I was reading a blog today written by a woman who hasn’t yet retired. She feels that a person should take the first few years of retirement to just “find themselves” before making a Master Plan.
As we were making arrangements for Casey’s retirement, there were so many things to consider financially and those were our priority. Once we had that all figured out, we tried to imagine what it would be like to be so free from obligations and commitments…and it looked kinda scary. We decided we needed something to do, especially Casey, who has to always be busy, or so I thought.
We bought the travel trailer, agreeing that we would spend winters in a warmer clime, as well as visit faraway places at our leisure. We were pie-eyed and bought brand-new, against our own better judgment, because we pictured ourselves boondocking in the belly of the deserts and the tip-tops of the mountains. We made elaborate plans for 6-week-long meanderings and researched all fifty states for attractions. We camped Lexington, KY Horse Park, Smokemont in the Smokies, short, fun trips. We took a week and went to Santa Fe and Taos, and vowed to return when we had more time.
Then, he retired, December 16, 2016, after 44 years with INDOT. We spent 3-4 months getting the pensions and annuities and such flowing and took off on our first long trip in March, 2017, to Dauphin Island, AL. When we returned, we started in with the garden, the kids, the house, etc. In October (2017) we took the trailer down to WDW for a week, staying at Fort Wilderness Campground, where I wish we could afford to live. We returned to Florida in March, 2018 and finished up at WDW for another week, then headed home. Except for a couple of week-enders to Harmonie, that’s it.
In the meantime, we’ve adjusted to spending a Lot of Time Together. We were never the kind of couple who did everything together. In fact, I sort of smirked at girls who always have to include their husbands in the conversation and look at them adoringly, giggling at their every bad joke. We went our own ways, meeting up at suppertime, and bedtime to discuss what needed to be discussed.
So I thought I knew what he would want to do. But he is Much more laid-back that I ever realized. After all those years of rising early, I am shocked that he sleeps until he feels like getting up. He stays busy, but doesn’t mind watching cowboy movies for hours. We are attached at the hip, and I love it. I giggle at his bad jokes, and often look at him adoringly. Smirk away. (However, if you call me, I won’t make you talk to him…I draw the line there.)
But now the roof is leaking (in several spots, actually). The “check engine” light has been flashing on the tow vehicle. We both need some expensive dental work done. I hear some folks talk about how great the economy is, but I see food and gas prices going up, up, up. I don’t want to whine, but…
In addition to all of that, we just don’t feel that traveling in the trailer is a priority anymore. Disney still is, of course, and I have reserves to spend a month or so in FL this coming winter. Otherwise, we are more than content to stay home and do whatever, and right now that involves fixing things.
I’m not sure we would have benefited from just taking this time to “find ourselves’, because I think you will have to do that with or without a Plan. Just be Aware that whatever Your Plan is, it will change.
We have found ourselves closer and, (gag) more in love with each other and our life together. We found out we’re a “we”. We’re also pretty photogenic…