October 31st marks the third anniversary of my retirement from fulltime work and since that time, I must say I have never once been bored. For some, the question of “what will I do once I retire?” looms large and possibly keeps them working longer into their senior years due to that uncertainty. For me, I have so many interests and hobbies outside of work, retirement for me has been absolutely fabulous.
The last two calendar years have certainly been filled with travel enjoying a multitude of trips each year. That however has not happened this year with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. This may turn out to be the first year in my adult life that I have neither flown somewhere nor spent the night out in a hotel. But I know that will return one day and for now I’m just spending much more time at home.
Having extra time at home has certainly given me more opportunities for outdoor projects. This spring, I completed my annual weeding and mulching much earlier than I ever have before. And this was in spite of doing some significant improvements as well.
I also finally got around to working on a project that has been needing to be done for some time—rebuilding our backyard deck. This turned out to be a much bigger job than I originally thought when I found so much hidden rotted wood. If you have a similar project and need some inspiration, I wrote a series of posts about this that you can access here.
With the pandemic in full swing, I have definitely gotten a chance to do much more cooking since we haven’t eaten out at a restaurant since March. To help out our son and daughter-in-law with their now virtually schooled five-year-old, I have also been cooking dinners for them. Once I had prepared most of my regular dishes, several times, my wife researched and found some additional ideas that have also become a part of our regular rotation.
As the pandemic was just getting started in the US, I undertook a very fun project building a doll house for my in-town granddaughter. This kept my love for modeling kindled and was a blast to build. Even before I completed it, I learned from my oldest son and daughter-in-law living on the west coast that they too had planned on giving their daughter a doll house and liked the idea of Granddaddy building it for her.
I have tried to keep up my exercise regimen this year in spite of not being able to go the gym. I got back to biking in a big way this year and now routinely bike three to four time a week. On Saturday morning, I bike with my wife in what has become a very enjoyable time together.
Reading is another one of my interests that I have maintained this year. I try to alternate between a non-fiction and fiction as there are many things and events, I enjoy learning about. With no air travel this year, I have not had any of the all-day reading days I typically have while flying. But I still end every day after dinner with my wife reading together.
I have continued to doing consulting for an organization that I started with last year. The amount of effort varies month to month, is interesting, and never seems onerous. I have also had several offers to do more consulting but because they would have more significantly cut into my free time, I turned them down.
And my wife and I end our day each day, as we have been doing for so many years, meeting at “our club” enjoying an adult beverage and talking about our day. This was one activity I didn’t know if I would be able to continue once I retired since my wife and I spend most of our day together and already know much about each other’s day. But we still find many interesting things to talk about sharing some of our solo activities and thoughts.
And of the list I made of things I wanted to do once I retired, I still have not gotten out my old digital SLR camera and done some serious photography work. Nor have I gotten to take some of the long road trips I wanted to take. Now that the year is almost over, those activities will just have to wait until next year.
Once Halloween is over, I know the year will race away before we know it with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming in rapid succession. As the holidays approach, I know I will have even more activities going on between decorating the house and buying gifts.
So, you can see why I haven’t been bored this year or actually at any time since retiring. In fact, I envision next year being even busier as we get to return to traveling after the pandemic is over. I’m loving being retired and I look forward to many more adventures and fun activities in the year ahead.