December 2, 2021

Retirement… It’s All About Retiring – Or Is It?

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So, I did it again. I admit until you do it, or try it, as I did the first time around, you realize there is more to it than just turning in your key fob for your computer to the IT people or leaving your keys to your desk for the next person who will eventually sit there. It is a major transition even when you think you are ready for it. I didn’t make it work the first time, and I wasn’t sure I could this time – not without a plan in place.

I started working right after high school at age 18, like many of you from our generation. I recently retired, for the second and final time, at age 77 so yes, it was a major change in my life. This time around I thought I had a better handle on it, and I do, but it definitely takes some thought and planning. I have never liked change. When I went back to work after being retired for seven weeks, I asked, no begged, for my job back. I considered myself to be very fortunate that my employer agreed. I went back part-time, but I had the same desk, the same computer and the same customers. There was a lot of change in that short space of time; new people, as business had picked up; new changes in protocol, etc. I adapted and as time went on the “new” became the “norm”. Then Covid 19 entered the picture. The office shut down for a period of time. Our IT people moved all our equipment to our homes and we all adapted. I did not expect, however, that after four months working from home, the concept of less paper was adopted. Really? Seriously? That was a big adjustment for me as I needed paper and continued to use it in my daily routine. In fact, while I have two computers, I have written this out on paper first.

Anyway, I digress. So, when I decided to retire from the same job, again, I knew I had to plan ahead for it. After all, this was the biggest change I had made in a very long time. What have I discovered? I can do what I want, when I want to. If I choose to get up at 5AM, make that first cup of coffee, and sit and read my book for an hour, I can. If I decide instead to do something constructive before breakfast, I can. If all I want to do is sit on the floor and play with my beautiful cat Lacy, I do it. If I decide to move furniture around and re-arrange my rooms I can, and I did (with help from a very good friend)! I decided to clean out some of my bookcases and discard some of the books. I stopped counting at 400, but I spent a lot of my time sorting them, arranging them alphabetically, and by issues, first to last, and enjoyed myself doing it.

This may all sound crazy but it is working for me. Also fitting into this “plan as I go” is that job offer I received to work from home as an intake coordinator that I mentioned earlier. I accepted it, and am extremely grateful for the opportunity, although I am still learning. While this is not a typical plan, it is working for me. I make lists everyday of the things I should and need to do; grocery shopping, what meals to prepare, running to the post office, stopping at the pharmacy, touching base with the people in my life that are not close by, etc. And I realize that life is grand if you take the time to enjoy it while you are able. It is the only one we have and it is meant to be lived to the fullest.

Be happy, rejoice every day for what we have, and make your plan work for YOU!

Sincerely and respectfully,
Paula M Boudreau


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