When I retired I worried about getting enough socialization. Released from the bonds of the corporate world, there wasn’t coffee pot conversations. I could decline activities easily. No meetings. No business trips. I do (mostly) what I want to do. Nothing is required.
Without constant interaction, would I forgot how to be polite or how to hold a fork properly? Would I remember to shower?
So far so good. Other than pizza, which I have always shoveled into the abyss that is my mouth, I continue to use a fork and knife as if the Queen was at the table. Yes, I shower, just not at 6:30 a.m.
I continue to meet up with friends for lunch and dinner. I do it less but enjoy it more (if that makes any sense at all).
My gym excursion is not a social time but going to Starbucks afterward is. Over the years I’ve met and heard the stories of baristas. Many are in school or between jobs with interesting stories.
Earlier in the year, I switched from the drive-through (where you can spend five minutes at the window killing time until your drink is ready) to the order ahead app (where you walk in and pick it up at the counter). Would I miss the exchanges? Would saving time be worth it? Would I start to slurp?
Most days there is very little interaction. I walk in, pick up my drink and leave. Occasionally someone yells a greeting over the counter but as people leave and new ones come, I don’t know the names anymore. There was a sadness about that until I realized that many know me even though I don’t know them.
I come through at the same time every day. I get the same drink. There are many regulars. They get to know us all even if we don’t know them. It’s working for me.
I still worry about socialization. I don’t like it when it’s too peoply but I need some level to energize and entertain me (and fuel blog stories).
My body knows. It tells me when I’m in people overload (I start to feel homicidal). It also tells me when I need an infusion of social activity. Walking the line isn’t as hard as I thought. Being able to call the shots is bliss!