As much as I hate to admit it, work had become ingrained in me. It’s become the way I see myself – a person whose routine for decades has been to get up, put on makeup, get dressed in clothes I’d just as soon trade in for sweat pants and T-shirts and haul myself off to work for the better part of the day. It may not be as easy as I’d like to think to flip the switch to total leisure time.
It sounds great on the surface and I’ve spent several years talking about how I can’t wait to have all my time to myself – the do what I want when I want and sleep late to boot thing – but when I really think about the fact that those things will no longer be for a short week or two each year but every single day, I start to wonder if things will lose their luster. I’ve read all the studies about the seniors who couldn’t wait to retire and had big plans and then died within a few months of doing so. I sure as hell don’t want to be one of those but what makes me any different? Not all of those people retired and then became sedentary around the house. I figure it must have to do with the mentality. But what about the mentality?
It’s difficult for me to imagine a day when I might be bored or depressed. I just have too many interests. Here are some of the things on my to-do list (in no particular ranking). Of course, the problem with many of them is that they’ll require money, something I may have in very short supply once a retire, unless I find a part-time job but then doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of retirement? Anyway, here’s my off-the-top-of-my-head list:
- Cooking classes so I find a way to focus on nutrition and yumminess instead of the chore of chopping and slicing (which, of course, feels like work)
- Visit Machu Picchu
- Take voice lessons
- Finish my play and get it published (that’s the one I really want)
- Finish my novel that ambitiously hopes to be the first in a series based on my years in show business in Las Vegas surrounded by the “old days” when the mob was here – the Tony Spilotros and Lefty Rosenthals and my subsequent years in casino marketing
- Learn to distill my own essential oils and hydrosols
- Plan, plant and maintain my dream garden – a sort of hideaway from the world in my own backyard (competes with my play for first place on the list)
- Put more time and energy into my essential oil company so it finally takes off
- Increase my menagerie to include my two cats and maybe a dog and a bird
- Discover a cave
- Travel around the U.S., stopping when I feel like it and taking in all the tucked away, hidden spots that are spectacular and only a few people know anything about them
- Read all the books and magazines piled all over the house
- Become fluent in a foreign language. Although I loved my semester in American Sign Language, it’s also the hardest one I’ve tried to learn but it’s beautiful
- Take a pottery class
The bottom line is that I can’t imagine a time when I’d be bored but even though I’m a pretty social person, I’ll need to make an effort to meet people. I won’t be surrounded by conversation all day long any more. I tend to think I’ll like that, but who knows? Maybe that’s the mentality thing I mentioned earlier that eventually gets to you. If you have the answer, please enlighten me. I don’t want to be part of those statistics.