I had a chance to have coffee last night with a great friend of mine whom I’d lost contact with over the course of the last year or so. My friend, recently retired and out of the workforce has better things to do that network with local professionals, and for that, I’m a bit jealous. She’s filling her time working for a church a few days a week, hanging out with family… all good. She looked, after a year of retirement, fantastic. Seriously, she looked radient, happy, the dark circles the eyes were gone, the tired aura that folks trying to keep afloat in the corporate world seem have as missing, she was great.
Today I ran into another dear friend, a guy who retired two or three years ago, he looks like a different guy after stepping off the corporate carousel.
And I was um..
I’m trying to manage my way through the midlife crisis that I’ve been coached on for the last 10 years or so. Two years south of 50 I don’t know if this is the time or not, but it does feel a bit like the we’re approaching something new and different. Late 40’s, for me has seen some plans and hopes get snuffed out, like I’m never going to bungee jump now, I’d probably dislocate a hip. Never mind the part about overcoming step one in my bungee jumping plan, overcoming a horrible fear of heights.
It’s also a time when new plans start take shape.
Like, now that were empty nesters I’d like to start thinking about that condo somewhere in St. Paul, on a busy street with access to restaurants and theatre and the lifestyle I’ve always wanted but never could have living on my personal Wisteria Lane, here in Agrestic Valley.
Imagine never mowing the lawn again. Imagine no pruning, no snow removal…
Imagine how sweet it would be to roll out of bed to the local coffee shop, setup with a scone, laptop, blog, come home for lunch with my hottie wife, (the current model mind you, I’m not mid-lifing with an au pair or anything) jumping on the motorcycle in the afternoon cruise along the river, dinner out and a show.
The imagine realizing, with some help, the following-
1) We’re not empty nesters yet, only one is gone. The second leaves next fall, the last one… Fall 2015, or never. In my mind we’re already there, in my brides mind, there’s still some child rearing to do. Argh.
2) Coffee shop and scone, what’s the plan for day two? One day at a time dear, haven’t planned that far out.
3) When I come homo to the “hottie” wife, what’s the plan ‘cause I’m not that great a conversationalist as it is. And if all I’ve accomplished in a given week is 7 lattes, 5 blog posts and a motorcycle trip.. we’re going to need a new script.
4) Speaking of motorcycles, the former nurse, aka Mrs S, uses this opportunity to re-tell the story of the fellow who lost both his feet in a motorcycle accident back in California and now walks on pegs. Just say’n, we’re not all down for the Easy Rider retirement. And she is never going to get on the back of it. I’ve planned for that with the “If you can read this the b’ch fell off” t-shirt I bought at Sturgis 5 years ago when took the family there for vacation, not paying attention to what other activities might be going on in that part of the world the first week in August. Oops. It did seem like there a lot of motorcycles on the highway.
5) I haven’t actually mowed the home yard, at least with a push mower in 3 years. I have done it with the neighborhood rider mower, the 650HP monster we bought this spring when the $150 Craigs list special died after 17 solid weeks of service. I do mow the lake place, half acre, from the back of a lawn mower, but for day to day mowing, I make the kids do it.
- And just for the record, haven’t pruned in years, MRs S does that. Allergies and all, you know how it is.
So change this one to the following: Imagine not feeling guilty about not mowing or pruning because my $300.00 a month homeowners fees are paying for it.
- For the record, I haven’t done much snow removal either. I have boys for that, at least through this winter. Next winter we’ll have to see.
6) Finally describing Mrs S as a “hottie”, did not get the anticipated kudos or hoped for result. Nuff said.
On the other hand, retirement is now at hand and I think we need to embrace it.
I get a little notice from the company that my employer has hired to manage the 401K’s and benefits. On that quarterly report, right above the part that says because I’ve invested in “cash” my risk of retirement shortfall is “high” it says “Years to retirement” and next to that the number 17.
Which means from a work standpoint, I’m just past halfway there.