Dumb things to worry about

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!


61 thoughts on “Dumb things to worry about

  1. Sometimes I really realize a little socialization goes a long way. I went to dinner with a good friend the other night and we had a lovely conversation. But I can remember when dinner would be three hours and we’d still try to fit in more to the evening. This time we ate and said goodbye. Nothing was wrong and it was delightful. But neither of us need as much socialization as we once did. 🙂 I think you are so right that you know what you need and how to get it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Retirement is not for sissys. I can dedicate most of little time and energy as a volunteer to feed the hungry, sick (mentally and addicts) and homeless at the wasteland of Downtown Vancouver with an occasional Starbucks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve got it worked out perfectly. I will say that my guy and I refuse to use the app to order our (daily) tea/cappuccino drinks ahead of time. My guy pops in at 6:15. The staff knows his name, talk and tell stories, give me the extra shot of foam that I like, and we all feel happier for the connection. Connections – that’s what it’s all about. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did that for years and I really miss that. There was time to hear their stories. I go between 8:30 and 8:45 and it’s busier then. Our local one has picked up a lot more business in the past couple of years. When I started waiting 10 to 20 minutes, I switched to the app. If I came in at an “off” time (and no, I’m not getting up super early) I’d do like he does. Sometimes on a Sunday morning I will do that because it’s a lot less crowded. It is all about the connections.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I felt the same way when I first lived alone in my 50s, especially when I moved to working from home full-time shortly afterwards. It was never a problem, but I think remaining aware of the situation helped to navigate the pitfalls – a good example being your analysis of the change in your Starbucks habit. It’s not necessary to do everything we always did, just make sure we aren’t losing out of the positive aspects of social interaction.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh so jealous! I can’t wait for retirement! I worry about the same thing a little bit. I’m pretty introverted, so when given the choice I will definitely stay in the house. Going out occasionally and going to the gym every day are good ideas for getting a little socialization, but not too much 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Living alone, I have to be careful not to spend too much time alone. And yet, I hate to get caught in a too-long social event when I don’t enjoy the event or the people. It’s a balancing act.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a 90 minute rule. Except for very special occasions like weddings or reunions, I am good for 90 minutes and then I’m ready to leave. I have found even when going out for dinner with friends that 90 minutes is good. More than that and I get ruchy. Usually that’s enough time to enjoy conversations. I refer to it as a 90 minute butt.

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  7. Agreed….totally. When I retired I decided it was truly MY time and it has been. I’ve never missed the work regimen I had for so long – I don’t miss people interrupting me all day or “needing” me to resolve a problem or finish a project they didn’t feel like doing……….work was truly WORK. Now I do what I want and pretty much WHEN I want. I absolutely have never looked back – in fact, I can FINALLY look forward!!!

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved my work but it was a phase of my life and I was ready for the next phase. I also worked with some people who worked until 80. There comes a time when it’s you need to let the next generation take over. Like you I don’t look back.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I went from working in a 75-person Firm to just Robb/me and the tenant … what a difference and he was gone so much that the only time I got to chitchat sometimes (tenant kept to himself behind closed doors) was going to the mailroom to pick up the mail, or in the bathroom for our floor, so working from home, does not seem all that different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There were a few times when I worked from home for a day or two and I never enjoyed it. It was too isolating for me although it worked great if I had to get a big project done without interruption. Retirement is different because I can do what I want at anytime. I don’t feel isolated at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I have my regular friends that I see on a ‘regular’ basis – the same people I saw before I retired. ‘Regular’ may be as often or not as we feel like doing. It works. I’m not at risk of being a hermit anytime soon.
    I think I’m much more social, and much more outgoing, than I ever was before I started blogging. It would not be a huge leap for me to suggest that blogging has had a big impact on my life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I would agree with that for me too. I’ve made such great friends through blogging. I do worry occasionally about being a hermit but find that I will crave human interaction so that saves me. I see some old work friends on a regular basis but I think of them only as friends now.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The one day of the week I work, I always stop at the Starbucks near our home to pick up two coffees to take home. It’s always in the mid-afternoon and the place is mostly empty then. The cashier greeted me by name the last time I went, which took me by surprise!

    Keep taking those showers, Kate, and all will be well. 😉 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So encouraging to read that I won’t devolve into a lesser life form once retired. Unless I want to, that is! 😉
    I’m looking forward to being less peoply. And by that I mean having more choice in the people I wish to spend time with (and avoid). Bliss, indeed! Thanks, Kate!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I used to have mom friends I’d catch up with on the cross trainer or when playing volleyball. Then I switched workouts around, lost a lot of free time due to child, etc. I like my morning walks in the quiet, but now find I am ridiculously excited about upcoming holiday parties.

    That’s probably a sign I should talk to more adults on a regular basis.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I can so relate. I worried about retiring AND moving to a small northern community. Like you, I’m not people-y and prefer solitude and home alone is bliss, not a curse. But. Sometimes, I feel compelled to get out and mingle to regain attachment to the “real” world. If it weren’t for the few merchants in our small town, I’d have no social interaction at all.

    You are so right – listen to the bod – she knows!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Calling the shots, in all situations, is bliss. I don’t clamor for human interaction, but when I do I prefer it to be invigorating like a good cup of coffee, not draining like waiting in line at the drive-thru.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I hear you on the socialization and your last paragraph says it all! Such a wonderful luxury to call the shots when there is a line to walk. That’s one of the good things about where we live. We can be very involved or pick and choose. There is always somebody around to have a quick conversation with even if it is just about the weather. Just enough to get a smile and give a smile!

    Liked by 2 people

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