I’m starting with number 2 because of course the first retirement myth is that you have unlimited free time in retirement, and I’ve already blown away that misconception a couple of blog posts ago. Number 2 is closely related : You can do whatever you want. Of course, I’ve discovered that life is not like that, whether working a paying job or retired from one. Even in retirement, one cannot do whatever one wants.
I was whining to my daughter-in-law about a day spent at IKEA looking for bathroom organizing items, interrupted by emails from fellow curling team members to get next season organized. This is more important than you’d think: retired wanna-be-athletes jockeying for positions on the best team configurations of 4 players, vying for the best ice times, BUT, changing teams without hurting former team members’ feelings. Tricky. And very time-sensitive – the “you-snooze-you-lose” sort of sensitive. Hence the necessary quick email responding. It was a stressful afternoon: husband drudging along behind (“this one’s fine, let’s go”), emails pinging and quick replies, even a phone call or two. Honestly, it was a tough balancing act, and in the middle of my story, my daughter-in-law burst out laughing, “Well, don’t do all that, then, you’re retired, you can do whatever you want!” Huh, really? I considered. Did I want a new bathroom organizer thingy? Yes, so I had to be at IKEA picking one out, then, didn’t I? Did I want to get along with my husband in my golden years? Yes, so I had to drag him along for a coffee and treat afterwards, if he was good, then, didn’t I? Did I want to play skip curling next year at a better time slot? Now, this is where my daughter-in-law challenged me. Why be Skip, and have to organize the team? Again, I considered. These are the choices of life one always has to make, retired or not. Yes, I did want to. So yes, I had to organize that afternoon. And no, it wasn’t a fun afternoon, nor did I want to be stressed out over the chores. But if I wanted the kind of retirement, the kind of life, I was living, well, then, one must sometimes do unwanted tasks to get there. I can’t stay up every night past midnight watching TV if I want to enjoy the morning the next day. Same for as much wine as I want. I can’t not help with my elderly mother-in-law. I can’t.. I can’t… Hey, retirement is just like working! Because retirement isn’t a special magical land where life stresses disappear with the paycheque. Retirement is just another phase of Life. And a healthy, happy life requires work. I’m ok with that – it’s certainly better than the alternative 😉
Check out my book Camp Follower One Army Brat’s Story by Michele Sabad.
2 thoughts on “Retirement Myth #2”
Just finished reading your book. Thanks for writing it. I too grew up a Base Brat (but had never heard that term until we were in Trenton for high school). Dad was in the Airforce. I can of course relate to all you’ve written and thoroughly enjoyed it. Brought back my own memories.
Thank you so much! If you could cut and paste your kind words on the Amazon or Indigo site under my book “write a review”, it would be appreciated! The reviews are helpful to us new authors, and of course for others wondering if the book is worth reading! Yes, I too wasn’t aware of the brat term (other than when getting in trouble) until later on either😆