Saturday, July 20, 2013

Stacking Marbles (A Rant)

Photo Credit
That's kind of how life is now.  I feel like I'm trying to stack marbles and they keep rolling away.

I've been retired for just over a month now.  The first couple of weeks were spent traveling and then we spent a week out on the boat.  We had a great time in Florida and totally enjoyed our time on the boat exploring Matagorda Island.  We had a vacation from our vacation to (hopefully) give me a ramp down off the merry-go-round.

Now that we're settled in I just can't seem to get my act together!  Where are my lists?  Where are my organizational skills?  Where is my agenda?  I just can't seem to get organized in a meaningful way and it's got me fretting...

On one hand, we've got three months to get "ready" when, essentially, we could leave today and be just fine.  So where's the stress in that?  But then, there's that compulsive part of me that needs to be doing something constructive all the time!  There's the "me" that needs to see all those "t's" crossed before we can be "ready".  If I don't get "X" amount of things accomplished each day, I feel guilty.

I seem to be OK with foregoing the boat projects for recreation, as long as there is a particular named event.  There must be something I can recount:  We went sailing today, or we went racing today, or we had dinner with friends today.  We sat on our backsides and read a book today?  Nope, I'm having a hard time doin' it.  What is WRONG with me?!?!

We love being on the boat.  We are having NO regrets about our choice.  I just need to get my list maker jump started.  I think if I had a great list that I could mark things off of, I would be OK.  But I can't seem to do it!  So maybe I need to kick the list maker to the curb and just go with the flow...  Sounds easy right?  Can't do it!

I knew there would be adjustments once I retired and I just need to settle down and let them happen.  It's OK if we don't finish a job today.  No, I don't have to have a documented reason that no jobs were finished today.  No, I won't be fired if no jobs get finished today.  Yes, I can still do the job tomorrow or the next day.  Maybe I'll do some other job in between or maybe I'll just go float off the transom for a while...  It's OK!

But I'm Impatient.  I'm impatient that my mind and body have not responded as quickly as I would like.  I've spent so many years working at a desk, that now, when I'm more physically active, there has been a certain amount of rebelling going on.  I'm TIRED!  I want to SLEEP!  It's not just the mind numbing kind of tired... real physical tired!  And it's been, what a month?  Surely I should be superwoman by now!

I find my words coming back to bite me in the butt.  Words about how joyously I would embrace the opportunity to learn new things from doing boat projects.  Words about how Bruce and I would revel in our uninterrupted time together.  Words about how lovely life would be...

Now, don't get me wrong... all of those things are still there, but they're morphing into reality.  I had my first "laugh-until-you-cry" moment when we were stuck in the endless mire of a project-gone-wrong.  A simple thing that didn't even NEED to be done, should have taken half an hour tops, that took us all day and part of another.  I just wanted to SCREAM!  "Why didn't we just leave it like it was!???!!!".

Bruce and I have had our first real fight!  The kind of fight in which someone says "If you say another word, I'm going to turn this van around and we're going back to the boat!"!  It was such a communication breakthrough for us!  We have grown and learned from it, but at the time, it wasn't so great.

So why am I blathering about all of this?  Because it's my Blog and I can cry if I want to!  Because I have always felt that if I can get things out of my head, they will stop bothering me.  Because if there are other people out there who read this and can empathize, maybe shed some words of wisdom or send some encouragement my way... it will hasten my recovery from this madness!

Yeah, whaa whaa, poor me.  Quit my job and living the dream.  Bla Bla Bla....Yes it's true and I count myself lucky every day when I get up and get to decide what we will do.  I feel my soul yawning and stretching every time I get to change my mind about what we will do today when a better offer comes our way.  I feel the endless possibilities roll out in a thing as simple as doing my laundry on a Wednesday instead of waiting for the weekend.

Ahhh, see!  I'm feeling better already.  Today we will play and tomorrow we will get back on track.  Tomorrow I will resume picking up the marbles.


  1. Post retirement/job quitting is a tough period to get through. Everyone handles it differently, but we all pretty much feel the same way at times. You are completely changing your world! It's perfectly normal to feel all those emotions, and it's good to get them out in the open instead of letting them stew for months. Avoid those deadlines! What's the rush? The boat is well equipped from what I can see, and you can work on her anywhere, so take your time, bounce around port to port and get some projects done along the way. It will take some time to adjust, but you will fall into the groove real soon. Cheers! PJ

    1. Thanks for your words of encouragement! Each evening we sit on the deck and talk over our day. We are saying things like "no matter we didn't finish that job, we got a lot done and we'll start on it first (or second) thing in the morning. We for sure need to do some bouncing. I'm feeling antsy and thinking we may not make it until Octoberish before we head East. But that's the lovely thing... we can do that if we want! If I could just sit and read for a while, or get my budget organized, or make a provisioning list... See there I go again!

  2. You have done such a great job of expressing exactly how life has been for me. I have now been retired for 8 years and I still am lost unless I have a list, unless I know what I have planned for tomorrow...and then just throw my hands up and say...fine, it's ok to not have anything planned...just throw a fishing line out if you want to. Where is that list now? Oh yes, I was going to clean the portside today.

    1. So you're saying it could take me EIGHT YEARS to get over it!!!! LOL Oh I hope not. My poor husband couldn't take it! Part of my problem is that he putters all. the. time. He can't sit still and that's how he normally is. So when I want to just veg and he's buzzing around... I feel guilty! I have GOT to get over that. I'm wondering if there's an App for budgeting time...

      Thanks for your empathy. It really does feel good to get it out. I feel a list coming on right now!

  3. I hear it's a tough transition to "Island Time" for some. Me ... I don't think I'll have that problem! I've always been responsible, but I've never felt guilty about taking it easy. However, I know those boat projects that take forever can (and will) be frustrating. Nothing is simple on a boat .. sigh

    1. I knew I would have trouble relaxing. I just didn't know I would be so scattered. I've just got to pull it together.

      I've always told employees starting work that it can take three months for things to "gel" and feel like they're coming together. I've got to listen to my own advice and just wait out those three months. Meanwhile, maybe I'll have a sundowner...

      Thanks for your comment, as usual, always there for us! And remember... your time is coming!

  4. My SIL retired a couple of years before me and she advised that there are 3 stages to adjusting. The first few weeks feels like vacation; it takes a while to slow down and realize you have *time* now. Then you start to get melancholy, miss the colleagues, the fun parts of working, and start figuring out how to define yourself when society values "what you do" and not "who you are." Then finally you come through that tunnel and are ready for Your Life, Act II (whether its on a boat, in a cabin in the woods, in a new career, volunteering, or some other passion). She's right. Take your time, it'll all work out. And then, like the rest of us, you'll wonder how you ever had time & energy for work.

    1. Thank you. I'll try to remember that. I just flip flop back an forth but will definitely remember your advice.