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Old 02-05-2016, 04:06 PM   #21
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Yes, I too thought that was an off-the-wall statement that comes from someone who is currently w*rking and only imagining what retirement should be like.

One of the great joys of being retired is that I can interact with whomever I want, when I want, where I want and if I want. My "schedule" is entirely my own.
I think the statement you refer to might be true for type A personalities, but I'm like you. I like to have things to do, but I hate constraints, and I don't want to be too busy. Downtime is priceless.
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:48 PM   #22
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"Your weeks should fill up again with projects, meetings, entertainments, and events". If this will be my retirement life, I prefer not to retire and keep my 6 figure salary. In retirement, I just want to sleep until I don't want to, and eat when I want.
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What he said.
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Yes, I too thought that was an off-the-wall statement that comes from someone who is currently w*rking and only imagining what retirement should be like.

One of the great joys of being retired is that I can interact with whomever I want, when I want, where I want and if I want. My "schedule" is entirely my own.
Conveniently ignores what she said immediately after, but as you wish. Your schedule is most certainly "entirely your own" - sleeping in isn't all there us to it of course.
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The challenge is to discover new interests, new places, and ourselves. Your weeks should fill up again with projects, meetings, entertainments, and events - activities you chose yourself, to gladden your days and give purpose to your life. You'll probably take on these projects at a leisurely pace. I'm not suggesting that you'll want to be busy all the time. But neither will you want to look at a daily calendar that is blank.
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:38 PM   #23
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This has been on my mind lately. Told a friend today I've been working harder than when I was working. Just since the new year began:

1) Got an endoscopy/colonoscopy
2) Did the blood draw thing (twice), saw doctor for check up
3) Did major review of financials
4) Figured out tax strategy throughout retirementd
5) Devised roth conversion/recharacterization strategy, and started conversions
6) Figured out RMD strategy
7) Did Fed taxes, finishing state taxes tomorrow only because CA forms unavailable previously in TA
8) Went even deeper into digitalizing almost all paperwork, then threw a one-person shredding party...yet again
9) Devised disaster recovery strategy (that I'm still not completely satisfied with)
10) Spent the last month doing serious estate planning (trusts, wills, POAs, LW's, beneficiaries, egad) ...project end of which is *this* close...
11) Tried (and failed) to find the last large safety box in LA (you have to wait until somebody dies to get one; are there really that many old people here??), so I'm settling on a medium one next week
12) Oh yea, got a root canal, and going for the crown in two weeks, in the process of buying a new night guard

So far, I've been too busy in retirement to have the luxury of being challenged (not entirely true, I have read several books exploring what my next big adventure will be when all this taskmaster stuff winds down in a month).
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:43 PM   #24
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...One of the great joys of being retired is that I can interact with whomever I want, when I want, where I want and if I want. My "schedule" is entirely my own.
If this is true, in real life you must be Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia (Romania).
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Old 02-05-2016, 08:19 PM   #25
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'just do it, it's great, work is evil."

+1

Yeah, you have to worry about the minutiae in your post-retirement world, but didn't you have to do the same while working?

Or is the point that we were all too busy working to realize we had a life to live? And then we're flooded with free time and realize our personalities had no depth at all outside work? I never felt that was the case for me.

In spite of holding professional licenses in engineering and law, I kept my hours to mostly 40 per week and really enjoyed the hours of the week spent not working. Work was rarely awful, and rewarding about as often. It's just something you do to make a buck and keep the bill collector off your back. Just a hustle.

I suppose if you've never pondered the bigger questions of life like "who are you?" or found a way to develop non-work friends, then yeah, the OP's quote is great advice. Most of the folks here chant the 'just do it, it's great, work is evil" because they've got it partially figured out already.

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Your weeks should fill up again with projects, meetings, entertainments, and events - activities you chose yourself, to gladden your days and give purpose to your life. You'll probably take on these projects at a leisurely pace. I'm not suggesting that you'll want to be busy all the time. But neither will you want to look at a daily calendar that is blank.
That's sounding f**king horrible. That's what I left behind! I love nothing more than seeing my calendar completely blank for the day. No appointments, no social engagements, no errands, no phone calls or meetings, just whatever I want all day. Any more than 1 activity per day and it starts to feel busy. To each their own of course, as I know plenty of people that grow bored if they have more than one hour of unstructured time. For those people, I think work is an exceptionally underrated pastime.
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Old 02-05-2016, 08:57 PM   #26
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'...

Work was rarely awful, and rewarding about as often. It's just something you do to make a buck and keep the bill collector off your back. Just a hustle.

...
+1

And now I have approximately 3x as many hours in the week to do what I want to do, when I want to.
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:52 AM   #27
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This is great thread and I agree with the OP that those that have gone before should be more detailed on the challenges of transitioning into retirement. When I asked a couple years ago, I got some well thought out responses that were spot on but I also got "just do it, it's awesome" which I am sure it is for those that said it. In the case of DW and I, we found we were not ready for full time retirement and ended up taking an interim step (part time consulting) for a number of reasons. 1) We had/have children still at home and knew we could not just take off for extended travel and that we felt it was good that our kids saw us being productive at this stage. I love when they ask me or my wife about the projects and clients we work with or get to spend time with us in that element. It gives them perspective as they consider what they will want to do for a living. That said, being part-time we have plenty of time to spend helping with school, coaching team sports and going on short travel trips 2) While our financial situation would result in a 2.5% WR we thought that the part-time consulting could gives us more cushion and if things go well we can leave a legacy (Help our kids out with paying down a mortgage and/or setting up college funds for Grandkids). This year our work will cover 100% of our budget 3) Lastly, our careers were very positive ones. We like the mental stimulation of consulting work without the full time obligation. Also, it has us working with people that are as much friends as they are colleagues so it's a nice balance. Last year we spent time traveling and hanging out with some of these people while our kids have become friends with their kids (Very Cool).

Yes, once our second child leaves the nest, DW and I will scale back, travel a lot more and redirect our energy, but for now we like the interim step. Kinda of like Goldilocks and 3 Bears. Full time work is too much stress, full time retirement would be too boring for us now, so challenging part-time work and the freedom of semi-retirement is just right, especially if the next couple years ends up being a Bear Market. Lol
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The Joy and Challenge of Life After Work
Old 02-06-2016, 10:12 AM   #28
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The Joy and Challenge of Life After Work

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I always say on these boards and others that 8 months in both my hubby and I got bored. Volunteer work was not that stimulating and often they need someone to do mind numbing tasks. Both of us started to consult p.t. in our fields and I teach an online Uni class. This has been the perfect balance for us. It is 4 years now and I am happy. I love never setting the alarm and working when I want to. I also help some of my friends that are sick or disabled by taking them to their appointments, etc. I am the guardian for one friend that her hubby died of cancer and she has Alzheimer's. Taking time to visit and staying on top of her care even though she is in a home takes much time.

This seems to fit me as well. I have my own business which is online and I do some coaching over the phone too. I sold my 2 other small businesses in the fall which was an enormous relief. My online business is part time and I enjoy it so much. I have the freedom of working when I want, have time to manage a few health issues I have, have time to help friends, and time to do a lot with our 8 year old daughter. We travel a good amount based on the school schedule. Maybe I will feel different in 10 years when our daughter goes to college, but for now, working part time is perfect. And DH has no intention of slowing down in his business until our daughter is in college, although he has a lot of flexibility too.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:32 AM   #29
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The challenge:

I'm enjoying being lazy too much.

The joy:

Being able to take advantage of travel opportunities and doing a variety of things, instead of just one thing.

Two months ago, I had no travel plans for 2016, but already had two trips planned for 2017.

Then,

1. I decided to visit a friend/former co-worker who moved to Oklahoma next month.

2. Another friend who moved away 3 years ago is starring in a theater production in Atlanta, so DH and I are doing a driving trip there in April.

3. I was invited to play in a flute choir in a music festival in Alba, Italy. I might be gone as long as 2 weeks.

4. DS has had a delay in his education completion (missing one class) so won't be getting his teaching license until June. So we decided to do a family vacation and have decided to go to Iceland in June.

I would not have been able to do any of these trips if I was still w***king!


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Old 02-06-2016, 10:32 AM   #30
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Your weeks should fill up again with projects, meetings, entertainments, and events - activities you chose yourself, to gladden your days and give purpose to your life. You'll probably take on these projects at a leisurely pace. I'm not suggesting that you'll want to be busy all the time. But neither will you want to look at a daily calendar that is blank.
When I first retired, I felt that I needed to go full throttle to get things done. To get several hours of preplanned hobby hours in every day. Now almost 2 years retired, I don't preplan anything. I just do whatever I feel like as the urge arises. And frankly, I want to look at a daily calendar that is blank.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:43 AM   #31
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I am with Fuego on this. For perspective, I have been retired a little over a year (quit w*rking 11/14) and I couldn't be happier. Back in 1990, I clocked in for the first time at a pizza joint. It seemed fun and all, but when the check showed up, I realized that w*rking sucked and I didn't want to do it for the rest of my life. Of course, when you are 16, you don't really have an appreciation for "real life", so obviously I w*rked for a bit longer.

Anyway...I have been absolutely THRILLED with my retired life. The time has FLOWN by and I have enjoyed it. The first 6 months were a lot of decompression and doing NOT A DAMN THING and I loved it. After that, things just started falling into place as far as activities and such. I had no issue filling my time...and it was with stuff that *I* wanted to do, not what my boss wanted me to do. The freedom is exhilarating.

W*rk might be enjoyable for some people, but for me, I hated it...and I had a j*b that arguably most people would love to do, but since it was indeed a j*b, the fun was sucked out of it quite efficiently by my employer.

Now, some of my time is occupied by attending law school. Some of my friends think I am crazy...why in the world would I go to law school if I have no intention of making it my vocation? Well, perhaps for the challenge. It's something that has always interested me, but when you are w*rking, it's very tough to make time for that kind of pursuit. It's been quite enjoyable too...since there isn't any pressure to "be the best student out there!" and so I can enjoy the ride.

It's also nice that if the weather is questionable or if I just don't feel like going to class, I don't have to go...so I haven't given up that freedom. Will I continue to attend after this first year is over? At this point I feel inclined to continue, but the nice thing is that I don't HAVE too. I won't have student loans and I will most likely NEVER have to w*rk again, so there is no pressure.

Maybe that's how I can sum up my rambling. For me w*rk=pressure. If I don't have to w*rk, then there is very little pressure, and for me, that's a great thing.

I am still working on the "friends" aspect of this all. Being such a young retiree, it has presented a challenge...somewhat. This isn't very bothersome to me since I have never really been a social butterfly. As a matter of fact, I am pretty content to NOT hang out with folks very often. I am an only child, so this may be some of the reason I have no real issues being a recluse. The bigger issue is that some of my "closer friends" (many, many years) have drifted away because of what I perceive as a kind of jealousy. They have to w*rk and I don't. I could be wrong, but it's the feeling I get.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:54 AM   #32
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This is great thread and I agree with the OP that those that have gone before should be more detailed on the challenges of transitioning into retirement.
OK! I will be honest and give you the brutal truth, in all its gory detail, as I experienced it. In preparation for retirement, I didn't have any particular structure in mind except that I needed to leave the house for at least part of the day because that seemed like it would be better than just sitting home and spinning out. I was worried because I hadn't read any of the books on psychological preparation for retirement (had focused sole on the financial preparation) and I expected to be psychologically clobbered, with lots of adjustment issues and unhappiness and so on when I retired.

I was one of those who felt that my job defined who I was, and couldn't imagine not being up to my eyebrows in oceanographic data and models for most of every day. I knew that I wanted to retire, but without my job who would I be? Yikes. Other than F, who was still working, I had zero friends outside of work.

Anyway, here is a post I made the first day after I retired, which describes what I did that day. That first full day of retirement was the most challenging day of transition into retirement for me, because I didn't know what to do with myself! Here's how it went, including all the grim details of the challenges I faced in transitioning into retirement:

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Day one of ER:

This morning I opened my eyes at 4:10 AM. I could have gone back to sleep, but it occurred to me that this day is MINE. So, I just couldn't! I got up, made a pot of coffee, and soaked up the dark and quiet of the very early morning and the early chirping of birds. I listened to the news when it came on, and watched the sun rise while reading the message board on my laptop.

When rush hour was mostly over, at around 8:45 or so, I left for the gym. There I did a one hour workout, and took the time to learn how to use the rowing machine, which I have never used. Traffic on the way home was a breeze.

After showering and changing, and resting for a little while, I decided to go shopping for a "good for me" present. A few weeks ago in my favorite dress shop I found some slacks that are very comfortable and wash easily, so I went back to that store and bought two more pairs. The cashier gave me a 10% senior discount that I didn't know about. She told me it is only exists on Tuesdays. So, I felt like my day was progressing pretty well!

Then I strolled about the strip mall for a while and enjoyed browsing through various stores. It was sunny out so I wore my sunglasses and enjoyed the weather. I loved being able to move around and be more active during the day, instead of being chained to my cubicle.

When I got home, I was tired, and napped on and off for several hours. Then I watched the news, and then played on my Wii for a while.

It's a ROUGH LIFE...
After that first day, I didn't really experience many more challenges in my own transition. I am sure plenty of people will think that is awful and shameful and that any decent person SHOULD still feel an eternal dedication to working every spare moment until taking their last breath, instead of being able to independently determine what they want to do and then doing it, but frankly I don't care because it's my life and I am having a wonderful retirement.
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:01 AM   #33
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Retirement can allow you to be who you've always wanted to be, and/or reveals who you really are.

Some (continue to) find ways of helping others, some just shut down (eat, sleep, watch TV, lay in the grass and wait for the mailman), and some explore new interests or develop old ones.

I feel like I'm in the " comfortable rut" doing things I've always enjoyed. For me, that's golf, poker and working on my health. I've dabbled at getting back into playing the drums, but haven't really developed anything. The golf and poker have provided a foundation for developing friendships in a new locale. Qi gong and tai chi have provided health benefits, and the challenge/satisfaction of learning something new.

Totally new interests can be hard work for me. I try to give back by taking care of our property, harvesting produce and taking it to the food bank. I've got much to learn, and get some satisfaction completing the chores, but tend to get bored or start to feel like that stuff is a job. Yuck.

Unlike many retirees who totally redefine who they are, I am still an "active" parent, with a 9th grade daughter. Being her dad is part of who I am to others, although I'm surprised by how few new relationships have come from that.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:54 PM   #34
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Thanks for this thread. I have always felt a little depressed after being out of work for a week and a little apprehensive as a new retiree. It has been a month and so far so good. I still have plenty on my todo list and am finding a rhythm I enjoy. I still haven't crossed that line in giving up on working again and have given myself 6 months to decide. I feel to young to be full out retired.

I am glad to see that I am not the only one that likes having a day with a blank calendar and that even one thing on the schedule seems like a busy day. I was beginning to wonder if something was wrong with me.

I am one of those whose work defined who I was and I find myself feeling like I should be doing something "at work" - like I am just on vacation. I wonder how you get over the feeling of being a bum.

It would be good to see more info on challenges folks have faced with the transition and how they overcame them.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:39 AM   #35
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So far I've managed to do one of my kid's tax. Mine is half done. Finishing the hard scale of my side yard. Still lots to do and one more retirement paper to fill out. Managed to transfer my IRA to Vanguard. Now to the investing part.
Regarding traveling, I've managed to book 3 weeks vacation in Europe, still have to book the first 5-6 weeks in England. I've not booked the Scotland and Ireland yet.
I've been wondering when do I have time to do everything if I'm not yet retired.


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Old 02-16-2016, 10:50 AM   #36
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Thanks for this thread. I have always felt a little depressed after being out of work for a week and a little apprehensive as a new retiree. It has been a month and so far so good. I still have plenty on my todo list and am finding a rhythm I enjoy. I still haven't crossed that line in giving up on working again and have given myself 6 months to decide. I feel to young to be full out retired.

I am glad to see that I am not the only one that likes having a day with a blank calendar and that even one thing on the schedule seems like a busy day. I was beginning to wonder if something was wrong with me.

I am one of those whose work defined who I was and I find myself feeling like I should be doing something "at work" - like I am just on vacation. I wonder how you get over the feeling of being a bum.

It would be good to see more info on challenges folks have faced with the transition and how they overcame them.
I get the "feeling like a bum" thing...for sure. I kinda anticipated that since I retired SO early. For the first 6 months, I couldn't really be bothered to get out of my "loungewear" (see attached picture ). Well, one day, I was driving through the neighborhood and saw one of my neighbors (about the same age), checking his mail and pretty much wearing the SAME THING! The first thing that went through my mind was "Ah...look at that bum...he needs to get a job!" WOW...when I caught myself passing judgement on him (AND ME!) I realized that I needed to at least put on REAL pants everyday. I didn't want to LOOK like a bum!

So, in my "feeling like a bum" I started to feel guilty about sitting around the house and well, being a bum. That's probably where the law school idea came from and now THAT is causing me issues. How so, you ask? Well, I enjoy the learning...it certainly exercises my brain. BUT...I have noticed that I absolutely HATE, HATE, HATE being told what to do. As the academic year has clipped on by, there seems to be more and more "mandatory" items that the school wants me to do. I push back at their demands and they get testy about it. I understand that much of the "mandatory" stuff is geared to the young students...but I am NOT one of those. I don't NEED to go to a seminar about being professional. I don't NEED to "turn in your OWN brief to me, stop using commercial outlines" for a professor who wants to make up his own rules. It's all growing very old. SO...I am not sure if I will continue on to the 2nd and 3rd years. I have never been one to "quit" in the middle of something, but I don't think it's a great fit for me being retired, either.

Sorry about the rambling. My intention was to show that there may not be a "groove" in which you will get in anytime soon. But, realize that if you are doing something that you are not enjoying, you can stop and try something else. That's something that is usually difficult to do when you are w*rking for someone else.

Besides, when you are retired, you can spend 1/2 the day throwing pine cones at the house wren that won't stop hammering away on your cedar siding!
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:18 PM   #37
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Thanks Flyboy5! I am not quite as young as you (mid 50s) and retirement wasn't by choice.
I have found that I really like have the time to make a decent breakfast, pour over the computer for awhile and then clean up dishes. In fact, I have spent way too much time doing nothing LOL. I get real testy if I am "over-scheduled" or on someone else's clock.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:59 PM   #38
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Thanks Flyboy5! I am not quite as young as you (mid 50s) and retirement wasn't by choice.
I have found that I really like have the time to make a decent breakfast, pour over the computer for awhile and then clean up dishes. In fact, I have spent way too much time doing nothing LOL. I get real testy if I am "over-scheduled" or on someone else's clock.

When I retired last year, I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to lingering over breakfast. In my w*rking days, breakfast was a bowl of oatmeal consumed at my desk in ~10 minutes while checking email as soon as I got to work. Coffee would come a little later, usually during a meeting. Now, I spend 60-90 minutes with my oatmeal + coffee to start the morning.
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:16 PM   #39
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When I retired last year, I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to lingering over breakfast.
This, to me, is the single greatest advantage of retirement. Yes, I'm serious.

When I retired from the military at just 43 years old, I decided to take some time to enjoy it before looking for employment. So I got up when I liked, started the coffeemaker, picked up two newspapers from the front lawn (local paper and WSJ), and settled down to enjoy myself.

During my perusal of the papers, I would fix myself a nice breakfast. By the time I finished both papers, breakfast, and the coffeepot, somewhere between one and two hours had gone by. It was pure bliss.

Eventually I got antsy and got a job for nearly another 12 years, but I looked back on those months with nostalgia.

Upon final retirement at 55, I went back into that mode and I still do the same thing (except that the newspapers are on my iPad now). And I still think it's wonderful!
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Old 02-16-2016, 06:56 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by FlyBoy5 View Post
I get the "feeling like a bum" thing...for sure. I kinda anticipated that since I retired SO early. For the first 6 months, I couldn't really be bothered to get out of my "loungewear" (see attached picture ). Well, one day, I was driving through the neighborhood and saw one of my neighbors (about the same age), checking his mail and pretty much wearing the SAME THING! The first thing that went through my mind was "Ah...look at that bum...he needs to get a job!" WOW...when I caught myself passing judgement on him (AND ME!) I realized that I needed to at least put on REAL pants everyday. I didn't want to LOOK like a bum!

So, in my "feeling like a bum" I started to feel guilty about sitting around the house and well, being a bum. That's probably where the law school idea came from and now THAT is causing me issues. How so, you ask? Well, I enjoy the learning...it certainly exercises my brain. BUT...I have noticed that I absolutely HATE, HATE, HATE being told what to do. As the academic year has clipped on by, there seems to be more and more "mandatory" items that the school wants me to do. I push back at their demands and they get testy about it. I understand that much of the "mandatory" stuff is geared to the young students...but I am NOT one of those. I don't NEED to go to a seminar about being professional. I don't NEED to "turn in your OWN brief to me, stop using commercial outlines" for a professor who wants to make up his own rules. It's all growing very old. SO...I am not sure if I will continue on to the 2nd and 3rd years. I have never been one to "quit" in the middle of something, but I don't think it's a great fit for me being retired, either.

Sorry about the rambling. My intention was to show that there may not be a "groove" in which you will get in anytime soon. But, realize that if you are doing something that you are not enjoying, you can stop and try something else. That's something that is usually difficult to do when you are w*rking for someone else.

Besides, when you are retired, you can spend 1/2 the day throwing pine cones at the house wren that won't stop hammering away on your cedar siding!
Great post! I can especially relate to your dislike of being told what to do, in retirement. I loved reading about your experience back in school. Due to your post, I think I have finally put my finger on why I haven't gone back to school. Sure, it could be interesting, but I think going back to university would trigger some resistance within me that I didn't feel when I was younger and in school.

I usually dress up a *little* bit more when I leave the house. I move from "sloppy" to "awfully casual", I guess.
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