so long that their bodies are broken down by the time they retire.
And like a lot of people, I was tired of the daily grind.
I knew there will be an adjustment period, but I am/was mentally ready to retire.
After 25 five years of shift work, and then 6 or 7 years of "regular" hours, I was looking forward to the chance to get 8 hours of sleep a night.
When people asked me what I planned to do when I retired, my first answer was "CATCH UP ON MY SLEEP".
What I wasn't expecting was to be sleeping 9 to 11 hours a night. The funny thing is, that last 3 hours of sleep seems to be the best I've had in years.
Knowing I don't have to get up most days just adds to the luxury of staying in bed, and the current cold winter days help justify it.
I found this forum because like you, I was beginning to wonder how long this phase is going to last.
Unfortunately, if I sleep past 7:00 I feel that half the day is wasted. But it's also nice not having to get to bed by 9:00 every night.
On the plus side, being retired and getting rested has helped me cope better with my wife's emotional health problems. It's still not easy, but it's much better than when I was working.
I'm with the group that feels frustrated for not getting to my "to do" list, both tasks, and recreation. I have re-evaluated my plans, and now I'm happy to get one or two small tasks or errands a day completed, at least until I get caught up on sleep, or spring comes.
To prevent the "honey-do" stress, I've suggested to my wife that she only put 4 things at a time on an actual list. If something is extremely important to her, I told her to list it 4 times, so that it's the only thing on the list, and I won't pick the "wrong" project to focus on.
My parents are almost 83 and 90 years old, so I've been able to use more of my free time to help them out. Fortunately, I have a lot of siblings to help also.
I feel like it's only been this last weekend (7 weeks retired) that my brain has actually started to function again.
Maybe that coincides with starting a yoga class? I did a beginner class some years back but drifted away from it.
I was thinking about starting again, and now I have the ability to make a commitment to it. I'm hoping that as I continue with it, it will also help me get past the lethargy stage of recovery from work.
Part of my getting / staying healthy ambitions for retirement.
I've thought about going out to some of the local 50+ social gatherings (game days, playing cards, etc.). I haven't done it yet because I seem to be busy with running errands, or I'm feeling guilty about dubbing around on my computer half the day.
Remember, it's YOUR retirement.
I don't believe there's a wrong way, just your way.
Don't try to change everything at once. Scale back your ambitions until you find your footing, and move on from there.