Retirement feels weird so far. As much as I've looked forward to it, now that it's here I feel like I'm cheating. Playing hooky. Shirking responsibilities. There's just something about the concept of never going to work again that's mind-boggling.
Maybe this is just a transitional phase, a rare period of time in which the final paycheck overlaps the newfound freedom. Right now I'm not experiencing any consequences of walking away from a perfectly good job. Maybe in a couple of weeks, when penny-pinching becomes my full-time occupation, I'll struggle at least enough to feel as if I'm paying a fair price for the privilege of being a woman of leisure.
I have big plans for the month of August. I'll schedule appointments with the dentist for a cleaning, the women's clinic for a mammogram, and the orthopedist to see for sure if I need knee replacement surgery. My family doctor urged me to take care of those last two items way back in March, and I no longer have an excuse not to do it. I'll also drag my reluctant behind to the gym to explore the idea of setting up a series of exercises to strengthen my upper leg muscles in case the knee surgery becomes a reality. I'm not looking forward to any of those things.
One immediate project that does excite me is the plan to clean out and totally restock my pantry so I can start cooking and baking again. Years ago, when I was a stay-at-home mom, I enjoyed the creativity of planning interesting, tasty meals, and I think I'll enjoy it again. Cooking for one won't be the same as cooking for a family, but it's bound to beat the frozen and take-out dinners I've become used to in recent years.
Prolonged grocery shopping (or shopping of any kind) does a number on my knees, so the plan is to break down the grocery list into several parts and string out the shopping over several days. One day I'll buy canned goods, the next day I'll buy spices, the next will be baking ingredients, and so on. My theory is that shopping this way will allow me to go to a single location in the store, gather up the items on my abbreviated list, and check out in the 20-items-and-under aisle. Today was dogfood-and-treats day (because we were out of rawhide strips), which has made me fairly popular with the pups this afternoon. I'll let you know how the rest of this plan works out.
There are some long-term projects that excite me, too, but they'll have to wait until some of the more immediate stuff is out of the way.
And there was one more goal, an important one and a big motivator in my decision to retire, that I hoped would be an easy one to achieve. Since it's after six p.m. and I won't be going out again tonight, I think it's safe to consider it already accomplished: I've made it through this entire day without once feeling the urge to call someone an a$$#ole.
Hmm. Maybe I can get used to this.