Retirement update: learning how to slow down

“What are your plans for the day?”Asked Mr. C (for curious) this morning.
“Ummmmm, well…maybe I’ll sew something” I reply, vaguely. This question, asked nearly every day, causes me to feel mildly anxious. To tell you the honest truth, I have no idea what I am going to be doing most of the time. Except for every second Wednesday, when I attend the Shuswap Quilter’s Guild meeting, my days are completely unstructured.

Isn’t this what I longed for in my pre-retirement days? Endless stretches of delicious, unstructured time? I should be blissfull! I should be rolling around in it like a dog rolling in….well… get the idea.

I’m not there yet. Moving from a structured, well-defined day with borders, hard edges and timetables to one that is soft and flowing takes time. Takes patience.


I am still in the uncomfortable stage of change.

I am as itchy as a wool power suit that finds itself in a room full of flowing cotton gypsy-skirts. I am discombobulated. (Isn’t discombobulated a wonderful word? I love it as much as I love ” verklempt” and ” obfuscate”)

Living a slower lifestyle is a learning process. It takes time and practice. Sometimes it’s great. Sometimes I feel as twitchy as a cat.


I am in the process of learning not to measure success (or my worth) by my pre-retirement yardstick. My worth is not measured by how much I accomplish in a day. Why is this such a difficult concept to integrate?
“It is okay to spend the day reading a book and puttering around the house or yard, Nita – it is okay!” Says I to myself.


I don’t have to bake a cake so I will have a physical result to flourish….”Ta da! Look what I did today! Here is credible measurable physical proof of production!”


I am learning to slow down. It’s a slow process. s.l.o.w. I’ve read on the many retirement blogs that I follow that it takes at least one year (often as many as 3 years) to fully settle into one’s new lifestyle. I am 5 months into the process and feeling like I’m in the waiting room or standing in a really long, slow-moving queue.

No regrets. We made the right decision. I’m just…itchy today.

I think I’ll go sew something.