A Taste of Retirement

Submission deadlines make me nervous. Working without an outline and only vague ideas about where the story might go means I could hit a wall at any time. Prompted by a May 1 deadline for Whippersnapper, I took a week off from the day job in mid-April for a taste of what life will be like after I retire.

I finished the first draft Tuesday evening. Wednesday and Thursday I worked on revisions. Friday and Saturday I wrote the dreaded synopsis the publisher requests with every submission. Vision issues keep me from writing for more than a few hours in one sitting, so I had time to do other things.

The weather sucked. Aside from a few sunny hours on a couple of days, rain made doing much of anything outside difficult. I only got to run once all week.

Taking off for an entire week is a rare event. Nobody does my job when I’m away, and I hate coming back to hundreds of email messages. So I spent an hour or so every day dealing with “urgent” emails.

For months, getting to the gym more than twice a week has been a challenge. Missing so much has set me back too. Instead of following any workout program, I’ve focused on chest/triceps with one workout and shoulders/biceps for the other, throwing in abs and cardio as time allowed.

During my week off, I went to the gym for ninety minutes or more every day. I rotated through four different routines to hit every muscle group in my body. As God is my witness, I’ll never skip another leg day again. After my first leg workout in months, I could hardly walk for the next five days.

In between rain showers, I worked in my yard for the first time in ages. Everything is mulched, and I finally added enough pebbles to finish out the dry stream bed that handles runoff. I even ran out and bought flower and vegetable plants for my garden.

After years of getting up at 5:30, whether I work or not, I slept in until 7:00 almost every morning. After lunch, I took a nap for an hour — sometimes two. I also stayed up until midnight rather than my usual 10:00. Yeah, I was wild.

All in all, I had a great week. The time passed too quickly, but then, that’s true whether I work or not. The good news is retirement, five to seven years from now, will be here in no time.