This week I submitted my final two paperwork pieces for retirement. I'd already done one, way back in March, but after many months of consideration decided I'd rather roll over the payout into an already established account (but unavailable for five years) rather than pay a ton of income tax to have it just sitting (but available) in a different account. And this afternoon I finally made a decision about health benefits and submitted my enrollment online. I love being able to do that stuff online. So now all official stuff is done, finally. I hated having those two things hanging--it's good to have those done.
Slowly but surely, retirement is growing on me. For pretty much all of August it's been hard-- Did I do the right thing? Will I ever see those people again? Will they miss me at all? What will I do all day? And slowly the answers have made themselves known--yes, it was the right thing, no, I won't see most of those people much at all, and yes, I'll be missed. Recently I went to my school to drop off order forms for baseball tickets, and stopped in over half the classrooms just to say hi. When I walked in to each room, the reaction was almost all the same. The kids gasped, then started clapping. How can that not feel good? I didn't go in the library, though. I just don't want to see how it might look different. Several people have told me "She's so laid back!". I take this to mean "You were so not laid-back!" I don't really care though. Not a lot, anyway. Well, maybe a little.
What do I like about being retired? The same things I like about being on Christmas or spring or summer break-- being able to stay up late, do errands during the day, or make no plans if I don't feel like it. Some days seem like a waste--I don't really do much except putz around the house or dink on the computer. I have to keep telling myself that's okay. I'm still trying to find my niche, and technically I have only REALLY been retired a few weeks. I really don't consider all the summer break to be retirement. Everyone who isn't a teacher (B, especially) really has a hard (impossible) time comprehending why this process has been challenging. "You don't have to work anymore and you're making pretty much the same amount of money. What's challenging?". It's just too hard to explain.
A couple of funny (interesting) things have happened recently. On two separate occasions a person in a neighboring building has caught me outside and said "Are you not working anymore?" They noticed my car at home during the day. I had no idea people watched that kind of thing. I don't really know my neighbors very well, so I was a little surprised. Then yesterday I stopped at McDonnie's to get some iced tea, and the cashier at the drive through said, "I don't see you come through in the mornings anymore". Yikes--did I really eat that stuff for breakfast that much?