My original plans had me retiring at the end of last year. Yesterday, I drove to work during a winter storm and drove home in flooding rains, thinking: “This is exactly what I was looking forward to NOT doing once I retired.” That of course had me thinking more broadly that retirement planning involves not just deciding what I want to do when I stop working full time, but also what I don’t want to do.
Top on the list (even before yesterday) is that I don’t want to have to get out of bed on mornings when winter storms are raging and the walk is no longer visible and the cars need scraping. I want to grab the nearest cat and cuddle. I don’t want to worry about whether I’ll be able to dig out in time to make an 8:30 AM meeting.
I don’t want to have to make the next day’s lunches the night before, especially when I’m really tired. I don’t want to feel guilty when we open the refrigerator in the morning, lunch totes in hand, and discover I never made sandwiches the night before.
I also do not want to do my grocery shopping on the weekends, when everyone else is in the market and the only cart I can find has at least one wheel that refuses to roll. Or it has a large plastic automobile mounted on the front, waiting for a toddler to drive it.
It would be nice to be able to forget about wearing pantyhose except on occasions when I’ll be doing something I really want to dress up for. Which means not very often, I suspect. Yes, I’ll keep a few of my business suits with the pencil skirts, just in case, but only because of Murphy’s law.
I don’t want to say “no” to joining committees and going to events that interest me but I don’t have time for and “yes” to ones that I don’t care about, but that are politically correct for my job.
I don’t want to have to tell my friends that I can’t have dinner with them next Wednesday night even though my calendar is free, because I have a full schedule on Thursday, so I’ll need to get to bed early.
I don’t want to have to spend Sunday night dying my roots when the gray is just slightly visible but I have a meeting the next week where I don’t want to look my age. The gray needs coloring soon enough without pushing the schedule. Now that I think about it, I don’t want to have to attend any meetings where I care if I look my age.
Simply put: I wanted to be a spoiled, rotten, petulant adult. I don’t want to have to do anything unless I choose to do it. So there.