Retirement Whether You Want It Or Not

Within a couple of months I will officially be retired.

No more worrying about driving to work in snow and slop. No more worrying about punching in late because I cant get my tired butt moving fast enough in the morning. No more scraping off my windows or driving to and from work in the dark. No more getting up at 6 a.m. and force-feeding a shower whether I need it or not.

I should be ecstatic. But somehow, I’m not 100% with that yet.

For there will also be no more beautiful sunrises to see on my way to work. I don’t usually come to my work town, so no more slow rides through the beautiful countryside that inspired two novels and a short story. No more pot lucks and sharing moaning groaning work stories with co-workers. No more chances to actually turn my job into something I love.

Of course, this transition comes to us all. I have worked 50 years to get to this point in my life. It should be — and will be — another turning point. A chance to do the things I really have wanted to do but have never had time to do.

Time to start making Angel Tears™ for art fairs. (more about that another day). More time to write. More time to see my grandkids. More time to actually organize my home. I want to start taking free classes at the University in my hometown. I also want to start freelancing proofreading and editing on the side.  I want to sleep in, stay up until 2 am, and not fear turning off the alarm and falling back asleep.

Yet I can’t help look back at all the years I’ve spent working for someone else. Except for a 7 year stint as a B&B owner, I’ve owed my soul — and paycheck — to the “man.” I try not to look back too much, for it’s easy to see the trials and fails I’ve had. The steps backwards I took to get where I am today.

It’s easy to see the dreams I once had of having a successful career. The steps I took and the steps I should have taken.

But there is no going back. No chance to change decisions, directions, or choices. That’s the payment for a life well lived.

The good thing is that I really believe I have another 20-30-40 years to make a difference. That’s a lot of time. I can encourage my grandkids to be proud of who they are and the contributions they will make to making the world a better place. I can make sparkly things that make people smile when they look out the window. I can contribute to the world in a different way than filing and updating computer records and making beds for visitors.

I can finally find out who I am.

There will be an adjustment period, no doubt. But that is something worth wading through — something worth dancing through.

For there is always a party on the other side.

 

29 thoughts on “Retirement Whether You Want It Or Not

  1. I’ve read this post three times now.
    So much I can identify with.
    I’m trying to be in a place where I can leave my job in NHS and dedicate all my time to our cancer retreat.
    But….
    I’ll also miss all the things you list.
    Sun rises.
    My colleagues who are also friends.
    We promise to stay in touch don’t we. But life is busy.
    Most of all I’ll miss the mental health patients and their families I’ve got to know so very well.
    So for now I’m still tottering on the edge of jumping taking that leap of faith .
    Thank you for sharing your journey

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    1. Just know that wherever you go you can still make a difference. Now that I’m gone I see my old place is doing quite well without me. It’s been changing and reforming and there really was no place for me to make a difference any more. I’ve seen a few sunrises since then, and a few sunsets, too. I’m busier than ever with things that are important to me and hope to make a new part=time career boost after the first of the year. Always dreaming. You can do it, too. And have a wonderful time doing it! Keep going.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s the secret, my dear: You can do all those true good things your prior enslavement prevented and ALSO, any time you wish, take those slow sunrise rides to exchange groaners with friends. You’re about to be very happy, and you’ve earned every bit of it. Do enjoy!

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    1. I am finally ready to embrace it all and more. Everyone tells me they are busier in retirement than ever before. I believe that will be my fate, too. The world is open to all of us!

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  3. Congratulations on finishing the prequel to a fascinating, fun filled career.. of sorts. The last 50 years have been the training ground for the amazing years that lie ahead…Only 20? Really?

    They will pass so quickly and you will be happily preparing for the next batch…

    Do whatever you have longed for, enjoy the people you have missed seeing, treat the grandchildren to an early sunrise and a picnic breakfast by a stream.. but above all, relax and enjoy… Retirement is the bonus for a life well lived.. and the pathway leads to all manner of ‘one days’ that you have dreamed about. This, my friend, is the time for YOU to shine…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ofcourse it will be a big difference but believe me, you’ll get used to it really fast and you’ll think ; how on earth did I have time for a full time job !! And who says you can’t get up at 6 am to see a beautiful sunset ?? or to scrape you car windows covered in ice or snow, the go back in and have a coffee ?? 😀 You can do whatever you want to do !

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You know, life as a pensioner is a bit slower, you get up a bit later, you have a real breakfast and so but in the end, as a women, we can’t have a pension time like men do, we still have to do all the housework we used to do when we had a full time job, unless you have a “new” man, the younger generation of men do help a bit more with the kids and in the household, not all but it is a beginning, our generation of men, well they are spoiled by their mums 😀

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      2. Nothing is wrong with you girl !!!! Some women get it done that their husband does half of the housework when they are both pensioners, but very few….so I would say; what is wrong with men ?? they live in your house, eat, make the house dirty, wear washed and ironed clothes, so it is only fair they do their bit but if you tell them that they behave like eels trying to get away !!!

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  5. I can so totally relate to this! Right now I am sitting in my house, waiting to be evacuated from fires – or not. Packed up stuff. What to take, what to leave? Retirement is like that. What to do, what to choose, when and where – it’s a bit complicated. At first, it’s easy, as the freedom is heady. Then questions. Then maybe boredom or restlessness. But in all of it, there is so much joy to be found with family, friends, hobbies, freedom, and new adventures. I’ve been playing at it for 6 months – one friend who retired long before I did says things change in ways she cannot describe after 2 years – so who knows what adventures lie ahead? Enjoy the journey!

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    1. I AM so looking forward to moving on … especially because there is so much change going on at work that I haven’t been a part of for so long. It’s time. Probably it has been for a while now. Thank you for the encouragement.

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      1. I think as we approach an end to things – meaning work – we get more clear about the annoyances and dislikes. I got like this every time I went on vacation, as well as before retirement. It makes leaving even better!

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      2. I think you are right. Things haven’t been right for a long time as things change, responsibilities change, and people change. Now days people stay in one job for 5-6 years then they move up and out and don’t look back. 18 years was too long for me, but by the time it got to be the last 5 I figured what the heck..hold on until you are really ready to let go. And now I am. I can let go.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations! I retired five years ago after working for 48 years. It wasn’t easy for all the reasons you mentioned, and I still miss work. But you create a new life for yourself, just as busy but in a different way. The most important thing is to enjoy it. xo

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