I did it – the big R word – Retired. I submitted my retirement papers to the New York City Department of Education. Twenty years as an early childhood social worker. I am actually leaving ‘early’, not waiting to reach maximum benefits. So when my workmates ask me why, my answer is “because I want to”. I’ve been thinking about it for the past couple of years and this actually feels like an apropos time.
This past year was a transition to empty-‘nesthood’ as my middle daughter moved out to a group home back in September. It would not have been too cool to have two major life-changing events take place the same year. I had pretty much figured I’d stay to finish out my 20th year; and as far as Nava moving into a group home, well that was up for grabs as she had been wait-listed for years. This was when a spot became available for her. So I’d say this is all pretty good timing.
Getting back to the word, retire. I don’t like that word, for me. I prefer to conceptualize it as moving on, leaving to pursue other things. And maybe even that new buzz word, ‘reinvent’ myself. Although I’m not necessarily going to do something so different (although one never knows) – more coaching, writing, blogging, interviewing, book groups, workshops. And of course be open to what might evolve and present itself.
It is a little scary. After all, it’ll be the first time in about 25 years that I won’t have a structured job to go to everyday. I like what my coach told me recently – now I will bring forth more of my right side of my brain, the creativity, spontaneity and sheer openness to new possibilities; and focus less on the left side, the structure and predictability. All I can say is, we’ll see how all this evolves.
I guess that’s my word – Evolve. I have ideas and interests and things I’m excited to do and learn without formalizing goals. I plant seedlings here and there and then I see what sprouts. I want to be able to allow myself the comfort of not knowing exactly, the ability to be patient with the unknown and be enthralled with the ‘newness’ of it all. I want to trust in this evolutionary process.
Right now I feel great about my decision and am excited by this new phase of life to begin in September.
What’s your word or concept on embarking upon something new, or a whole new phase?
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