Retirement Error

Burned out a stump with charcoal briquettes to make a flower bed.

Kensington, MD, May 22, 2016 — When you first retire, your natural instinct is to recreate your work life in some form.  That can be volunteer activity, more altruistic work at a nonprofit, or altruistic service.

Think about it.  As your professional life winds down, you are used to pace, responsibility and structure. Being important may also be part of it. As you contemplate the future, you realize that you can’t just sit around because your honey-do list will soon exhaust itself, TV will get boring and reading is tiring.

Naturally I made the mistake of trying to recreate my work life.  Recently  I realized my list of responsibilities was taking over.  I was so busy that I didn’t have time to do what I wanted.

When I retired I didn’t know how to play.  So, I searched for responsibilities to fill my calendar.  I didn’t want to repeat my career, so I hiked and filled my dance card with a long list of trail-related activities.  Then, I was asked to accept a major role with our trail club.  It was one that would require my full-time attention.  What the f…. This was like having a job!

On top of that, within a week a former colleague asked me to do a major consulting project for a professional sports franchise.  Whoah!  Where’s this going to end?  Gotta fix that.

It comes as no surprise that retirement also means less money.  Most people can’t just hire a brute force effort to get big projects done anymore.  Making haste more slowly and creatively becomes the new approach.

Nevertheless, we’ve been busy since the last post about ole “Snowzilla.”

Went shopping to replace our 30-year-old furniture that has been moved nine times including twice overseas.

Breaking in the new furniture.  The curtains have yet to be hung.


The old cat fur accessorized stuff is now in the guest apartment.

Built a raised bed vegie garden in the back.

Had two tons of rock delivered.  We will need two more later.

With the help of our recent house guest, Robin Hobbs, zen is arriving.  Also planted perennial wild flower seeds in the back half of the yard to create some bee habitat.  Hope the squirrels didn’t get all of them.

Now to dump my “jobs” and find a way to play more.

3 thoughts on “Retirement Error

  1. Yes, play. I found I was creating obligations for myself, and then resenting them. I disentangled, which helped, but there is a balance to be found. There are some activities I find rewarding that can only come about with obligation and intention. Hard how should I work at setting those up? Still haven’t decided.

    All your home projects are looking wonderful. Congrats on the progress.


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