I have been reading Chip's posts eagerly in anticipation of my retirement. I was looking for inspiration, affirmation, and maybe that push I needed to take the plunge. Retirement to most people is a bittersweet moment. Yes, it's something that most people look forward to and plan for, but being the last stop at the train station has its scary moments.
I had planned to retire a year before, but then the global pandemic hit and I was rendered homebound. I worked from my kitchen table for 18 months before I retired, thinking that it would prepare me for this life-altering milestone. I had some work projects that I wanted to see through fruition and they were all delayed by a year, so I delayed my (fortunately) unannounced plans for retirement by a year.
My human resources manager arranged a meeting with me under the guise of succession planning. Everyone knows it's illegal to discuss retirement plans with old people for no good reason. So we had a Zoom meeting where she asked me the standard questions about my job. And, there was no one who already worked there who was either qualified for or wished to have my job. Then we discussed my retirement plans ... and yes, I was "forced" to put a date to it. And yes, I recommend that everyone put a date to it or else years will pass and you will still be working or, perish the thought, dead at your desk. We all know that person. Don't be that person.
Many people say that you will know when it's your time to retire. If that is true, why do so many people wait until it is too late? Fear of not having enough, fear of having no purpose, or perhaps the biggest fear of all is having to formulate your own purpose. Having survived two deadly cancers, I did not want to be that person. And I was thoroughly enjoying a favorite television show where one of the main characters retired and died the next day! Oh my!
I retired and found that what others say is true. I was busier after retirement than ever before. In pondering why, I went back to my high school physics class. When you have a sedentary job, you are an object at rest. And objects at rest tend to stay at rest. When you retire, you are set free from your computer and you become an object in motion! And I hope I stay in motion as long as I possibly can. Maybe, just maybe retirement is the next book and not the last chapter!
Pamela Moss happily retired on October 1st from her role as the Director of Assessment at the Southern College of Optometry at the age of 67. She holds two degrees from the University of TN Knoxville and has lived in the Memphis area since the mid-80s. She is planning to spend much time traveling and writing, and the many other things she put off until retirement.