My military retirement ceremony was 1 year ago. This is my opinion of life after military retirement in a few areas.
Health-Oddly enough I work out less and feel better. How is that possible? I enjoy the activities I choose now so I have fun during my workouts. Those military workouts at 0530 in the morning because they are required were not fun. I no longer worry about how many sit-ups and pushups I can do. I work out now with the goal of being healthy and not being compliant. I eat better and enjoy meals instead of rushing through them to get to my next meeting or when I was far younger, going back on watch.
Stress-I would often see people a few months after retirement and think they look younger and happier. Now I know why. In my opinion most people do not realize the amount of pressure we face daily in the military until we no longer have the constant feeling of “what could go wrong today”. After facing real issues that deal with people’s lives for years and now only dealing with administrative work and artificial timelines in the corporate world, life is simplified. I will admit I get a laugh out of what some people consider stressful.
Trust-I knew exactly who to trust while I was serving this great nation. If someone proved to be untrustworthy then the word quickly spread. In the military trust is a given. In the business world trust is almost elusive. People stretch the truth about proposals, purposely give unrealistic timelines to their boss, and flat out lie about costs. Watching people do these things is frustrating but not as frustrating as the CEO’s and project managers not holding those people accountable.
Family-The most important thing in my life and I’m sure anyone reading this will agree is family. What a difference a year makes! I have really connected to my family in a way that just was not possible before. Some things are just a matter of time spent. During my military years I spent a lot of time separated from my family due to the mission. This was easily fixed the day I retired. The other part that I didn’t realize while serving was the emotional disconnect. I’m sure others have felt like maybe they gave a little too much at the office. I always knew my family was more important than the military but sometimes the military took the priority. I only have one priority now. No job or career will ever take over the top spot again.
So, one year later I’m healthier, happier and closer to my family. I also enjoy my retirement check!