Darkness hovered over my blog. Silence followed.
Like a shifting, rolling fog, the clouds slowly dissipate. Before me I see a new horizon.
Its name: Retirement.
Although the announcement was made at the end of June it’s taken me time to process my decision. Some may shake their heads and wag their fingers indicating the processing should have happened before the decision was made. In my defence, I’ve never retired before and so how was I to know how I would react? And let me tell you, it hasn’t been pretty.
Days of sobbing – yup, the ugly cry – with sweeping declarations, of ‘what have I done?’, ‘what if we’re poor?’, and the worst of all…’now what will I do??????’ I honestly, honestly, honestly did NOT see that coming. I thought I was ready. The decision was made thoughtfully, prayerfully, and in consultation with several wise advisors. Yet, it wasn’t even day one of retirement and I was in a panic. Panic with a capital P. Doom and Gloom.
Grief and loss had been anticipated, but not with the velocity of the attack. I felt overcome with grief. I had pulled the plug on a career I’ve loved for 36 years. I knew it was time. I wanted to leave before my past due date. I wanted to leave while I had more to give. This was a conscious choice. We calculated the finances and while retirement takes a hit to the bottom line, we will be comfortable with what I now see more than ever as an excellent pension. There are many things for me to do. I will continue my counselling practice, devote more time to my garden and grandchildren. Yet in the grip of grief I was unable to hold on to the possibilities that helped drive my decision. Fortunately the nuts and bolts of life demanded that I move on.
Note: I do not want to demean grief by implying that moving on is quick and easy. I have experienced that deep, gut wrenching grief that doesn’t pass in a week, a month, a year or two. The kind that doesn’t go away by positive thinking…this wasn’t that, however, the intensity of the week was frightening.
So what lies ahead? I have a couple more weeks of work at the end of August until I’m completely done. In September we are moving to our retirement home in the Okanagan. This is the home we’ve lovingly maintained for our 9 years living here at the coast. Renovations have already begun. My oldest son who is back at school full-time has been renting my house and I just know he’s thrilled that mom and stepdad will be moving into the basement. Bwhahaha – they only warn about the kids moving back.
Eight of our twelve grandchildren live in the Okanagan. Another lives only 40 minutes away which will allow for more frequents visits. We’ll miss our grandson who could live in the Okanagan except that his parents refuse to move from the coast! Sheesh. We’ll miss the opportunity we have now to pop over for quick visits or have sleep overs on the weekend. To add to the changes of The Summer of 2015, two of our grandkids were moved to Texas. Apparently when their dad got a big promotion that involved moving to Texas he decided that his wife, my beloved DIL, and his kids go with him. Selfish? We’ve already booked our flight to the Lone Star State for this November. Who knew flying in low season was such a bargain?
While I am retiring from work in the public school system, I will continue in my passion area of building relationship and its importance in school communities. I’m going to give myself until after Christmas to get the lay of this retirement land and then it’s back to accepting clients at Carol L Perry Counselling Services. There are so many possibilities.
I look forward to having time (I know some of my already retired friends are chuckling at that having time thing) to blog regularly.
If you’ve recently retired and have any suggestions for my September – November, please leave them below. What worked for you? What didn’t?
Darkness prevailed for a moment, but the light came back. Silence has been broken.
I am grateful!