The right time to retire?


I told my extrovert husband he is not allowed to retire until he has a plan, and hobbies.

I truly love my husband, but the thought of us retiring together with him having no plan in place for what he will do with his time - that's a horror movie script right there for me! 

When we get towards the end of a normal week, I am checking my calendar to make sure we haven't forgotten some big event that is going to eat up all my energy stores. But my husband is often hoping for the complete opposite! 

In fairness, since we first met, he has softened and is not as extremely extroverted as he was when I met him, when he was in his late 20's. Then, there was a level of relief for me that we lived quite far from each other. I'd spend a long weekend with him, and we would fill every single minute with activities. Then, I'd return home (or he would, depending on whose city we were tearing up that particular weekend!), having thoroughly enjoyed myself, but almost ready to collapse with exhaustion after being 'on' the whole time.

Remember, I didn't even know what an introvert was back when I met him, so I'd no idea how to protect or conserve my energy. I was just running from one period of battery drainage to another, with no backup generator! My health was constantly challenged with it, but again - I'd no idea what was causing all of this at the time - I just thought I needed to push myself more.

We are now in our early 50's, so life is not quite so hectic.

These days, I have so much more control over my energy. It's taken a lot of hard work and planning to get here, but it's much more balanced now. I run my own management consultancy business, and I get to choose when I work. I only work with clients who understand my insistence on work flexibility, and honestly, I mostly only work with people who want the same from their lives, so that we give each other grace and compassion if occasionally things get moved to a different day because one of us has a depleted battery! 

But with two teenage boys and their crazy schedules, I still don't get lots of time to do my favourite things - reading, writing, learning and researching. We also have an extremely old dog, who needs lots of care and attention these days. 

So when Mr Extrovert says he can't wait to retire so he can do all of the things he loves, my whole body goes into high panic alert. Because his idea of retirement is likely to look very different to mine.. 

I'll often joke that we would be best to move into a retirement village, so that he can get the weekly schedule of activities from them and plan out every minute of his day.

  • playing bowls, 
  • going on day trips, 
  • maybe a wee night of bingo and beer, 
  • some card games with a little side bet of a dollar or two
  • and knowing him, I'm sure there will be running events for many decades to come

So once we get his weekly schedule, I can then plan how many blogs I'll write and when, all the lovely personal development courses I can cram in to keep my brain occupied, and knowing me, how many hours I can continue to work for my clients, as I'm in no hurry to retire, as long as I'm still adding value and service to their businesses! 

And the two of us can plan in some date nights, eating fish and chips on whatever beach is closest to us (that's one of my must-haves - we need to be close to the water), movie nights and meals out with friends (paid for by my intended ongoing client work!) , and maybe I'll even join them all on one of the day trips every couple of months when my batteries are fully-charged.


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