Saturday, September 15, 2012

DOING IT WRONG!


Not that! Get your minds out of the gutter, folks. Ha!

What I’ve not figured out how to properly do is retire. Two weeks ago, I officially reached a major life goal and left Corporate America. All in all, it feels great. We won’t mention getting an invite to my 40th high school reunion and retiring in the same week. Eeek! Talk about feeling ancient.

One would assume at my advanced old age, I’d slow down and relax a little. Prop my feet up and enjoy the morning coffee. Watch the hummingbirds perform their morning dance. But in fact, I’m running around like a crazy person. My muscles ache.

OMG, am I becoming my mother? We’ve often called her the Eveready Bunny. The woman just goes and goes and goes. Keep in mind, she does live with us now, so I’ll use that as an excuse as to why I’m having such a problem with slowing down. Not buying it? Yeah, me either. This is MY problem, not hers.

I haven’t written a word on my current work in progress. Instead I’ve cleaned out closets and cabinets, washed the windows inside and out, scrubbed down the plantation shutters, and washed half the ceiling fans and light fixtures. The other half will be done today if my body holds out. Ha! We’ve donated bags of old clothes to Goodwill and sold old movies and CDs we haven’t played in years. When the inside is clean, we still need to tackle the garage and flowerbeds.

My hubby comes home from work each evening and just shakes his head. This morning he told me to slow down before I really hurt myself. The problem is that my mind still thinks of this as a vacation with limited time to accomplish everything on a list that has been growing for 26 years while I was employed. It was so easy to put things off before. “When I retire I’ll…” But now it’s time to put up or shut up. No more excuse of having to work 50 hours per week.

A stack of books calls patiently from the nightstand, but my mind won’t slow down enough to get into them. My WIP is rattling around in my mind, but I can’t sit down long enough to get any of it on paper. Have I completely lost my ability to relax?


Any advice on how to quit the day job and actually RETIRE?

6 comments:

Linda Steinberg said...

I think you pegged it when you said you thought of this as a vacation with a limited time span. I rarely clean or organize my house, but when I do, I literally run from room to room trying to get things done before my strength gives out. (Of course, I could be running so I don't forget what I went to the next room for before I get there.)
Everybody retires in their own way, so I don't think any advice will be heeded. I do think, Energizer Bunny, that you will eventually wind down, and when you do, at least you will have a clean, uncluttered house to relax in.
And don't force yourself to try to write. The housecleaning phase will eventually pass, and when the writing phase kicks in, you will be just as enthusiastic about that.

L

Pamela Stone said...

Thanks, Linda. Agree that there is no wrong or right way to retire. And the house is getting there, so hopefully I'll run out of things to do. Ha! Certainly hope you are correct about me approaching writing with the same enthusiasm. That should be really fun.

VICKI BATMAN, said...

I've been *retired* for a while now. And am busier than ever. You won't run out of things to do; new ones will pop up. And I go through *I want to do that!*--see cheesemaking 101 class recently.

Have fun! All this stuff will make you a better writer!

Amanda Renée said...

I can't help you with the retirment part - But I will say, you're not old until you reach 100. I know for me, when I write at home, I see all the little things that need to get done. Right now I am staring at a gigantic dusty bunny under my couch. After I post this comment, I will get up and vacuum said dust bunny, and while I have it out, I will proceed to vacuum the rest of the house. Hopefully I will stop there, but I fear I won't. Laundry lurks in the next room. I will pass the dishes in the sink on the way to the washing machine. It will continue on, while my poor manuscript is lurking behind this browser window, saying "write me". I wish you a happy retirement! Enjoy every moment, you deserve it!

Michelle Miles said...

Hi Pam!

Here is my friendly butt kicking. ;) You're not retired, you're a working writer. Sure, you've retired from Corporate America, but you are a writer, first and foremost. All those chores can wait until you get your pages/words done for the day. Your dirt isn't going anywhere. Trust me. (I should know... my bathrooms are neglected at the moment but I've scheduled cleaning time for tomorrow LOL I seriously need to fire my maid--me!).

I don't know if this will help but my advice is to figure out what your writing routine is and then stick to it. If you write/work better in the mornings, then that should be your scheduled time at your computer to work on that WIP. If you're more of a cleaning in the morning person, then do it then. But I honestly believe if you schedule your writing time, make it sacred and stick to it, you will love the end result - a completed WIP. All that other stuff will get done when it gets done. ;)

Hugs!

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Vicki. That's what I'm afraid of. I've been retired two weeks and my September calendar is full and October is getting there.

Amanda, you made me giggle. I start to do one thing and get distracted by three others before I get to the origional one.

Michelle, that's sort of the plan. I want to get the house in shape first. Decided to give myself a couple weeks to get the brain slowed down. Then my plan is to write 4 hours minimum each day. Probably mornings as soon as the hubby leaves for work. Flexible of course, but at least have a plan, like a job.

We shall see how this works out.

Thanks all for jumping in.