This is the second cake photo that I have shared in just a few weeks. As you can see, last week was my 50th birthday and my wife was kind enough to organize an awesome birthday party for me on Saturday night, which came just 19 days after my early retirement party.
It has been an embarrassment of riches for sure and I am so blessed to have wonderful friends & family who want to celebrate these moments with me.
As you can imagine, with two weeks of early retirement under my belt, the key question everyone’s asking me is “what is it like?” Everyone wants to know how my wife and I are adjusting and how amazing it probably is.
The easy answer is that it feels great – life is unhurried, I’ve slept in a few mornings, went to the afternoon movie on Tuesday, got out on the golf course on Wednesday, enjoyed a game at the ballpark on Thursday, and only did anything like ‘work’ on Friday when I went to a board meeting for a local non-profit. While I miss the connections and everyday fun I’ve had with colleagues at MegaCorp over the years, I’ve been pretty busy goofing off. While this sounds well & good, I do know that I am still very early in the transition to a new lifestyle, so I know these observations are preliminary at best.
As I was thinking about where I am at on the transition, I ran across a model of the phases of retirement by Dr. Sara Yogev, who also wrote a book called “A Couple’s Guide to Happy Retirement”. The phases are outlined in this graphic I found on Bloomberg:
At this point, I feel like I have been simply in the “Celebration” phase. I spent the last 30 days finishing up at work, enjoying a wonderful retirement party, went on Spring Break with my family to Florida, and now had a great 50th birthday party.
I am not a person who naturally enjoys being in the spotlight, but I think the ceremony that comes with the Celebration stage is important in bringing closure to a very long period of work & planning. That said, after 30 days of fun and tribute, I am ready to move on to the reality of organizing a new normal and daily routine.
Finding this new life will come with the fun of the “Honeymoon” stage, which I’m hopeful will last quite a while. I’m excited to get the calendar out and start planning activities. The weather has turned sensational and there is no shortage of new opportunities!
Image Credit: MrFireStation.com; Bloomberg