On the run up to my last day of work I was methodical if not downright obsessive. Meet with the financial planner. Check. Give notice at work. Check. Fill out paperwork. Check. Last day. Check. Now tonight I’m down to the only thing left: retirement for reals. My next act.
Technically speaking, Friday was the day I left my job, but I won’t feel I’ve retired until Monday when I finally have no place to be (and no one to feel guilty to). Tomorrow morning is essentially the first day of the rest of my life.
For years I’ve thought about this day. It’s a day when no one owns my time but me. I’ve visualized myself unplugging the alarm, sitting in front of the TV with Tex to watch reruns, and having nowhere to be besides where I am.
I want to roll with each day as it comes, not as scripted by commitments, the need to find a parking place downtown, or earn a paycheck. It will be the first time in a very long time when I haven’t been responsible for a lot of people (and a lot of work). I’ll be responsible only to me.
Am I looking forward to tomorrow? Yes! Will I miss working and all that entails? Naaah.
In addition to my other preparations, I’ve been methodical about planning my next act. Of all the sins I could commit in retirement, being bored or boring ranks right up there. So here’s my things-to-do-so-I-don’t-bore-myself list.
- Get a concealed carry permit
- Purchase a USA Rail Pass, get on the next train by myself and GO (without any plans)
- Sing in a band
- Draw a 125 mile radius around my house, see what’s inside of it and write about it
- Take deep sea diving lessons
- Move to a Spanish-speaking country
- Visit every National Park in Chile
- Idaho Hot Springs on a weekday, slice of pie at Trudy’s
- Visit family wherever they are
- Sit by Redfish Lake, Teton Lake, any lake (or river)
- Listen to waves crash, seagulls squawk at the coast
- Visit Boise’s Anne Frank Center, Atlanta, Idaho, Pillars of Rome (Oregon), and anything else that grabs my interest
- Walk, ride bike every day
- Take our Border Collie Tex on the 4-wheeler every day
- Ride my horse Chula with friends and the Professor, get out on Rinker Rock Creek Ranch horseback, horse camping
- Visit friends in Graeagle, Reno, Northern and Central California this summer, use my COVID-dormant passport again and see the rest of world next
- Bike Hiawatha Trail, take the world’s longest free ferry (or at least British Columbia’s) across Kootenay Lake
- Throw fabulous dinner parties, dine out, go wine tasting
- Tend the garden, pick grapes and can tomatoes, beets, peaches, apricots, cherries, and since I mentioned cherries, I WILL beat the birds to the ripe ones this year
- Be spontaneous (HA!)
And that’s just my first draft.
Will I miss my work family and friends? Yes, indubitably. Will I have time (or the inclination) to miss the state, the thugs, the stress, and the responsibility? Naaah. I’ll be surprised when they cross my mind.
From tomorrow onward, my primary concern will be accomplishing the things on my list (and waiting for the Professor to retire).
Of all of the bullets on my list, can you guess which will be the hardest? It’s the last one, for sure. But I probably didn’t have to tell you that, did I?
Tomorrow’s the first day of my next act. I’ll let you know how that goes.