It’s okay to have a change of heart

Here’s the deal. I had what I thought was a great idea to keep me occupied in my retirement. I started my web page, Where My Girlfriends Go.  Take a look, if you haven’t visited. I’ll wait right here for you.

So, although I’m not actually retired yet, I thought I should get a plan in motion, rather than waste a minute of actual retirement time being bored.  Heaven forbid that I’d risk finding myself at loose ends, which I’ve always pictured as sitting forlornly on the floor contemplating a frayed rug.

What was I afraid of?

Was there a serious risk that I’d be looking for trouble if I had spare time? Take up smoking again and hang out on street corners with the dogs? Fall in with a gang of other bored retirees seeking thrills, like maybe dine-and-dash during the geriatric coffee hour at Panera or take turns distracting the stock boy while somebody swipes Glucosamine gel tabs from the shelves at Discount Drug Mart?

old people with coffee
Oh, yeah. It’s all fun and games at Panera until you break a hip trying to run to the car without paying the bill. They’ll only trace you back to your Panera Club frequent coffee-drinker-and-cinnamon-roll-eater card, anyway. (I’d like to credit the photographer but I “borrowed” this from Google Images where it appeared in some medical pamphlet and these people may actually be yucking it up over the joys of Viagra, for all I know.)

Without a plan, I’m thinking the worst thing that could happen to me is that I’ll hang around with the dogs in the house in my bathrobe for a few days (or weeks) until I decide that sucks and I want to do something else.

So I changed my mind. I decided, well, fuck that. I don’t need to have a plan. And if I don’t have the entire next glorious stage of my life mapped out by the time I actually retire next May or so – big deal.

I read recently on Facebook that a very successful woman I admire is leaving the publishing company she’s been with for years and is taking a long sabbatical to see what she wants to do next. Cindy obviously is far wiser than I am and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Step back and think about things for a while.

Huh. I like it.

I don’t know what I want to do next, either. I certainly want to keep writing. But do I want to drum up a following on “Where My Girlfriends Go” and write at least one story a week and post on the WMGG Facebook page regularly and maybe Tweet and put photos on Instagram and . . . ?

I don’t think so. It makes me a little tired just thinking about it. I don’t want to make that commitment. Or, at least I don’t want to make that commitment NOW. And that’s okay.

So, I just moved the photo banner-thing over here to my blog site. I figure sometimes I can write about things I do with my friends, but not exclusively. Or reliably. I do think my buddy Carol and I should check out more donut shops. I’ll tell you some stories about my trip to Italy with Sue, too. I just started working on a photo book – before I forget where in Italy I actually took half those pictures.

I don’t know what I’ll do with the WMGG Facebook page. Like Scarlet O’Hara, I’ll think about that tomorrow. (And I mean “tomorrow” figuratively, not literally.)

And that’s it for now. I’m thinking sabbatical next year, guys. Just stop and smell the roses and think about what might be fun to do. Maybe learn about and plant roses? Nah. I don’t like dirt or bugs. Fortunately, the possibilities are endless. I’m not even going to rule out the possibility (dare I say, likelihood?) of scheduling a guilt-free period spent reading lots of books and wearing my bathrobe all day.

I’ll keep you posted.


6 thoughts on “It’s okay to have a change of heart

  1. I totally get your conundrum, Kate. I was going to retire in September but instead I cut back to part-time, because I couldn’t handle the thought of not working at all. I don’t think it was fear of not having enough to do, but I wasn’t ready to stop working altogether. Now I’m enjoying my schedule and yes, I do stay in my bathrobe some days until noon. Last week I didn’t leave the house for 2 1/2 days and when I started craving nuts and searching for acorns, I forced myself to leave the house. I have so much to do, and I am also ambivalent about spending so much time on social media and keeping up with two facebook pages. I’ll be interested in your process as you approach your day of freedom! I hope I don’t read about you as the glucosamine thief. Haha!

  2. Thanks, Molly. You may need to create a Boomer on the Ledge support group page to help all your Boomer Buddies share stories and soldier through this latest frontier!

  3. Great post and yes, I get it. I always thought I had my retirement mapped out. Well then life takes its own twists. Yes, it will all work out. Most of all, it should be enjoyable and taking care of two web sites is probably not it. Have fun.

  4. all incredibly good ideas. Kate you are SO bright, witty and hilarious, I could read your stuff for dayzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. It appears that retired friends feel the need to plan or map out. (maybe leftover habit from working for a gazillion years?) I say screw the plan! wing it! I realize when we cross over into the 6’s, we want to make sure we do all those life long desires but I think if we keep our minds open to opportunities (every day) short term projects could work well. (this is coming from one who was full time, part time then freelance, so no I’m not done working yet)
    my 2 cents……xxxo

    1. Thank you, Ginny! You’re absolutely right. Open mind. Consider short term projects. I think the idea of out and out RETIREMENT is scary, at least in some respects, for most people. It will work out. I need to relax my compulsive planning/organizing mind.

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