The life long dream is here! I have worked for forty years dreaming of the day I would not have to get up every morning, get dressed, and head to the office where I would spend nine to ten hours of my day, five days a week, week after week, year after year. Making sure to put money in my retirement account, and praying I would stay healthy so I would be able to enjoy traveling, going out to eat, sleeping late, staying up late, partying, etc.

It has been a year now and this is what I have learned: I don’t like to pack and unpack or riding in the car or in an airplane for long hours, eating out is fattening, I still wake up between 6:30 and 7:00, I am ready to go to bed between 9:30 and 10:00, and partying gets boring and is exhausting! Also, it is expensive traveling, eating out and partying!

So, what do you do with all these extra hours? RELAX! Stop trying to fill every hour with exciting things to do. I am now learning to paint, reading, enjoying my garden, exploring our town and surrounding area, swimming at our local pool, watching recordings of my favorite tv shows, going to the movies on senior day, exercising and, yes, occasionally taking a nap!

If none of those are your cup of tea, there are plenty of resources to help you find your passion, whether it is volunteer work or social events. Check with your local Senior Citizens Center, the Chamber of Commerce, your church or your community’s parks and recreation department to see what opportunities they offer.

So, look forward to retirement, but, be realistic. Don’t try to do too much! Relax and enjoy the little things!