Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Retirement...What it is and What it Isn't

It's now been 3 months and 7 days since I left the ranks of the employed. During the final months of my time with the Foreign Service, I had ups and downs when thinking about not working in a short time.  But when the time grew near, I was ready.  The last couple of weeks were stressful in Karachi, Pakistan.  About 13 days before the day I was to depart post, the bad guys attacked the airport.  Lockdown!  Each day I prayed that I would safely get to the airport, safely wait at the airport and safely get off the ground.  As it turned out, I did have a safe take off and after a couple of days in Santorini, Greece and a week of out-processing in Washington, I arrived home July 1 as a retiree.

I'm still not used to waking up and laying there realizing that I didn't have anywhere to go.  Well, that would depend on my To Do list, but I had no job to report to.  Every day is Saturday.  I guess I'll get used to it one day.

Back to that To Do list.  Good grief...I don't know how I ever did things when I had to work.  Every evening I update the list, moving the things that I didn't get done that day to the list for the next day.  I must admit a great bit of the things on my list have to do with selling on eBay (which is wonderful and great fun) and trying to start a bathroom renovation.  Finding a reliable contractor, one who will communicate with you and will do it for a reasonable price is not easy. And all that I've read about people getting fleeced has made me really cautious. I'm sure I'll find someone...I already have the piece of furniture that will be the vanity base, have ordered the granite top, have bought the sink and faucet and I have a gorgeous mirror that I bought in Honduras that will replace the awful wall-to-wall mirror there now.  Pictures to follow when it's all done.

So for any of you out there wondering just what us retirees do with ourselves once we no longer have to report to work...we still work but for ourselves!!

I love it.  I love that every day is now Saturday.  But I do depend on others to tell me which day of the week it is!


Anonymous said...

Hello. I enjoy your blog. Question - what would you advise a would-be FSOA taker to do in order to stand the best chance of passing the FSOA? Also, are you graded on your "down time" activities as well, sitting in lobbies, eating lunch etc?

Debi said...

Hello! There are 2 kinds of FSO people. Generalists, which I believe you are pursuing and Specialists, which is what I was. A Specialist doesn't have to take the FSOA, that dreaded oral exam. So I'm not the best person to answer. If you do a search for Foreign Service Officers, you should find someone who can answer your questions. One thing I can say which goes without saying. During the interview, don't forget to breathe! Never state you would do anything illegal and just be yourself. Good've made an excellent career choice!!