All in all, I’m where I want to be on this road to nowhere. No mortgage, and we’re in good shape financially. I feel busy but not too busy. I play golf, walk, swim, lift weights, cook, read, write, watch TV, listen to music, make art and grow cannabis.
Now that we’re fully vaccinated and the pandemic seems to be waning, we’re about to embark on our first camping trip in quite some time. I’m not up for flying anywhere just yet, but I can see some road trips in our future. We live near world-class wineries and enjoy tasting.
I don’t think I could have planned a better retirement, and yet lately I feel something is missing. Perhaps more social interaction? I’m terrible at mixing and mingling and usually can’t wait for it to be over. I never imagined I would take up art, but now I kind of wonder why it took so long. Hours alone, just me and the voices in my head slaving over some dot of color – it’s perfect.
A sense of accomplishment? That used to bother me, but I’ve changed my self-talk and decided I’m just fine without adding more feathers to my cap. Granted, this one is a moving target, as I continue to struggle with the urge to beat myself up for being just average.
Purpose? I don’t want a job, but I have some core skills, and I do like to help. By now you’re all saying, volunteer! While I suppose that’s the answer, I’ve avoided it because it’s one more intrusion into my otherwise quiet life.
We’ll have to see how this rolls out. Is this a gap worth further exploration or just a turn of mood that will evaporate as mysteriously as it arrived? Either way, I highly recommend stopping to assess your retirement journey.
What’s good? What’s missing? We may not have to work anymore, but let’s make sure retirement is working for us!
Donna Pekar is an aging badass (for real) who lives in California and writes Retirement Confidential.