This week marks twelve months since I retired. Overall it has been a wonderful experience but I am not pretending there is nothing I miss.
Five things I really miss about work are:
- The people were great. I know it is corny but I do miss them. I worked with some really talented and really fun people. I try to keep in touch but I am rubbish at it.
- I miss weekends. The routine of work and the rhythm of a working week are something I have lived with for nearly 40 years and it feels strange that I can now do anything any day. Either every day is like a weekend, or no day is like a weekend.
- I miss chatting early in the morning. I used to wake before 6am and email, text or call with my fellow early risers. Sotimes I now have a lie in till 7am or occasionally 8am but more often I am up by myself these days. Nice to have my own space but I miss sharing.
- I miss having money coming in. This is a bit of a strange one because we worked out our finances before I retired and we can afford it. We even have our money set up so that a fixed amount goes into our account each 18th of the month, just like it used to. But there is something psychological for me when it is existing money I am spending, rather than new money coming in.
- One year in and I still don’t really understand what being retired means. I was warned it would take a long time and it has. To some extent this still feels like one long holiday, and I still rush at what I do.
Two things I though I would miss but I don’t:
- I thought I would miss making decisions that really mattered. I worked in the sharp end of banking and some of my decisions affected literally millions of people and very large sums of money. I remember ny friend Matt (who reads this blog) telling me that the biggest decisions I would make in future would be whether to buy brown or white bread. He was absolutely right but I really don’t mind. The decisions I make these days are about me and my family, and I am very happy with them.
- I thought I would miss the adrenaline of work, especially when things went wrong and needed fixing urgently. Looking back I think I was a little addicted to that adrenaline, but I don’t think it was healthy. I am much happier being more chilled now.
And there are many things I love about being retired:
- I am not tied down by anything. If I decide I want to cancel all my plans for tomorrow and do something different, I just can.
- I can take as long as I want. When we were on our narrowboat I did not have to think of where I needed to be by Saturday – we could go fast or slow.
- I get to meet new people, do new things. Orkney for a month for instance was a great opportunity I could never have had while working
Overall I have no doubt I made the right call to retire and I am really looking forward to whatever new adventures 2022 will bring. But as it is Christmas I will raise a glass to my time at work, and to all my friends from that time.
A wonderful Christmas to all.