Aug. 11, 2017 at 7:55 a.m.
Updated Aug. 11, 2017 at 7:55 a.m.
Today is the first day of my retirement after working since I was 12 years old.
I turn 66 next month so I’ve worked several decades.
I’ve had a couple of “months” off a few times due to family illness and being in between jobs.
I’ve always worked and now I’m excited and somewhat intimidated about how I will enjoy this journey I begin today.
In my mind I have a game plan and want to stick with it since I really don’t know how life would feel without chaos, a “to do” list and juggling the many things during a workday.
I am excited though and hope this is going to be all I imagined retirement to be.
My husband Danny and I have already travelled several countries so I’m looking forward to more international travel.
But for now, we choose to begin seeing as much as possible here in the United States.
We realize we couldn’t possibly see everything, but we would like to see as many of the national parks as possible and so much more.
We took yearly vacations with our children to Disneyland, Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, snow skiing trips and the many places you would like for your children to experience.
There’s so much left to see though in this great country of ours.
We’re planning a road trip for two to Sequoia National Park in California in 2018.
That trip is going to be a different trip for us.
First of all, no children to be concerned about, no more “when are we going to get there” questions and no statements like “I’m bored.”
Travel is easy for us. What’s going to be hard is me handling all this free time I now have.
My game plan is pretty easy.
Exercise when I get up with a long, brisk walk, come home and eat a healthy breakfast and write for three hours minimum every single day.
The cleaning house and gardening are easy, it’s the in-between time I’m concerned with.
So, I’ve decided I’ll learn Spanish and take a few courses at college.
I need to keep my mind healthy and memory sharp.
I don’t plan on being a “couch potato” or become addicted to soap operas.
I never enjoyed that type of entertainment anyway.
I have children who are excited about me finally retiring and doing what I want with my time.
That being said, my daughter continues to remind me to exercise and choose this time to finally achieve an active lifestyle.
She’s in top shape, eats healthy and is still a petite double zero.
Does that tell you anything at all?
My son tells me to relax and do exactly what I want with my new found freedom.
I know it will take time for this retirement thing to kick in, but I can be patient when I choose to be.
I love people, love talking to people, love hearing their stories and that’s what I will miss more than anything.
That means one thing, embrace volunteer work a couple of days a week.
I have always been excited about life experiences when it comes to something new.
I embrace it and welcome it because I believe each experience opens your mind.
You begin to develop an acute awareness of the world you live in and often stronger self-confidence is an added bonus.
I’ve always been a survivor because I have the unique ability to adjust to change and look at challenges for what they are.
I may not understand the complexity of the challenge at that very moment but given time, I’m able to reflect and face whatever comes my way.
For some, like my husband Danny, change is challenging.
Being an ex-Marine, a strict routine, knowing what your day looks like is what he likes.
Anything out of the expected normal day takes him off guard.
Age gives each one of us many opportunities.
I like to think of it’s a huge learning process.
If we fail, age gives us the unique ability to start all over again.
We also learn not to sweat the small stuff.
We’re able to learn from our mistakes and move forward.
We’re able to face obstacles placed in our path because often, we’ve walked that way before.
I welcome finally being able to sit back and just enjoy the beauty of the day, the laughter of my beautiful, amazing grandchildren, enjoy my home and garden and learn new life skills.
As I mentioned, I’ve always wanted to learn to speak Spanish so this is a goal of mine.
My passion is writing and so I write this.
I may never get published, but I’m still excited about what stories, poetry and books I will write.
I’ve accumulated a trunk of what I’ve written over my lifetime.
There are endless possibilities of what the future holds for me and Danny as we face this new chapter in our lives.
May our journey be filled with many wonderful memories of our past and the future.
In closing, not every person has the choice of finally retiring, so I feel extremely lucky, as does Danny.
Many people choose to work as long as possible.
For us, we embrace my retirement and his upcoming retirement.
He was my high school sweetheart and I look forward to all the time we will spend together in our twilight years doing the many things we love.
We have spent hours upon hours talking about all the adventures we want to experience.
It is my hope that good health continues to be in our favor so we can savor every day.
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