As baby boomers, we’re pretty lucky if we get a second act. San Franciscan Terry Hurley is getting one, and already knows what he’s going to do with it.
Retired guy joke: How many days are there in a week? Two. Six Saturdays and one Sunday.
I announced to my employer that I planned to retire September 9th. I’ll be 62. I’ve been fortunate and had a wonderful career but now it’s time to accumulate some new memories. After all, I’m just retiring from work, not from life.
I’m not entirely sure yet what my retirement life will look like day-to-day and haven’t figured out exactly what’s next but here are 20 things I swear I won’t ever do during the next phase of my life — at least not in Year One:
- Wonder what my purpose now is in life.
- Talk to a retirement coach.
- Call my former co-workers to see what’s going on in the office.
- Go to a meeting … anywhere … of any kind.
- Check my emails more than once a day.
- Complain how things were better 30 or 40 years ago — including the music of course.
- Eat dinner before 6:00 pm and go to bed before 9.
- Set an alarm clock.
- Move to one of those “Best Places to Retire” list cities, sorry Boise.
- Garden, fish, golf, or do tai chi.
- Wear sandals, baggy shorts, or a fanny pack.
- Get a tattoo or grow a ponytail.
- Play Mr. Fix It around the apartment.
- Eat Fiber One every day for breakfast.
- Ask my wife what’s for lunch more than once a week.
- Ask our two children when we’re going to be grandparents, even though they are not even married yet.
- Post to Facebook hourly.
- Sign up for Snapchat.
- Read the obituaries.
- Wish I had worked longer.
On the other hand, here are 10 things I most certainly will do:
- Allow myself to settle into my new life.
- Accept that the world will get along just fine without my contributions to the work force.
- Promise not to confuse my new life with my career.
- Have a bulletproof response ready for the inevitable “So what do you do all day?” question. (For now, the response is “Whatever I want.”)
- Allow myself the occasional luxury of being bored.
- Be spontaneous and throw caution to the wind. In other words, more yes, less no.
- Revel in doing things and care less about having things.
- Don’t lose sight of the small things that bring me joy.
- Value the wisdom and experience that come with age.
- Be grateful for every moment, every day.
I saw a greeting card recently that said, “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”
I understand that the post-work glow will eventually fade but I look forward to taking full advantage of the time retirement provides. I can’t stop what’s coming but I can appreciate my good fortune right now and approach this next phase of my life with wonder, enthusiasm, and openness.