Can retirement be boring?

July 22, 2018

I'm having one of those retirement days when I want to search for a part-time job. Sometimes I cannot appreciate the white space on my calendar. Next, I loathe the guilty feeling which follows.

How can I feel bored in retirement?

My husband is fed up with my whining, and I don't blame him. So I search for girl friends to explain my conflicted emotions.

"My small business fulfills my life and brings a balance between volunteering and activities in the community," says neighbor Barb, who operates two antique booths to keep her sanity. She can swap in a lamp and sterling sliver tongs in a local antique shop, and every Wednesday she keeps her vigil at Firehouse Antiques in Galena, Md.

After cleaning out our families' estate, I should open an antique shop, but I found it easier to gift the contents. Twenty-three of my closest friends have now inherited everything from English teapots to shower caps circa 1963.

When I confided my thoughts with another friend, Joan, she offered me a welcome perception.

"For me, it's not about boredom, it's about choices," Joan writes. "These aren't always easy – even and/or especially in retirement. The catch is that freedom from routine is a loaded opportunity; it comes with the worrisome responsibility to use time wisely. When I get in the right zone, freedom from a daily routine gives me the energy and brain space to follow what intrigues me, and I can turn a random thought into something more than idle curiosity."

Joan's wondering about the recent history of the African-American community in Lewes led her to interview residents for an article published in the 2017 edition of The Journal of the Lewes Historical Society.

Joan says, "Retirement is a process, not a product."

I believe I miss the product.

Yesterday I met a neighbor at my pool who said she has one year left at her current job before retirement. "I can't wait to live a life of leisure," she grinned.

I knew she will soon embark upon her own journey, and she will face some challenges like all of us.

Using my time wisely is what challenges me. Knowing that I will attend yet another funeral for a family member this weekend makes examination of my own life seem vital.

The serious Lisa feels I should be making the most out of every day. Then my swim class suggests we should have karaoke in the pool. Thinking levity brings longevity could be my chant.

So, dear readers, care to share your experience? Have you tried getting a part-time paycheck after giving up the bigger one? Did it relieve boredom?

Thinking my mood to return to work will pass. My husband knows not to say anything when I say this, too. Then again, next week I may begin looking for work, feeling grateful for the choice.