I am now retired. I thought the reality of retiring had sunk in a long time ago, but I'm not sure it has. Not that I would change anything, I wouldn't; I'm quite happy not to have to follow a schedule not my own, and I'm extraordinarily happy not to 1) be defined by a job, 2) to have time to do some truly important things.
Like what, you may ask?
Like spending time in silence and a semblance of solitude. Like reading and, maybe, writing, poetry. Like reading other good, even great books, like going around Colorado taking pictures of what I see. Like spending some quantity time in prayer each day. I'm not talking about hours, but maybe an hour or so, each day, on a regular basis, what a luxury that will be. I'm going to do important things for a change.
It was remarkable to me that the first thing anyone said to me when I told them of my impending retirement was, “What do you plan to do?” As if I had to do something to be a real person or to be happy. My constant rejoiner was, offered with a laugh, soto voce, “As little as freaking possible.” They all thought I was joking, I wasn't, I was deadly serious. All the hard work, with little play time, I've put in over the last 40 years wasn't my real life, this new time of adventure (really, adventure) is my real life, it's not an ending, it's a true beginning. I plan to live it to the full.