Retirement – Moving On

Retirement – Moving On

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?

Thank you for reading.  Please share your ideas and thoughts by Commenting.

10 thoughts on “Retirement – Moving On

  1. When to you want to volunteer at the Boulevard, 8am -7pm ?

    1. Hi Bruce,
      You just made me laugh. You are too much. O.K. I’m willing to lead a book club. Anyone interested?

  2. Definitely for Mondays, Now Tuesday? Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, rest on Saturday, back on Sunday, No Pressure, you are retired. Bruce

    1. You are too funny. But seriously, if you feel some of your seniors might like to read and discuss a book a month, let me know. It’s great for them to engage in thought-provoking discussion.

  3. Hi there Harriet,

    ‘Renewal” is the word for me. ‘Retirement’ sounds final. Life goes on therefore you can’t ‘retire’ from it. Embrace it & look forward to the next chapter. Good luck.
    be good to yourself

    1. Hi David,
      That’s a great word – renewal. That really says it well. And you hit it – retirement does sound so final. I never quite knew why I didn’t like that word. It had a visual connotation that wasn’t too positive for me.
      Thanks – you hit it.

  4. Hello Harriet,

    Congratulations and welcome to a wonderful time in your life!

    Retirement equals transition to me. At first there were so many chores to catch up on that I was very busy, but soon the time came to begin all the activities that had been limited when I worked.

    Friends told me that I didn’t retire, I just changed jobs. That’s the way I wanted it to be.

    David posted in his blog today about saying “yes” to so many things. Transition came for me 12 years ago, I’ve said “yes” to many opportunities and have no regrets.

    Harrison Ford once said “We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.”

    1. Hi Ellene,
      Welcome to this blog. Thank you for commenting.
      Yes, retirement is transition. I also expect to catch up on chores around the house that I’ve neglected, ie. my basement which I’ve started, and then in the fall when I would noramlly go back to work, the Adjustment begins. And hopefully some great opportunities will surprise me.
      I too am a yes person to new challenges and many chances.
      Love the quote.

  5. Christy says:

    Retirement actually is an opportunity for all of us to change course, to do more, enjoy the things we really love, and to make up for the lost times.

    1. Hi Christy,
      Welcome! Love your comment – “opportunity to change course”, so that we have chances to pursue other avenues. Who’s to say we should do only one thing in life.

      I have tried to incorporate things I love all along and throughout, not to wait until… I retire, have more money, have more time…. and all the things we wait for in life ‘Until’, and sometimes never get to. I think witnessing the fragility of life taught me that.
      But having said that, yes, retirement is a time to get to do more of what we love.
      All the best. Stop by again.

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