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  • Writer's pictureJane Rubin

What do dogs do on their day off? (George Carlin)

Updated: Mar 8

I'm sure many of you are familiar with that funny routine of his. Now, lounging in Miami Beach, I can't help but draw some parallels between his comedy bit and retirement. After all, what exactly is the difference between retirement and a vacation? Isn't every day Saturday when you're retired? Isn't it my job to relax and enjoy life a bit more?

After four months post-work, I am already embarrassingly relaxed and doing pretty much everything I feel like doing. I am so 'go with' I barely recognize myself. I am able to take a siesta time if I'm tired - often around 2pm for those thinking of calling during that blissful hour of the afternoon. I cook lovely, nourishing meals and laugh at dumb jokes without drinking any alcohol. Aren't I already on vacation?

My husband continues to work like a mad man. I always knew he did, but next to my work life, it didn't seem so noticeable. But, watching him unwind on our first few days, I've developed an appreciation for just how crazy stressed I must have been from my job. I have responded to his comments about relaxing with an understanding nod, even though I haven't felt any different than I did a few days ago. I know that the decision to retire is an individual and very personal one. He will come to that conclusion when he is ready to - when he is good and jealous of the new, chilled out me.

So, this vacation has not been about relaxing more, but about breaking things up a bit, getting into a warmer, more colorful scenery and being able to amp up the physical activity - outdoors no less. The grandkids have come to visit and we have had a blast in the pool and ocean and that has filled my happiness bucket. It has been a nice, gentle change of pace.

Meanwhile, the word vacation has changed its meaning for me. Where once it was a break from stress and chance to refuel, it is now about travel, a change of scenery and an opportunity for new adventures. We used to discuss our upcoming vacation ideas by our needs at the time - do we need to relax, or can we muster up the energy for a more energetic time. I like that we can think about it in a broader way and just follow our curiosity. Vacationing has definitely achieved new heights!

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