Retirement Milestone
Retirement

A Retirement Milestone

I can’t believe I’ve been retired for five years now. How does the time go by so fast?

I started writing this post about three weeks ago but I didn’t like how it turned out. It wasn’t interesting, even to me!! Just a year by year list of what happened. Meh. So, I’m rewriting and focusing more on my routines and hobbies. I hope you like it better.

What I haven’t done

A lot of people expect retirees to travel a lot. Tim was still working during most of those five years and he had limited vacation time. We haven’t traveled much. And then the pandemic wiped out the one trip we love each year. As things are starting to return to normal, we’re seriously thinking about what we’d like to do. We already have one trip booked to visit Tim’s mother and sister in Arizona for Thanksgiving. I also have a couple of girls’ trips planned for June and August.

My first two years were pretty low key due to my vertigo struggles. I caught up on my reading and have done a pretty decent job of whittling down my stash of books. But there are always more to buy!!

My daytime reading has decreased quite a bit, but I hope to do more this summer, once I can spend time on the deck. I love to read outside. Most of my reading is now at night, especially on those nights I can’t sleep. I wish I could figure out why some nights are like that, but I’ve kind of learned to accept it. Is it part of getting old?

Hobbies

It took me a while, but I finally jumped into the sewing I’d been dying to do for years. I made pillows, table runners, placemats, gifts for friends, project bags for my cross stitching. I went to a class about t-shirt quilting but I’ve yet to make one. This year I starting making doll clothes for our granddaughter. She’s finally at an age where she has an American Girl doll. I love my sewing but I tend to take long breaks from it. Once I close up my sewing cabinet, it takes a lot for me to spread everything out again. But I think I’m getting close to that point. We’ll see.

I also picked up cross stitching again. I never really stopped doing it, but I found it soothing to spend my evenings stitching early in my retirement. It was something I could do to relax and forget about the things I wasn’t able to do. I’ve taken part in a few challenges, which have been fun and motivational, increasing my output a lot. I’ve also gone back to my pattern inventory and pulled out some pretty old ones, including some kits. Like with books, however, there’s always something new to tempt me, so I haven’t stopped buying new patterns. Today’s designers are creating some great stuff!!

My knitting has been very hit and miss. I’ve done almost none over the past year. I did a lot more when my mom was in the hospital and getting chemotherapy. It’s something that’s easy to take along and pick up. The nurses always wanted to see what I was working on. My big year was 2019, when I made 13 pairs of slippers. I got to the point where I could whip out a pair in a couple of days!!

I plan to write about this in more detail at some point, but even before retirement, I enjoyed making greeting cards. I picked it up about the middle of these five years but the time I spend now has really grown. I love this outlet for creativity and hope everyone who gets one of my cards is happy to get one. I have to think they’re only getting better as I gain experience and learn about new products and techniques. That’s the thing about hobbies. It’s fun to really dig in and hone your skills.

Checky my Project Gallery page to see pictures of the things I do.

My routine

My daily routine has changed over the years. I currently start my day on my iPad, checking mail, Facebook, Instagram, my blog and other bloggers, updating my FitBit, and playing games. Those games have changed over the years. It’s easy for me to spend a couple of hours each morning these days, and I keep thinking I need to change that, but I enjoy that time. I try not to spend any money playing these games, but I have to admit I do from time to time. Now, I need to get outside and walk.

I used to end my afternoon the same way, but I don’t do that as much anymore. I’m spending more of that time in my studio. I watch very little TV during the day; in fact, most days I never turn it on. Tim being home during the day hasn’t changed anything drastically but it does mean there’s another person who can influence my daily schedule. But he’s been spending his time downstairs working on Lego stadiums and jigsaw puzzles.

I became best friends with Mickey and Brutus when we spent all our days together while Tim was working. We definitely had our set routines. I was heartbroken when we lost each of them. We always talked about the day we’d have no cats as a good thing, so we could spend winters in Florida and travel more, but it’s been tough. I still miss them every day.

I’ve walked our neighborhood and can tell you the distance of several paths you can take. It’s allowed me to see how much our neighborhood has changed these past five years. In the spring I enjoy the new green and pretty blooms and in the fall, I get to see all the trees change color. Summers can be muggy so I usually try to get out early in the day. And in the winter, I resort to the treadmill. Now that I’ve been walking outside, today’s rain forced me inside and I can tell you, walking outside is so much better!!

I started my blog three years ago. I’m still not sure how the idea of blogging came into my head, but one day, I just knew it was something I wanted to do. Writing was, and still is, a good way for me to express my feelings and focus on something other than my vertigo. I was posting about three times a week and loved it. It was a big part of my routine. As life has changed, I’m lucky to post three times a month these days. But I have no intention of giving it up.

My parents became a focus three years ago when my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. That summer and fall included doctor appointments, chemo treatments, major surgery, and more chemo for her. My sister was still working so I went to almost all of these.

I was very thankful I was retired, making it so much easier for me to do this. But it doesn’t mean it was easy. My mom was doing better, but after her fall a year ago, we had to become much more involved in their care. I won’t lie, it’s been tough for me. Even now, though there are no more hospital stays or middle of the night calls, my dad requires more attention. I try not to think of it as a burden, but some days I just want to escape it all.

Wrapping up

It’s been a very fast five years as I’ve gone from 60 – 65. All in all, while my retirement hasn’t been exactly what I’d expected, it’s been good. Now that Tim’s retired and we’re vaccinated, we’re able to spend more time visiting the grandkids. We’ve gone to Brady’s baseball games during the week the last five weeks. We spend 5+ hours on the road for about three hours with them. But that’s the beauty of retirement. And when I can knit.

I think one of my favorite things about being retired is the lack of a schedule. Or at least it’s one I can control. I love having the flexibilty every day of doing what I want. The only real pressure I have is what I put on myself. I think I’ve gotten better at letting the unimportant things go.

I know I’ve said this before, but someone asked me how my transition to retirement was after I quit working. My reply – what transition? It’s been absolutely the best time of my life. And there’s more to come.

17 Comments

  • Debs Carey

    I am (well) past what used to be retirement age in the UK, but they moved it for women of my age and I’ve still another 3 years to wait. That said, I started a new career very late in life, so I doubt I’d ever retire completely, as it’s something I’m very passionate about. My Mum doesn’t enjoy living alone since my father died, but she’s never had hobbies and refuses to start now. So, she watches TV and shops… although COVID did bring the latter to a halt for what must have felt like an age for her. But I can’t imagine ever getting bored when I do retire as there’s just so many things I love to do – and as reading is one of them, the time just slips by 🙂 Congratulations on your five year annirversary – here’s to many more!

    • Retired Introvert

      Thanks Debs. Your mom didn’t get into online shopping during COVID? Maybe she’s not comfortable with that. I know I spent more shopping that way!! I think everyone adjusts to retirement differently, but I’ve never had a boring day. There’s always more than enough to keep me busy. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      • Debs Carey

        When I moved in with my parents to help with my Dad’s care, I spent time teaching my Mum how to do online shopping. Unfortunately, when my brother & his wife took over from me (after I had medical issues), they took to doing it for her – so she forgot how to do it. Now she doesn’t want to learn new stuff. And she really does prefer the in person experience. I’m with you – I prefer online shopping, with the sole exception of shoes.

  • Donna Connolly

    Congratulations on your five years of retirement. I will be celebrating my sixth year of retirement this June.
    I LOVE your closing line. Retirement = the best years of life…with more to come! That truly says it all. 😀

    • Retired Introvert

      Thanks, Donna. Haven’t your six years gone by quickly? I don’t remember my last five years of work going by so fast!! Regardless of what happens, retirement is the best.

  • Marty

    Your ending says it all. In spite of some of the challenges you’ve had, I’m glad that you’re enjoying the freedom.

    I have to laugh at the mention of games. I don’t play any games, but I am seriously addicted to YouTube videos. I always have to many in my saved list, and after I read emails and catch up on news in the morning, it’s the first thing I get to. I must watch at least three or four during the afternoons too. I find myself having to close the browser so I can get back to my reading. Admitttedly, it’s an awfully nice problem to have. 🙂

    • Retired Introvert

      I watch a few videos myself but I shy away from the long ones. It takes too much time!! But then I’m the one who can sit and play games too long. We all have our thing!! And that’s why retirement is so great. It doesn’t really matter. Thanks Marty!!

  • Trudy Huisman

    Five years! Time flies. It’s been a little over 3 years for me. I have to admit retirement wasn’t easy for me at first. I thought I’d love it but quickly realized that my life had revolved around a job I loved.

    As you know Linda, life throws us curveballs. I always thought I’d spend my retirement traveling with my husband. That plan ended when my 31 year marriage ended about a year before I retired.

    At the time, my dad told me “you have no choice but to move on” and so I did. I re-discovered old hobbies, met new friends, spent more time with my grandchildren and began to appreciate how lucky I am to be able to enjoy retirement!

    • Retired Introvert

      I know retirement can be a struggle at first and I definitely understand how unexpected changes can turn your plans upside down. I was lucky, as I was planning for a single retirement and now I have Tim to share it with. I’m so glad you’ve found your retirement groove and can enjoy it. 🥰

  • Jackie Foote

    I will soon be celebrating my sixth year of retirement on May 31. I remember my first two weeks of retirement felt like I was just on vacation, but I quickly adapted to not having to get up super early every morning and love having a flexible schedule. It truly is the best time of life!

  • mary origer

    Linda, how is it possible that five years have come and gone! i haven’t got that many years under my belt as a retiree, but i love love love it. the ‘no schedule’ part is the best. You keep busier than most, very impressive work you do with everything. Enjoy!

  • Donna

    Congratulations! I agree with you 100%. This is the best time of life. Your grandchildren will love the doll clothes. My mother made all our doll clothes, and they were way better than store-bought. She even made a little Barbie raincoat out of an old shower curtain. My sister still has all of it!

    I hope your vertigo is better. The one I had isn’t the same as yours, but it’s weird how it acted up big time as soon as I retired. I went to a physical therapist who seemingly cured it. At least I hope so!!

    • Retired Introvert

      My vertigo has been very manageable the last three years for which I’m very thankful. I couldn’t have handled everything if I was still dealing with that.

  • KC

    You’ve weathered much in these last few years. I enjoy your posts and agree retirement is pretty great. Take care. 🙂

    • Retired Introvert

      It’s been tough but I can’t really complain too much. Just get a little overwhelmed at times. Thanks much!!

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