I’m on the precipice of retirement. (It’s fun to say that three-syllable word. Precipice, precipice, precipice…) But I digress—and it’s only the first paragraph.
Seriously, I really am going to retire at the end of this year. I’ve toyed with the idea of calling it quits for a long time, but I always concluded that I wasn’t ready. The big three reasons were: my coworkers, my work, and MONEY. I still enjoy being around my coworkers, and I still enjoy earning money. But the work? Not as much any more. I do like some of what I do. After all, it involves writing and editing, my favorites. But there are other parts of the job that make me want to lie down and take a nap instead. Activities I used to enjoy (working on and attending conferences, for one) aren’t interesting to me any more. So it’s time.
In the fall of 2006, I experienced burnout in my full-time position and, with the approval of my then-boss, switched to part-time hours. I felt that I had come full circle because I began working at the company as a part-timer in 1976. I went full-time in 1980. I’ll do the math for you: I’ve been at the same company for over 39 years! I worked in different departments and had increasing responsibilities, but still…nearly 40 years.
When I switched back to part-time in 2006 (earning considerably more than the $3 an hour that I earned in 1976), I announced that I would probably do this for about a year and then fully retire. My one year lasted eight, but I must not have been ready. Now I am.
When I tell people about my decision, the first reaction is, “Congratulations!” Then comes the question: “What are you going to do?” If I hem and haw, I get the friendly lecture on making sure I have activities lined up before I retire. Now I no longer hem and haw. I have some ideas:
- Taking exercise classes
- Attending lectures and workshops
- Scheduling additional lunches out with friends
- Writing more regularly in this blog
Here’s one thing I won’t do (I hope): Spend even more time playing Boggle, Word Solitaire, and Word Warp on my iPad. Several minutes of this usually lead to my falling asleep, whether I’m propped up in bed or sitting on the sofa. When I awake, I’m groggy for the next hour. It’s a time waster, no matter how much the word games exercise my brain. And we’ve all
learned recently that sitting too much can kill you. I’m guessing lying down too much is also a death sentence.
Many friends and relatives who’ve retired tell me that they’re so busy, they don’t know how they ever went to work. I wouldn’t mind a portion of that. If you or someone you know has retired and found some fascinating activity that makes them (and others) happy, please let me know. (This offer excludes Mah-Jongg, Canasta, Bunco, and Kaluki.)
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