Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I'm on a Retirement Break....

"We were on a break!!"

If you read that quote and knew what I was referring to, I hope it made you smile. Lately I feel like I have the need to shout, "I need a break!" I'm sure we all want to scream that every so often, but recently I came upon a wonderful idea. Allow me to explain.

A few weeks ago I was talking to a former college professor of mine and his wife. They both retired from teaching in the last year, so our conversation naturally turned to the topic of retirement. When I asked them how they were enjoying retirement, they both had smiles that spread from ear to ear as they described what they were doing now during their days of leisure, When his wife asked me how I was, I think I answered something to the tune of, "That is a loaded question...."

The answer I actually gave was a very simplified version of the following: Life is wonderful and crazy and stressful and busy and complicated and beautiful and insane and momentous and everything else that falls into that spectrum. That being said, I'm loving life, but at the same time I feel like I can never keep up. Life just never stops, it keeps on rolling and with it comes increased responsibilities and "to-do" lists that seem to never end. One project or job leads to another and due to the increased workload it often feels like stress and chaos reign supreme.

I often look at the state of my house and want to scream. There are so many long (and short) term projects that need to get done I don't know where to begin. Closets and rooms need to be organized, I haven't scrapbooked my girls pictures in years (literally), my business needs to get back on track, and in general my house is a disaster. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Since it at times feels overwhelming, I instead turn to the day-to-day things I can accomplish, or I simply succumb to checking Facebook.

It was at this point in the conversation his wife commented on how life is like a treadmill and once you hop on it just never stops. There was a time when my workouts primarily consisted of running on a treadmill, so I could relate to that analogy. Most of your life you can manage the treadmill at the basic flat rate/pace, but as you get older the incline of that treadmill increases. In college you are out on your own...it increases a bit. You get your first "real" job and the pressure is on....the treadmill's incline takes a jump. You get married and start a family....the treadmill jumps up several more inclines at this point. Adding another job, dealing with medical bills, providing for a family...and the treadmill keeps climbing but you can't just jump off at this point.

I think you get where I'm going with this. And this is where the idea of the retirement break comes into play. Wouldn't it be amazing if every person was able to take a "retirement break" at least once in life? Even if it was just a couple months (or a year) to step away from work and the other pressures of life and just rewind or jump-start themselves again? When I told my mom about this I did clarify that this would have to be done without children around. I DO love my girls, but doing projects around the house or anywhere for that matter is ten times harder with "little helpers" next to you. I've seen some analogies on Facebook like:

      Cleaning your house while kids still live there is like shoveling during a snowstorm.
      Cleaning your house while kids still live there is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.

So, if it would be possible to call a "retirement break" I would start it this year. I figured it would be a good time since I'm turning 40. I honestly think if I had a good 3 months I'd be ready to tackle life again.I am fairly certain some of that break would be spent reading some good books and sipping a cup of coffee enjoying some peaceful time, but then I'd be ready and raring to go to accomplish what needs to get done.

I'm sure you are wondering why I'm spending time writing a blog when I have a list of things to get done, but one reason I started this blog was to be able to have an outlet for my rambling thoughts. Since at this point in time I have at least 15 different tabs open in my mind I thought it was a good time to finally write a blog again. Writing things down helps to clear my head.

With 2016 beginning in a couple days I decided to put some goals down, and I realized one common theme that tied them all together was better time management. That is probably another whole blog in itself, but I truly feel like when I get my time under control than all the other areas of my life (family, work, cleaning, projects, fun, exercise, personal growth, etc.) will fall into place a little better and I won't feel the need to shout "I need a retirement break!" so often.

As I look forward to the next year and the changes I hope to make, I realize it will feel like I hit the incline button on the treadmill before things get easier and fall into place. I'm OK with that. Please excuse the following exercise analogy, but here goes. When I run I always love that pace where I know I'm pushing myself, but not to the point where I break and have to stop. That's how I feel this year will be....a challenge, but one that I'm willing to try to make some changes. Who knows, I might still find that I need to call for a "retirement break" somewhere in there. Doesn't sound like a bad idea, does it?  ;)

Simply put...for now I'm hitting the incline button. This girl's gotta get going....