A lot of people have asked me this question. And I had answered them spontaneously. But I want to take a moment and look into myself as to how exactly I feel and felt before retirement from active career.
Undoubtedly; there are no two thoughts; there is no hesitation. And there is no bias either. EXCITED! That’s how I feel and felt in past few days, weeks, months, and over a year. Why? Fundamentally, left to my desired choice, I am a lazy person, very ill-organized, can’t fit into a punctuality and a routine. But luckily, (else my life would’ve been much worse and would’ve made a mess of myself) when I have a duty, I can’t ignore it. Until I finish my duty I cannot be peaceful. It kills me if I had work to do, yet I am lazying around. Given what I am, I had forced myself into a routine that was necessary to continue in active career and do my job. And because of that latter attitude of me, thankfully I think a good job at my job. The love and affection that pours in from all corners at my work, and the feedback or appreciation beyond my expectation that I get these days, confirms that I must’ve done a decent job.
There is also some frustration as always, at work. The transition at work that I targeted to close it off in first week itself, did end up taking nearly all of three weeks. There was work every day of some nature. Some given out to me, some self induced (like the talk I gave to few project teams yesterday on ‘Life Lessons Learned by my 58’, which needed a presentation deck to be prepared, infrastructure organizing, getting the teams together, planning etc.). Even as of my last day today, I still had things in the morning. Closed a successfully a critical task that was open for 4 months for my Account team. This needed few more meetings and coordination with other departments. And still have one or two things yet before I wrapped up and returned by laptop. I was well aware of this though. During all of my career, right since I had joined my CA articleship, I did not have one day of a not busy situation with a single sole exception of really one day some 2-3 months back). So I knew I am destined to have some work or the other and would be busy till the last day, last moment. Always racing behind time. But it’s all closing off now.
The feeling of I don’t have to take calls anymore; I don’t have to read my mail diligently every day multiple times a day; the suspense of God knows what knows what’s in there on project or other office matter every time I opened the pandora box and until I finished reading ALL of the mail; all of that wouldn’t be there going forward. It’s a very EXCITING thing. So much of a relief! A heavy burden taken off my shoulders.
And, I don’t need to waste a good 4 hours of time every day (to and fro commute plus the pre-and-post preparation easily adds up to that) to produce what I am actually require to, is a great feeling. It’s time the world really gets into a virtual remote working. We are not there yet, although we think we are. So I get to use this 4 hours EVERY DAY for something else. Hopefully productive even if that includes lazying around. Hey, lazying around is another word for relaxing. And relaxing is another word for resting. And resting is another word for pre-preparation (I can create such a word even if that doesn’t exist in Oxford Dictionary) for the next task. Which means, I will be efficient in the subsequent task.
And to top it all, I will also have the full 8 hours of office time now available to do something productive that will keep me happy or contribute to society. Knowing what I am, I do not think I will be idle for long hours without doing anything. I will have always a call-of-the-duty of something or the other. I am pretty sure, even after retirement I will be quite active physically and mentally. So far there ain’t a word called boredom in my dictionary yet. Hoping and wishing that it will continue to be so until my last breath.
The idea is now I will get to use that time actively engaged in activities that would keep me in a happy emotion by doing things I will enjoy.
So in a nutshell, yes the feeling is, ‘I am excited’.
But how about money? What about not earning? If I was okay with not earning money through employment, I could’ve done this even sooner. I didn’t have to wait till retirement. I could’ve taken a voluntary retirement sooner. The answer is, call-of-duty. It was an expectation that I had worked in employment till retirement, if I was a sane person. So I did. Now I don’t have to. No guilt now.
But what about things like, what will I actually do? How will I actually earn ‘some’ money to sustain my family expenses? What will the society think about me? What else are society’s expectation? As a good human being what else I am supposed to be doing after retirement? I don’t know, fully yet. I will figure it out, in times that will come by.
For now, I am purely EXCITED. Take in the moment, and live it. For I know, it will be over, in a jiffy!