The First year anniversary of Retirement

       In less than a week it is my year anniversary of my retirement from the military.  I went through the up’s and down’s of becoming a civilian.  I was angry. I was humbled. I was lost. I was thrilled on the amount of time that I had on my hands.  I was BORED!  No one told me about the boredom.  I knew that I would have time.  Time to cook, to clean, to do chores, to hang out with the family, to watch shows on the T.V. I could be anything that I wanted to be.  Be all that you can be….in the civilian world.                                                                          

I gained 30 pounds- I ate Oreos and washed them down with chocolate milk.  I used my treadmill as a dog bed. I threw away all the brown shirts and green/black socks.  I put my retirement certificate in the desk drawer.  I watched the Marvel movies 3 times, in the correct order.  I single handily supported all puppy and kitten YouTube videos.  I got a job…I quit the job.  I took 2 months off and hung out on my back porch and smoked.  I got another job.  I got a third dog- a really big dog.                                                                

I miss it. I miss the late-night text messages, the endless meetings where nothing was accomplished, the unrealistic training schedule, the ranges, the early morning running, the scrambling to the car at 11:25 to get to the drive thru before the rest of post. I miss driving in before the sun comes up and sitting in the long line of other cars waiting to be let in.                                                                                                       

Now, I am just me.  Of course, I am a wife, a mother, an employee…. I still have a ‘title’ I guess.  I am a veteran.  Now, when I go to the hospital- I am sent down a long tunnel to the ‘other side’ where the old people hang out and compare hearing aids and shoe inserts.  I get to park in the veteran parking spot in front of Lowes.  I go to Lowes a lot now.  Not to buy, but to look.  I look for projects that I need to do, want to do, and should do.  But I don’t buy because there is no pressure to get it done.  I can now justify waiting, because I have all the time in the world to get it done.                                                                                                              

I got hobbies.  Well, I think that I always had the hobbies, but I didn’t have the time to do the hobbies.  I got new hobbies because I realized that I didn’t like the ones that I had been doing.  I finally cleaned off the treadmill a couple of weeks ago.  For two weeks I was running like a pro.  I was getting miles in, I felt great, I felt fit, I had something to do for an hour.  Then, I realized that I am a veteran and old.  My knees starting hurting, my calves started to cramp bad, my back hurt…running was not fun.  So, I started walking.  Then I thought that I needed to get 2.5 miles in at least 30 minutes or I wasn’t walking right- now my shins hurt along with my back, calves, and knees.  I walked slower, 15-mile pace, right?  That’s the goal?                                                                                                                                                                                         One year almost done.  I feel like I am waiting for something.  I don’t know what I am waiting for. Where is the travel?  Where is the exploring?  Where is the discovery of my true self?  I sure as hell can’t find time for all that…. I have another job. One that I actually like, working with the military again…. but with better hours and I get to wear whatever I want.  But I am back to working set hours and days- no riding off into the sunset for this girl.  I have bills.  I have responsibilities.  I have an COVID-19 addiction to Amazon Prime.                                                                                                                                                                       

I am sure that I will find my way.  I am sure that my mess of a thousand different hobbies will pan out to just a manageable three.  I am sure that I will finally pick out flooring for the second floor.  I am sure that soon I will fix all the DYI projects that I tried to do on my house that DID NOT turn out the way I was hoping.  I am sure that I will finally find friends to invite over for a BBQ and a game of spades. I am sure that I will find my new running stride.  Maybe in another year?

What are your thoughts?

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