About 6 years ago I wrote my “official” letter of retirement after 12 years of working in association with a fine and well-educated group of professional colleagues. I had the liberty and benefit of a “home office” in northern New Mexico during that time although that required a fair amount of travel. It’s the old cost/benefit ratio of take your choice and pay the price to get what you want.
In December, 2010, I reviewed my work, looked ahead, and I believed the time was right to make the transition. The past five years have confirmed that it was a good decision. It was the conclusion of 50 years of full-time employment in several different settings. Each job was challenging and rewarding, and perhaps most of all, they contributed significantly to my experience of lifelong learning. For those interested in this review, I set some of them down in this piece: http://tinyurl.com/ngshjm4
During these past 5 years I have enjoyed the luxury of working very part-time, accepting only those invitations that interest me the most. I have had more time to read, write, travel, fish, hike and be immersed in the natural world. We made a move from a large house and property in the country to a much smaller and less expensive place in the city. We are more focused on convenience and comfort while remaining adventurous and engaged in the larger world. We spend several months in the winter in Mexico, highly recommended. For those worried about safety, don’t go. We feel very safe there, love the culture, and the values of local families. We have met numerous friends there also from the north, from other parts of the U.S. and Canada.
For many of us retirement does not mean what it sounds like but rather a shifting of gears, a different agenda of activities and continuing to be aware of our mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual engagements. It seems like a new chapter in an unfolding and evolving life that is as interesting as we decide to make it. There are a myriad of choices in the menu of opportunities and we are fortunate to enjoy good health and sufficient resources to make the most of each and every day.
I believe that among the many positive contributions to life at this stage is the freedom from stress and worry and taking whatever steps are necessary to address those issues when they do occur. Our extended family is mostly in good shape with one remaining parent who decided, at 101, to move into a life care retirement community and she will celebrate here 103rd birthday in January. Our seven children and thirteen grandchildren are scattered coast to coast. The adults are gainfully employed, financially independent and we are very proud of their achievements and accomplishments.
These later years are rich with occasions to celebrate life, the benefits of freedom and time to enjoy it in many different venues. Un enorme gracias, mi amigos.