Retirement: Week 2

A friend gave me a sashiko kit, consisting of indigo cloth with traditional, stylized Japanese wave patterns outlined in ready-to-embroider stitch marks,  a needle, and white cotton thread.  The intent was to give me a relatively easy-to-complete craft project to ease me into retirement.  I’ve not yet started to embroider.  It took me 3 hours to untangle the cotton thread, which I had yanked out of the plastic wrapping assuming it was multiple pieces of thread, and not a single, endless one. 

During my sometimes peaceful and sometimes infuriating attempts to pull one thread through a few hundred tiny holes within the web of knotted threads I had in front of me, a tangle that made Medusa’s hair look tidy, I started to see my early days of retirement as being part of their own tangle.

I realized that I was trying to turn retirement into a job, complete with goals, deadlines, and measures of accountability  I had followed Mr. Morton’s advice (Independence Day) and started a list of what I wanted to learn, never reaching the 50-100 items he suggested, but still pushing for a “promotion and a raise” by including mastering Spanish, writing a book, sewing a quilt, maintaining a full weekly calendar of tai chi, zumba, yoga and Bollywood dance, and maintaining this blog.   I even had trouble sleeping last night, fretting over some complications in a volunteer job.  After all, if I have only 14 years to live, I’ve got a lot left to accomplish.

I’m smiling as I wrap this up.  Clearly I have not made a successful transition from work to retirement, but it’s very fun to be aware of these different phases the process is taking me through.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness.
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