What I am Learning in Retirement

Being relatively new to retirement, I am finding there is a learning curve.  It’s more than learning about an interest area.  It’s learning how to live.   Here are some of the specific things I am learning about life in retirement:

  • In retirement, you choose how to spend your days. This is a bit of a love/hate thing because when I have days that are not fulfilling, it’s my own fault!   So, I am learning to own my choices, be happy with my accomplishments, and not beat myself up if something goes differently than planned.  Everyday is a new day to experience joy. And everyday does not need to be extraordinary.   There can be joy and fulfillment in the smallest of things and the most ordinary of moments.
  • Learning to take time… to have a conversation with a neighbor, a glass of wine or a morning coffee with a friend, a leisurely shopping excursion.  I am learning to enjoy not feeling rushed.  And the joy of mid-week un-crowded shopping.  For this Type-A “hunter mentality” shopper, this is definitely a learning curve!
  • Learning to just “be” and not always “do”. A very challenging learning curve for a recovering workaholic!
  • I am choosing to be happy by learning to practice gratitude. I am also actively using tools to be more emotionally aware by labeling negative emotions.
  • Learning to be OK with being a beginner. I am exploring new things – learning about retirement, doing the self-reflection needed to form a vision and action plan, and  exploring  new activities.  From having mastery-at-work to be a beginner-at-living has been a huge change and one that challenges me regularly.


Besides new interests, what are you learning in retirement?


Picture Credit: Pixabay


6 thoughts on “What I am Learning in Retirement

  1. I would have to say that my biggest challenge in my two and a half years in retirement is learning how to manage the time spent with my husband. Being together 24/7 – or, at least having the possibility of being together so much – can be overwhelming. Good example, as I was writing this comment, I’ve been interrupted at least six times to “help out” with his garage project.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I haven’t found that a challenge for me, but I can understand why it might be. We are both introverts and don’t feel at all bad if a whole day goes by with both of us in/around the house, but not talking! Yeah, weird.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Pat – Once again we are on a similar page. The post that I had originally planned for this week was my version of ‘learning how to be, instead of madly trying to do, do do!’ For me, that is one of the most difficult, but most valuable, lessons in retirement – regardless of how busy our retirement days are. Thanks for another great reflection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The learning “to be” is one of my harder learning curves! It’s also scary to me how often we are on the same page…. family connections post today was being written as I read your recent one. Constantly amazes me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have learned that I am almost even busier in retirement than I was when I was working, but as you point out, it is busyness that I choose. My time consists of learning new things, doing projects that I never had the time to do previously and managing my health. I try to get SOMETHING productive done every day. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing and some days, because of weather or circumstances, not much gets done, but it doesn’t bother me in the least.

    Someone asked me the other day if I missed work and I truthfully answered with a resounding “no!”. I miss the people I worked with every day, but I am finding more than enough to do to keep me challenged and fulfilled in retirement. I, like you, are relatively new to this phase of life (ca. 2 years) but so far, couldn’t be happier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me, its hard to call it busy I find I have moments that I can just “be”, read a novel for no reason except enjoyment, chill for an afternoon just because. Is that “busy”? I’m doing more, different things now that when it was “all work, no play” and felt I never had time for anything but work, eat and sleep. Doing more things, but not feeling like I’m without time…. that’s hard for me to classify as “busy”. But yeah, loving it!


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