The Unstructured Time


Probably the strangest retirement transition for me has been the realization that I don’t have to be anywhere when I awake each morning.  I haven’t had the normal experience  that most people get when they retire because within two weeks of my very last day on the job we moved to our new home in Florida.

Months before the big day arrived, we had been planning, plotting, and actively beginning the process of moving completely across the country.  I awoke on the first Monday after I retired to a home largely packed up, devoid of most furniture (we had sold or donated most of it), and nearly 75 or 80% our possessions already packed up in boxes.  It was an immediate, and I would say sudden transformation.  We finished packing that last week, loaded up boxes in a U-Haul, and then crossed the country in six days from our former home in Oregon.   After arriving in our new place, it was another 2-3 weeks of more transition with furniture purchases and other similar acquisitions.  It was probably another four weeks before it began to feel like a real home.  I’ll write more about our new home in future posts, but very briefly, we are renting a one-bedroom condo in very pretty senior citizens development.  We have lived here about ten weeks now, and next weekend will mark exactly three months since I officially retired.

I have always been a morning person.  Even on weekends, especially once I got past my “wild” twenties, my bedtime has always been around 10:00pm, maybe 11:00pm on a Saturday night.  Staying up till midnight was the exception for travel, when guests visited, or on New Year’s Eve.  But now I am suddenly a night owl.  The reason for this is my wife’s work schedule.  Gorgeous is a psychic advisor and still primarily has the lion share of her clients back on the west coast.  We had discussed this ahead of time prior to our move, but it still came as a shock when she was getting calls and chat requests after 10:00pm on our new Eastern time.  Many of her evening regulars are used to speaking to her just after the dinner hour Pacific time, so this means that she needs to be available till at least 11:00pm Eastern time.  Many evenings she is working past midnight now, and then she wants some down time with me before we actually go to bed.  So our bed time now is often 12:30 or 1:00am.   It’s a huge change for our body clocks!

Surprisingly, we have made this adjustment with relative ease.   I am now waking up between 8:00 and 9:00am each morning, having coffee with my news and email, and often not in the shower till around 10:30 or even 11:00am.   That I have no where special to be still feels strange, but…. boy is it a great feeling.  Former co-workers have been in touch asking me if I’m restless or bored yet.  Nope.   But I will admit to feeling awkward about not having any great responsibilities anymore.   I assume this will change at some point in the near future.

Say, is that an old Columbo episode on at 10:00 tonight?   Hot damn, I’m a lucky boy.


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