It should come as no surprise that I’m not particularly happy with my life here, so why stay? As commenter Brian pointed out, you can’t add time to the back end of your retirement. Well, here’s my thinking on the subject. Although my thinking is subject to change.
To begin, technically I’m still retired since I’m drawing my full pension. In the parlance of Uncle Sam, I’m a re-employed annuitant. So one way to look at it is that I’ve taken up a forty hour per week hobby with some pretty lucrative benefits.
When I originally left government service on December 31, 2010 I had a plan and most importantly, someone to share my planned life with. Initially I was kept engaged with seeing my parents off on their voyage to the afterlife, then dealing with matters of their passing as the executor of the estate. I also had to set up residence for myself and Jee Yeun, finding a house and having it remodeled, and furnishing said house. There were the kids and grandkids to spend time with, dart leagues to found and run, and some travel to enjoy as well. And with the six months there, six months in Korea routine it kept things from getting stale. Which is not to say it was never boring, but it was a comfortable life that I expected I would live until the end of my days.
Then one day it was all gone. A betrayal I’ll never fully understand or completely recover from. Well, life goes on (until it doesn’t) and having a job and what passes as a social life with my work family gave me some meaning and purpose. I’m not sure I would have made it otherwise.
Now I find myself back in the job I left when I retired and living in lovely Pyeongtaek. I had planned to re-retire prior to the the move, but was convinced to stay through the transition to Camp Humphreys. My employees (bless their hearts) think I’m the greatest boss ever and don’t want me leave. I seem to be respected and appreciated by the command leadership and that feels good. And not to brag, but my organization has really stepped up and filled some voids. We have a “can do” reputation and I’m very proud of all that my team has accomplished. Which is a long way of saying I do derive a lot of satisfaction from my working life and it is not really a burden to show up each day and do what (little) I do.
Well, all things must pass and I have told my people that I will not stay beyond May. Nothing real magical about that day, other than it is when the lease expires on this big ass house I’m living in (for free). And in reality, I can leave anytime between now and then (with a 30 day notice to the landlord) if I decide circumstances warrant bailing out.
And there’s the rub. There is nothing wrong with my life here. Other than the fact that I’m unhappy with it. I’m bored, lonely, and far too often, drunk. That lifestyle is unsustainable. But I know that until I figure out how to transform myself, those symptoms will likely continue wherever I am living.
What to do, what to do? A girlfriend would be nice except that a) I’m incapable of love and b) I don’t want to get roped into a relationship that is doomed to end in just a few short months. So I’m going to have find a way to deal with the boredom and loneliness on my own. And preferably without the alcohol crutch. I’m floundering some now, but I’m confident I’ll find my way out.
So looking ahead to my new life in the Philippines, what will I do to keep myself occupied and engaged without the benefit of a full-time and meaningful job? Good question. Here’s what I envision:
I’ll have my employee available to assist me and take care of me. That should help some. I’ll have a dog or two. Dogs never complain about not having a happy life and then abandon you. I could use that kind of loyalty in my golden years. I’m still struggling with what my “purpose” will be in retired life. I envision myself becoming more engaged with the Fil-Am orphanage I have assisted during my recent trips to the PI. And I have it in mind to do some other regular charity work, I’m just not sure what that will be yet. I’ll play in the dart league and join the local Hashers hopefully making some new friends along the way. Maybe that will be enough.
So there’s lots of work to be done in the meantime. I do appreciate all the support and encouragement my loyal readers provide in the comments.