I wear many hats. At both home and at work, I have a number of roles, and that is largely how I like it. I have always been someone who is best when I am slightly over extended. My greatest fear with retirement is that I will not have enough to keep me occupied, and that I will then become completely unproductive. The one time in my life over the past 30 years that I was not working 5 or more days a week instead of getting all of my unfinished projects done (which is what I had hoped and planned to do) I spent my 1.5 weekdays off the whole summer lolling by the pool. I had never been less productive in my life.
So I need a plan, that is for sure. This year I have noticed two things. The first is the most concerning--as I have gotten older, I dan't get as much done. I know, this is news to almost no one, and certainly comes as no surprise to people who are a decade or two ahead of me in years--no matter how much you accomplish, whatever your baseline is, it will diminish over time. But my taking things on has remained at the same pace, which has gotten me into a bit of trouble. The second is that I have a much busier home life since my youngest son went to college--I read all of the material for his classes that is not available on audiobook out loud to him. I have done this since his childhood because of a learning disability that makes reading comprehension challenging, but it turns out that college has a lot of reading and not all of it makes sense to me, so how to explain it to him? Suffice it to say that I am learning a lot, but it is taking up all my spare time to be so educated. The third thing is that in doing all this reading, I realize two additional things (see this is like picking up one rock and finding another one underneath it--layers of issues!). The first is that I am not as well educated as I thought I was. I have so much more than I can know and learn and think about that it is positively overwhelming. The second is that rereading things changes how you see them in a really positive way--and I definitely do not have time for that! So in retirement (which as of today I am about a decade away from being eligible for in the traditional sense) I clearly need to go back to class.