Tuesday, October 2, 2012

July 1, 2013, I Will Be Free

This summer, my husband, oldest son, daughter-in-law, and I took a trip to Ireland. It was a trip of dreams. I have Irish blood, lots of it. My grandfather, a little red-headed Irishman named me, insisting on the old Irish spelling with one "l". When my feet hit the pavement in Dublin and later trekking across pastures to see a standing stone, or climbing a rock covered hillside to gaze on a dolmen, or walking on a shamrock carpet in a seemingly enchanted forest, or sitting in a cozy little pub drinking Jameson and eating Guinness pie, I felt at home. I  felt a kinship to the people and the land. It was a lovely trip that we all plan to go on again in the near future. I just hope that we can bring more family members with us so they can feel the kinship also.

I also made a major decision this past summer that this would be the last year I would work a formal job. By that, I mean that I am going to retire come June of 2013. It is a decision that I haven't taken lightly, but simply know that it is time to be done with working for someone else. I have worked some kind of paying job ever since I was 15 years old. That's 50 years of being paid a paycheck. I've babysat, worked as a camp counselor, worked at an infirmary (not my thing), taught in public school, worked as a dental assistant (another job that was definitely not my thing), was a newspaper reporter and columnist, worked in public school (again); oh, I forgot, I worked in an art gallery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and sold Arkansas diamonds on the street (which were really cut glass fake cheap jewelry---a low point in my life). I've taught pre-school at a Baptist Church and went on to work for the last 20+ years as the director and instructor at an adult education center. In the meantime, I took a second job, one that is near and dear to my heart which I truly love--as a feature writer for "Calhoun Magazine." This job, I hope to keep until I am no more. So come June, I will put down my white board marker, clean out my desk, take down my pictures on my office wall, delete stuff off my office computer (I've already started that) and walk away from a job that has been the most rewarding of jobs. There is something to be said about helping people change their lives in a positive way. And I am marking off the days.

It is time for my life to be less structured. It is time for me not to have to hit the snooze button four or five times on my alarm clock. It's time for me to be able to snuggle in the corner of my couch reading a racy Highlander novel on my Kindle Fire during a cold and rain whipped day. It is time for me to put away my dress shoes, blazers, suits, and ID badge, but maybe not my "Read" pin.

It is time for me to become a full fledged lady of leisure...and a full time writer.

July 1, I will be free.

1 comment:

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I thought everything out before I retired and planned for all the things that I would now have time to do. That first year was rough. I missed seeing people everyday; I missed the structure; I missed the paycheck; but most of all, I missed purpose. I started jogging, I started this blog, I started cooking again, all good things, but I was still sad. I had to find a purpose to be fulfilled. I found that in volunteering at our local social service organization/food bank. It is only a few days a week and leaves me time for all the other things I want to do. I am needed again and that makes me so very happy.

We all have to find our own way. Retiring is a life altering situation and finding our way through this new adventure may take time but if you do it right and look forward rather than backwards it can be great.