My blood pressure has stabilized to a comfortable and acceptable level in the past two weeks since I have retired.
My reading habits have changed. As an English teacher, my reading was primarily the redundant papers of my scholars and the readings they had to read to accomplish their tasks. It was not rewarding nor stimulating. When I did read what I wanted to, I would not have the stamina to read for a long time. Now, I'm finishing books sooner and reading more of all genre. I'm getting to those tomes I have let pile up and to those that catch my fancy. This is one of the first joys of retirement I was anticipating and waiting for.
I find I am more patient when I am working on a project. Before I had a time limit, now I don't. I had been wanting to build a simple little shelf in the bathroom to alleviate the bulging medicine cabinet. It was a simple little three shelf two foot by one foot project. One day I went to the lumber yard after dropping off some stuff at the Salvation Army and picked up the piece of lumber I needed for the project. I put it in my wood shop in the cellar. I waited for a day that wasn't a bike ride day to do the project. Three days later that day arrived and I dressed for the project. I put the radio on and slowly and steadily spent the next four hours hand cutting the wood, sanding and planing the wood, carefully constructing the shelf, filling the set nail holes with putty, more sanding and refining of the wood and checking to be sure it fit into the place for which it was being prepared. It fit perfectly and looked great. I painted it and then gave it the second coat and left it for installation the next day. I liked the end product and was very pleased with the process. That was new.
Another project spread over three days involved me cataloging books and creating a webpage of books I plan to sell. Again this project would have been done in a more rushed manner and would have caused anxiety and exhaustion. I took my time. I enjoyed the process as I perused the tomes and rearranged the books on their shelves. I was relaxed, did it without mistakes, no do overs, and was not exhausted. Instead I felt an exhilaration in the process and project.
That is it: Exhilaration. I am feeling exhilaration in my retirement. As I read a book and then return it to the library and pick up another book, I am experiencing a new exhilaration. The paths I choose to get from here to there are not the same nor are they the most expedient, they are leisurely and exploratory as if I were in another city discovering new venues and sights.
I snack on more healthy foods, I prepare more meals, and I eat slowly. When I feel I need a nap, I take one. And most importantly, when I need to go to the bathroom, I do. Now that's exhilaration.