The hardest thing about retiring isn't about having enough things to do but rather about slowing the nervous system down. When we are accustomed to high pressure deadlines and dealing with frustrating clients, that sudden disappearance does not mean you can easily uncoil that internal spring which was ever primed to do battle.I would not go back and, recent coffees with colleagues and their expressions of frustration and stress, tells me my instincts are right. I just need to give myself time to let the dust settle and calm to a healthier level of living. As the time passes I can see it will get easier and my instinct to pounce will subside. I have always been a nervous person and I want that to better be mitigated into serenity.
I see this new phase as taking stock and being even more reflective about what my life has been like. Both successes and mistakes can be put into perspective and weighed in value as lessons for how I go forward. In that sense, retiring from a long career is not about filling one's plate with needless noise but rather about making judicious choices with more personal control. All with the mindset of someone who generally doesn't favor crowds.