Friday, August 30, 2013

Six Months of Retirement

Believe it or not, this week marks six months of retirement for me.  Looking back on it reminds of
looking back on maternity leave.  In both cases I thought I would have accomplished so much more, gotten so many projects done, and have my world so much more pulled together!  But looking at it with that lens is just my nature, I guess.  Shifting lenses, I see much more that has changed in six months.

I am less stressed.  I didn't realize the constant pull of stress that I was feeling when I worked until it was no longer there.  I had run at that pace my whole adult life, so it felt like it was normal, just what life is supposed to feel like, what all working parents are dealing with.  I'm so thankful to have the ability to slow down on disability.  I can relax, take things at a slower pace, pay more attention to what I'm doing.  I can think more.  Breathe more.  I still have a To Do list each day, but it's not overwhelming or rushed usually.  When I have to schedule doctor appointments or PT appointments, I don't have to think about what's on my plate at work and what I might have to ask someone else to cover for me.  Are there still things I'm way behind on?  Yes. Does it get me worked up?  Not very often.  It's nice.

Rory and I at Purina Farms dog show recently. AWESOME!
Rory is less stressed.  I'm guessing this is because Mommy is less stressed, but it could be just because she has more time at home rather than after-school care.  She and I have more time together.  Now, those of you who have seen us together know that sometimes our greatest source of stress is each other, but I'm working on being patient more now that I'm not so stressed. Plus, I have more time to set up play dates for her with her friends, which she loves.

Is Jason less stressed?  I am not sure.  He has taken on more responsibility at work and has traveled a lot this summer.  But, it's nice that I can manage so many things at home so he doesn't have to worry about them.  If Rory gets sick and has to stay home, No worries, I've got it.  If the car has to go to the shop, No worries, I've got it.  That kind of luxury is hopefully helping us all.

I'm exercising more.  Not as much as I want yet, but I'm getting our dog, Maybe, out for a walk twice/day, so that helps.  I've also gotten a nice relaxed tan this summer from time in the yard, the garden, and out for walks.  I've earned that tan during my retirement! :)

And now I'm starting to explore more classes to take to help me take care of myself.  For example, I recently went to a class on meditation.  Soon I think I'll try a class on hula hooping (I've never ever been able to hula hoop!).  Yoga is next on my list, too.

Overall, I'm giving my six months of retirement two thumbs up!  I am SO THANKFUL to Washington University for this amazing benefit that is allowing me to take care of myself and be home.