Pretend Retiree

I accidentally spilled some water on the table outside while watering my plants tonight and some trickled through the slats of the balcony floor to below before I could throw the little rug by the door onto it to absorb it. I then rushed back inside, grabbed a dish towel, and soaked up the small amount remaining on the table. I exclaimed whoops and heard a sliding door close right after I spilled it, I hope it didn’t drip on the neighbor’s head below. I couldn’t tell if the door I heard was above or below me, so oopsie! I didn’t mean to!

When we lived on the first floor our neighbor above poured buckets of water on their balcony floor while cleaning it which rained onto our porch and windows below, it was a mess. Luckily we weren’t out there when they did it. It can be tricky sometimes with us living all stacked together.

A thought came to me this week, this is the first time in my life when I haven’t had some authority figure looming in my life. I’ve gone from parents, teachers, domineering relationship partner, bosses, self-improvement leaders/groups to now where I totally get to choose, there’s no one in the background looming over me, influencing me, no invisible bonds, expectations, or pressures.

I guess that was normal to me to always have something external to answer to, to obey, conform to, or perform for in some way. I guess this is how it must feel to be retired. I like it! It’s so funny that I have all of this freedom, but there’s a pandemic raging and I worked myself down to the bone prior to this so now I’m temporarily sidelined while gradually restoring my health. One day I’ll get to gallop freely again though and I am eagerly anticipating it. Woo hoo!

I read in the news about how many millions you need to have saved in order to retire and they list targets of how much you should save by age milestones. That’s a lot of pressure to make loads of money. I’m glad I didn’t read that information when I was younger, I’d have worked myself into a tizzy.

How dreary to live a life dictated by how much money you can make and save, to live in fear and under the control of target points for achieving financial goals by a certain age. That way of thinking causes a lot of anxiety for me, so I’ve decided not to worry too much about it and do the best I can while living a healthy, peaceful, creative, flowing, high-quality life.

I choose to have faith that our needs will be met and they have been so far. I used to worry a lot about making ends meet because I had a family depending on me, but we made it through, our needs were always met, so that’s how I now trust and have learned to obsess less and less over money.

So I may not ever be able to fully retire, but that’s okay as long as I’m making money while doing something that I’m eager and motivated to do. It’s really a grind when you’re making money doing something that you dread, where the minutes seem like hours and you feel like you’re dying inside. That’s no way to live.

I still joke that when I retire I’ll be one of the attendants that set up the beach chairs and umbrellas. I would love that. I’d blow bubbles in between customers and be mesmerized by the reflections of the sun, sky, and waves in the floating prismatic bubbles. I can feel the sand between my toes and the sea breeze against my skin right now, ahhhh.

For right now I’m relishing being a pretend retiree.

Michelle Miyagi
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