This is turning out to be a year of big changes with unknown destinations. I had no idea back in January that I’d be sitting here in October wondering where I will be living by the end of the year. Our decision to sell our home of 23 years came in late summer. It was motivated by economics and health. We need to be ready for tougher times when social security checks are strained and maybe even reduced and stairs to the second floor get even tougher to climb than they are now.
The house is up for sale with much of its drawers and closets and cabinets empty of their usual contents which now sit in boxes stacked in the garage. The movers are standing by, as is the realtor on the other side of the state who is waiting for us to arrive, check in hand, to buy a new home in any of two or three communities we have already screened.
Meanwhile, if that is not enough to handle, I have made some major decisions to abandon much of what I have been doing the past ten years in my retirement. I have written 11 books. I’ve kept up this blog, having published over 640 postings in seven years. I have created and maintained ten websites. Physically, I’ve had two knee replacements and a hardware store dumped into my lower spine.
It has been an active, and sometimes daunting, retirement. But much of this, too, is about to change. I have shut down all but one of the websites and I have more than likely published my last book. What will I do with my time now? Well, like moving our home, I’m not sure. I might take guitar lessons, walk the dog more or maybe catch up on some movies…or something entirely unknown to me right now.
For one who has always been compulsive and overly organized with a fine-tuned compass, all this change without knowing in what direction I’m going is a radical transition in personality. But that is what I have learned about retirement. It is an entirely different state of mind. The race is over, other than to keep up with my health and just keep on keepin’ on. There is no career move to ponder; no more formal education or training sessions; no more chasing down salary increases (those are missed!) and basically no more material lures to lust after except maybe a winning lottery ticket.
So it has become easy to give things up, replace them with other things or even remain thingless. I don’t think I will do the latter. If one thing is certain, I must be doing something to keep my mind active. I am not one to sit still, so I am, indeed, curious as to where all this will lead. Cue Dylan…How does it feel to be on your own, With no direction home, A complete unknown, Like a rolling stone? It feels okay.