I am about to enter a new chapter of my life. Retirement. I've made this decision without any of the angst or discomfort that I thought I would feel. People I know that have retired before me have said that I "will know when it is time". I know without reservation that it is indeed.....TIME. I have held a job not a career in the public school system for over 25 years. It is my turn to move on and move out and make room for the younger generation to take over. It is now my opportunity to slow the pace and as they say and "smell the roses". I am looking forward to enjoying the things that I love but have not had time to do and try my hand at few new prospects too. I've been working nearly 50 years, starting with my first babysitting job at 12 years old; I'm done. I am well aware that I am one of the lucky ones, my husband of 41 years is alive and well and we enjoy spending time together. My 88 year old mother is doing great too but now needs a bit more help these days. She is sweet and kind and funny and it will be a pleasure spending more time with her. Frankly, I can not wait for my new life to begin. My daughter and her family are relocating. They are coming home and I will help her part time with childcare. I am thrilled; finally my three grandchildren will all be nearby. I have a large extended family, many interests and hobbies and a few good friends. How fortunate I am to be retiring on my own terms and not have to terminate due to illness or position cuts. My last day of work was just over a week ago and it has been a whirlwind of events ever since. This has been the long goodbye if I ever saw one. Between the end of the school year activities, tearful congratulations and my retirement party I am definitely "feeling the love"! People keep asking me how I feel and honestly all I can say is "I don't know", I have never felt this way before. I have never, in my adult life at least, known what it is like not to have to go to work. I just can't put a label on how I feel.
A favorite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt keeps coming to mind though,
"Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason turn his back on life.