YOU DO NOT RETIRE FROM YOUR HOBBY!
I am Nancy Erickson. In July 2012 I retired after 36 years of association from the Reston Regional Library, Reston, Virginia and this is my story.
In May 2016 I had finished my last project so it was time to move on. I shuffled through the notes I had accumulated in the computer and came to the conclusion that it was high time and quite fitting that I tackle the notes involving retirement.
What follows is an interpretation of those notes.
What is retirement? Who actually thinks about the subject? I haven’t given it a second thought. As a matter of fact It’s been notably absent as a subject of any of my customary conversations, and my family certainly didn’t set much on an example. Consequently when the time came for the final denouement, I was totally clueless.
There was one rather amazing and exceptional example that I happened to manage to garner from my family: it comes in the form of a story about my Uncle Bobby. Uncle Bobby was a Philadelphia lawyer and as a young partner he came up with the great and novel decree: partners in the firm would be required to retire when he reached the age of 65. Of course, quick as a wink, he was 65 and came face to face with his own petard, the now overtly undesirable youthful proclamation. Luckily however, and lawyers being lawyers, the problem was quickly rectified and he never did retire, he probably just had a different title. This has always been one of my favorite family stories – I admired the ingenuity and originality, but it sure wasn’t much help as a future reference. (It might not have meant much as far as retirement is concerned but the other lesson it incorporates is an amazingly worthy lesson indeed and I feel duly appreciative.)
I’ll bet the millennials don’t give it a thought: I even feel hopeful that they’ll come up with something better. I wonder what the current thinking is on the subject. There are certainly enough TV ads nagging and harping on the necessity of being prepared –specifically by them.
Obviously this is a subject which deserves serious research: but not by me, not now.
At any rate, or for whatever reason one retires, I never got the message.
HOW DID THIS ABYSMAL THING HAPPEN TO ME?
ALL AT ONCE... without even giving it a second thought or even paying much attention to the entreaties of my dear bosses, I made the big decision: my intention to retire.
There were a few admittedly but relatively minor extenuating circumstances: ones which, fortunately for me, would eventually prove to be fairly temporary. I had acquired a slight physical impairment: I was running out of oxygen. And with this I ended up in the hospital for a brief stay.
This happened in June; the most beautiful month of the year.
Other that spending an acrimonious week in the hospital and another week’s worth of social service visitations , what could be more salubrious, more welcome, more appreciated or more delicious than basking in the sun on a glorious June day with nothing whatsoever on the agenda? I was frankly euphoric, and I was feeling fine. No question what better place to be than home. The pleasure was all mine as I lazed around in the delicious warmth of the sunshine. And in the very little time I was home I discovered how nice it was to “do nothing”. Both situations provided sufficient incentive in support of the final outcome.
A bit of time passed and in a fit of fog and delighting often in a distinct tendency to act on impulse, I officially retired and VOILA the dye was cast.
True, I had no idea how long I would be grappling with the subsidiary medical equipment, but there’s no doubt a lot of this was due to impulse. The fact is, I love doing things “on a lark”: I never even contemplated that this was an action written in stone. So few thing are actually; except this.
Truth be told, I had been toying with the idea in the few moments of inactivity I had as I sat perched on my stool at the Circulation Desk in the Library in which I was given time to think. At 76 years of age it was certainly time to leave the arena for a younger generation.
The euphoria lasted for some time – after all, we’re talking June through August and pool time. As it turned out the major negative issue had been eradicated within a month and was no longer a determining issue, and although the prevailing wisdom on the subject advises to let the dust settle before making any big decision – who me? By then the harm had been done and it was too late to retreat. I was very officially set on my new path in life.
Eventually the truth sank in … this is it for the rest of my life. Uh oh!
This was one huge RUDE AWAKENING… I had no attitudes whatsoever about retiring from this stage of my life. I was happy.
Fortunately all the extra time I acquired offered me the opportunity as well as the incentive to write. Or more specific, it gave me more time to think which in turn produced the material I would make use of. Either way … tit for tat, the effect is the same. I bought myself a little “friendly, mostly friendly” lap top to talk to and I’M JUST JAMMING IT UP WITH JUNK/MINUTAE and of course in the meantime making myself more work. Isn’t that what computers are for?