Adjusting to Life at Home by Robin Trimingham
Sometimes your last few weeks at work can be so busy that you hardly realize you are actually going to leave your job forever. There are files to close out, projects to conclude, replacements to train, and tasks to be passed on.
Everyone around you is completely engaged in their work and quite often little mention is made of your impending departure beyond a few hushed whispers about a reception and possibly some sort of a farewell gift.
And then it happens. Either your final day is a total blur, or the absolute longest day of your life where seconds seem to pass like hours, but regardless of how it is eventually it’s 5 o’clock and you’re at the door for good.
Unless you happen to have somebody in your household who has already retired, no one at home can really comprehend what you’re going through and quite often you are so tired of talking about your job that it feels like there just isn’t very much to say anyway. Instead you happily saunter off to bed like a child on the day that school lets out for summer.
What will you do in the morning? Sleep in or have a big leisurely breakfast?
It’s so hard to decide as your head hits the pillow. The thought of doing absolutely nothing just seems blissful; you are so ready for a change and not terribly concerned that things will be much different than your last trip to Disneyland.
For a week or so, perhaps it is just like a vacation. Oddly the cabana boy seems to never be around to take your drink order, and the family dog has taken to sleeping on your bed; but in other respects this retirement thing is a breeze.
And then one night you just can’t sleep and stay up until 4:00 am watching Netflix, partially because you’re goal is to make it through season three before daybreak, and partially simply because you can stay up all night.
It’s been so long since you did something like this that forgotten your body actually does require some sleep and you stumble through the next day hung over and cranky, and little things start to annoy you.
This is the day that it invariably rains and you have to spend the whole day indoors, and it is also the day that you suddenly notice all the scuff marks that the dog has made on the stairs, and the massive dust bunny that has taken up residence under the sofa. Suddenly the living room is simultaneously too dark, too crowded, and oppressively quiet. Your favorite chair, the one you’ve used to watch the evening news for 20 years, mysteriously hurts your back and a random pool of water suddenly appears in the middle of the cellar floor.
Your feet are aching but you haven’t been anywhere, and it seems that every shirt you put on comes with a label specifically positioned to irritate the back of your neck incessantly.
Your rummage frantically through the kitchen drawer looking for a small pair of scissors which are nowhere to be found. In anger you yank the shirt off over the top of your head and attempt to sever the label with a potato peeler which would have worked rather nicely had not taken a piece of the shirt off with it.
This perturbs you not at all, as you weren’t planning to go anywhere in the rain anyway, and at least your shirt is now comfortable. Now if you could just figure out where the water on the floor was coming from life would be good.
You sit down on the stairs to think about this for a moment and realize that the dog is looking at you with a concerned expression on his face.
And then it hits you, maybe retiring was the easy part; but maybe living a whole new life is going to take some getting used to. Maybe there is more to life than Netflix and the mall. Maybe a life plan would be a good idea after all.
By Robin Trimingham