It was time. I was waiting for the perfect moment to turn in my paperwork to announce my intent to retire. After telling my supervisor, I brought cupcakes in for my co-workers with a note announcing my retirement. Over the previous six months there had been several announcements about pending births that were met with enthusiasm and rounds of congratulations. Three hours passed, I received one congratulations from a co-worker. Some never said anything and another was jealous. No mention was ever made of the years I had worked or the contributions I had made. Throughout the coming months I received comments such as “I wish I was retiring” or “where will you be moving to”. To which I responded “you do know you have to be older to retire or very wealthy” and “there are no plans to move right now”. It was a relief to turn in my paperwork. After months of thinking about retiring and not saying anything I could now talk about it. After a few years of uncertainty whether I would have a job I could retire with grace and on my own terms.
The concept of retirement meant a change in how I worked. It certainly did not mean I would sit around on a rocking chair overlooking a beach or in my case the mountains day after day. I knew I needed to stay busy and find activities which had meaning to me. The first three years of retirement were an adjustment. At times I felt stuck, uncertain and perhaps a little depressed that I didn’t know what I wanted to do despite having created a list of things that interested me. The first three years of retirement included our son graduating from college, some health issues, a pandemic and uncertainty as how I was going to navigate this change.