I’ve been curious about it for years. This week, I’m living it for the first time. Now, I can finally share…
What The First Week Of Retirement Is Really Like.
I have no idea why I’m fascinated by the “First Week Of Retirement”, and I’m curious if others also wonder about it? I suspect many do and dedicate today’s post to those of you who wonder what the first week of retirement is really like.
Now that I’m living the first week of retirement, how would I describe it? Is it what I thought it’d be, or is it different? Is it a big deal, or just another week? Is it weird, or normal? Is it scary, or exciting?
Yes to all of that. And no to all of that.
What Does Retirement Taste Like?
Have you ever tried to explain what something tastes like? Let’s go with chocolate, as an example. How would you describe it? What words would you use?Describing the first week of retirement is like describing the taste of chocolate. It's really good, but it's hard to describe. Click To Tweet
Yeah, the first week of retirement is alot like that.
It’s good, but I can’t think of the right words to describe it. Regardless, today we’re going to try.
What The First Week Of Retirement Is Really Like
Is It Like Taking A Vacation?
As I write these words, I’m 5 days into my retirement (a true rookie). Is the first week of retirement like being on vacation? On one hand, kinda sorta, but that falls far short of describing the reality. It’s similar in that you’re off work for a few days, but it’s very, very different in the knowledge that You’re Never Going Back To Work.A Vacation that never ends will always feel different than a two-week vacation. Full Stop. Click To Tweet
So, imagine the first 1/2 of your vacation, where you’re all pumped up and excited. But you know it lasts for the rest of your life. Yeah, it’s more like that.
Is It Like Saturday Every Day?
With less than a week of retirement under my belt, the “Saturday” analogy seems to be a better description of what the first week of retirement is really like. Like the Saturday’s you’ve experienced for decades, you’re free to do what you want to do. You’re ok letting your email go unchecked for a day or two. You can stay up later, you can sleep in.
You’ve got time to head up to the lake for that swim.
But it’s different because you know that there’s no Monday looming on the horizon.
What’s chocolate taste like?
Yeah, it’s hard to describe.
Is It Scary, or Exciting?
I had a friend ask me if I was “scared” I answered that I was 98% excited and 2% scared. Sure, there’s some apprehension, but it’s a really small piece of my mindset in Week 1. At this stage of the game, I’m just learning my way around this thing called retirement, and enjoying the sensation of the very first Tastes Of Freedom I’ve worked so hard to earn.
It’s only scary if you make it scary.
I know we’ll travel through many phases during our retirement journey, and I’m sure some will be more “scary” than others. We’re planning to take it all in stride. One day at a time, with some thoughts on where we want this thing to lead while leaving some freedom to enjoy the Serendipity of the thing.You can choose what you want your retirement to be. Don't choose scary. Life's too short. Click To Tweet
Choose the attitude with which you’ll live your life.
I’m choosing excited (and yeah, just a wee bit scared).
The Best Way To Describe The First Week Of Retirement
Back in September, I met two bloggers who write at Waffles On Wednesday. “Mr. & Mrs. WoW” are two very cool people. If you’ve never checked out their site, do it now. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
I never really “got” the title of Waffles On Wednesday until I met them, and they explained it to me.
Their explanation is the perfect description of the first week of retirement. Here’s how they explain it on their site:
One Sunday while we were sitting there eating our nice homemade waffles and bacon, Mrs. WoW says, “I really enjoy these mornings. It’s nice to have the time to relax in the morning.” To which Mr. WoW replied, “You know sometime soon, we’ll be making waffles on Wednesday.”*
And that was it, it’s become a bit of an ideology about how we want to live our life. We didn’t want to live to work and be strapped to a 9-5 job to pay for a lifestyle that was just ok, which so many people do. We wanted to do life our way, do things against the grain and do what really makes us happy.
The Freedom To Enjoy Waffles On Wednesday
The Waffles On Wednesday blog is all about the freedom to have Waffles On Wednesday, the pursuit of Financial Independence, and the Freedom that it provides. Of all the things I’ve thought about during this, my first week of retirement, the one thing I’ve thought about the most has been:
Freedom to do whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it. For the first time in our lives. Wow, that’s big. And THAT, in my mind, is what the first week of retirement is really like. It’s a week where the rubber band of work that’s been constantly pulling you back into a world of obligation is finally severed.A Snapping Rubber Band. A lurching movement forward as the rubber breaks. Forever. Click To Tweet
I’ve thought about it, again and again, this week. As I sit now to write my thoughts on the first week of retirement, it’s the image that comes to mind. A snapping rubber band, and a lunge forward to a life of freedom.
On Sunday, I decided to go for a swim in the lake. It wasn’t planned. I just went.
This morning, I took my brother-in-law trout fishing on the Toccoa river nearby our retirement cabin. We stayed until we felt like leaving.
Today for brunch, we took the time to have Waffles On Wednesday. We even splurged, and bought that fun Cool Whip stuff that you can spray out of a can.
Today’s post is focused on What The First Week Of Retirement Is Really Like. I know that retirement will ebb and flow as we move through various stages, and I’ll write about those phases as the time comes. Today, all I know is what the first week feels like. In one word, the first week of retirement feels like:
The rubber band which has always pulled us back to work has snapped, and we’re free for the first time in our lives. Freedom comes with obligations, and we’re realizing how much time we have each day which we’ll be responsible for filling in Purposeful ways. Freedom isn’t without cost, but it’s a tremendous gift. We’ve worked hard for the luxury of Freedom, and we’re savoring every minute of it in our First Week Of Retirement.
Freedom to do whatever we choose to do, whenever we choose to do it.
Freedom to eat what we want, when we want. Perhaps, even…
…Waffles On Wednesday.
THAT is what the first week of retirement is really like.
What About You? What do you look forward to in your first week of retirement? If you’ve already retired, how would you describe the taste of chocolate? Any words of advice for this “Newbie Retiree” on pitfalls to avoid on the journey ahead? Let’s chat in the comments…