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Monday, March 11, 2013

Wintertime Retirement

For many years, I couldn't figure out why so many people in my workplace chose to select December or January as their retirement dates. There were definitely some tax considerations involved, but I thought "why would anyone want to retire in the winter!"

I'm definitely seeing the advantages of that choice this winter. We've had two major snowfalls since I retired six weeks ago. How nice it has been to remain indoors, have another cup of coffee and really not be concerned if the snow removal crew gets our driveway cleaned by a specific hour or not. And the best part is that I don't have to be out on the streets to drive to a job. Then, once there, wondering if I will have a safe trip home. On the day following both snowfalls, I had appointments scheduled. How nice it was to be able to call in and reschedule for a different day.

Daylight savings time went into effect yesterday. I've always been a fan of what I refer to as Sun Time. Even with the seven inches of snow outside, last evening it was so nice to still have some daylight remaining for an hour after dinner. That's certainly a sign of Spring.

I'm guessing that my alarm clock only woke me up on workdays once or twice in the past 10 years. I was always awake hours before the designated time. And I never, ever thought I'd be someone to "sleep in." But after six weeks of not being tied to a schedule, it is so nice to be able to sleep until my body says it's time to get up. I'm gradually making the adjustment to having adequate sleep. It's a nice change from sleep deprivation.

It's also nice to enjoy my Sunday afternoons and evenings without the pre-Monday jitters. The tension about having to go back to work on Monday usually kicked in no later than one or two o'clock on Sunday afternoon. It was extremely difficult for me to continue going in to a job that I didn't like for so many years. I thought that was the price I had to pay for steady income, a retirement plan and health insurance. It may have been a high price to pay, but it was the path I chose. And now that I'm out of the workplace, I certainly don't regret it. I'm a survivor.

I laughed to myself when I received emails from my clients during my last weeks of working and so many wrote things like "It's so obvious you love your job." Well, folks, hand me the Academy Award! At least I was glad that the clients didn't see the agony I experienced on a daily basis, feeling trapped in an emotional jail from which I never thought I would escape. I'm so much happier now with that behind me.