Sometimes, no matter how well you thought things through, how well you planned, how many details you thought you had all lined up the way they should be… it all goes flying out the window.
That’s what this past two weeks has been like for me. I had been making quiet plans to retire at the end of the year, trying to get everything I could anticipate taken care of ahead of time.
Part of that was giving Beth time to adjust to the prospect of having me home every day – in her words, interrupting the routine she’s established since she retired.
But as fate or luck or whatever would have it, circumstances have shifted so that I will be phasing out of my job beginning much sooner than I expected. Like… now. I’ve written before about my bad back, which, as bad backs tend to do, has only gotten stiffer and grumpier as I’ve aged. Enough so that some parts of my job were becoming unsafe for me to do.
My supervisor and some other people above my pay grade began working with me to help change around my job duties so that I will not have that risk. But that shift can only go on so long, with the end result that I will be transitioning from full-time work to part-time work to full-time retirement sooner than I had anticipated.
The future feels a bit murky at the moment. Sometimes, it feels a weight has been lifted that was a lot heavier than I realized. Other times, it all seems kind of scary. At least, that was Beth’s reaction upon learning she was going to have me around more and sooner than she’d planned for! 🙂
This transition to retirement brings with it a weird mix of sadness and relief. Sadness at no longer doing the thing I’ve done for 32 years, (it’s funny how much of ourselves we define by what we do), and relief that I won’t have to keep doing the thing I’ve done for 32 years. I could do physical therapy elsewhere if I wish, and I may. After a rest.
The upside, of course, will be more time to write and do the other things that I truly enjoy doing.
In my first Transitions post, published in June 2013, I wrote about the death of a friend and how it made me more determined to not wait until “someday” to do the things we really wanted to do. Since then, we have traveled to Ireland and Scotland, as well as other places in the US we’d never visited before. When the pandemic travel restrictions can be eased and more of the world has had a chance to be vaccinated, we’d love to see more of it.
So, I’m hoping this new transition will be just as positive. Even if Beth ends up creating a timetable for when I’m allowed to be in the house.