One of my favorite things about retirement is the end of the day. I used to put off bedtime as long as I reasonably could when I was working. Bedtime meant that my evening was over. Once I went to sleep, it seemed like no time had passed and then it was time to go back to work.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked my job as an environmental scientist. It just got in the way of my life and what I wanted to be doing at home. Now, at the end of the evening when I am tired, I just happily go to bed, knowing that when I wake up I can pick up where I left off. Or do something else of my choosing. I don’t have to put in 8+ hours at work before I can come home again. It’s like endless summer vacation!
I have talked to a few other retirees about this and they feel the same way. Time freedom is a grand thing!
There are many other wonderful aspects of retirement that I touched on in a previous post. You can read about them here. Retirement: Run by Dogs! If you would like to share in finding out more, don’t forget to like my blog and follow along.
There are many good things about retirement, if you couldn’t tell by my happy face! I knew one of the best things would be that I could spend more time with my dogs every day. That was a given.
Another thing that I knew I would appreciate, is not having to worry about planning my life around my work week. I had no idea just how great this would be though. I no longer deal with the dread of Sunday evening being the end of my weekend and making sure that I pack my lunch and my work bag for the next day. I don’t worry about wrapping up family get togethers early enough to go home and rest up and prepare for work the next day.
Even on week days I would be sure to wrap up my evening and have all in order to leave the house by 6:00 a.m. the next morning. And there is always the wondering if you need to stop for gas, or will I have to get up early enough to defrost the car or allow time for snowy roadways. Or, was there a need to make a stop at the grocery store on the way, so as not to make an extra trip back to town?
No more. When it’s time to go to bed, I just go! When I’m rested, I get up. (Often this is pre-empted by a dog announcing that it is time to get up, but still, it is usually way later than I got to sleep when working.) When I need to go to the store I go. Snowy roads? I get there when I get there.
My life is my own again. I haven’t felt this kind of freedom since summer vacation as a kid! Ok, ok, we all know my life is run by dogs, but at least I’m happy this way.
The preferred activity around our house lately has been watching the Australian Open. For those who don’t know, this is the first of the four major tennis tournaments of the year. The tournament spans two weeks and we watch as many of the matches as we can. It is down to the semi-finals now so we don’t want to miss anything.
So this is how I watch tennis. Claire the foster dog is in my lap. She is very snuggly and this way I know where she is at all times. This saves me from jumping up every few minutes to see where she is and what she is chewing on. So far: the earbuds to my iPhone, underwear, slippers, numerous paper napkins, and a pencil. Usually I get to her before much damage is done. And really it is my fault. Claire tries to be good. Given her past experience before she came to our house, she just doesn’t understand why some things are toys and some things are not. And she looks so heartbroken when I scold her for chewing inappropriate things. It’s as if she is saying, “awww, I got it wrong again.” She is learning now if I tell her no-no that she should put the item down and that will be the end of it. I am at fault for letting her have opportunities to mess up. We will get there.
Cassius lays beside me and puts his head on Claire. He wants to emphasize to us all that Claire may be on my lap, but I am his mommy!
And Baxter is on the couch because we are and, well, the couch is soft.
A better way to watch television is not to be found. Retirement rocks!
Not only am I enjoying retirement, so are the dogs. Zekie still has separation anxiety, but it doesn’t rear its ugly head as often because I rarely leave home. This makes us all happy.
I am still in that adjusting and recovering from years of work phase. It takes me until 10:00 am each morning to finish drinking coffee. An acquaintance who retired a few years ago and understands, asked me “oh, you mean 10:00 pm?” So I guess I am doing ok.
In the last photo, you can see not just Zekie is enjoying this new life. Claire the foster dog and Cassius the greyhound are also on the couch with me passing the morning. The others were hanging out nearby.
Retirement is a new journey and I am ready for the ride.
Zekie’s life just got immeasurably better. I am retired officially as of today. Zekie suffers from severe separation anxiety that we have never been successful in treating. We tried training, behavioral therapy, holistic medicine, prescription drugs. None of them have made a difference. We have only been able to contain him, and that has not been without extreme challenges.
Now Zekie won’t have to deal with me leaving every morning and being gone all day. At least not unless I get a job sometime down the road. Any time that I go away should only be for relatively brief periods of time. I can also be here to work on more extensive training with him and see if I can get control of some of his other behaviors.
He is an extremely smart dog. This has not always been to his or our benefit. Yesterday I went out to the pasture to bring the dogs back inside. Zeke grabbed the frisbee and was taking it to the house. I asked him, what are you doing? He stopped and looked at me. I told him, leave that outside. He put the frisbee down. I told him, go put that back in the pasture. And so he did. He picked the frisbee up, ran out and put the frisbee down inside the pasture fence, then followed me back to the house.
If a dog is that smart, there must be some way that I can communicate to him that we will always come back, that he is not being abandoned. It is just up to me to be smart enough to figure it out. But while we are working on obedience training and emotional health for Zekie, I get the pleasure and joy of hanging out with him and the other animals everyday.