Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else. Fred Rogers

Several people have asked me how retirement is going.  The thing is, am I retired???  I left my last position in New York because Mr. Smith and I were relocating to Pennsylvania, not as the result of a conscious decision to retire.  Taking a cue from Peggy Olsen of Mad Men, I tried to leave with panache. 

Now ensconced in my apartment in Wilkes Barre, I must admit looking for a full-time position in the legal field at age 64 leaves me a bit nauseous. Research shows the opportunity usually goes to the younger, more attractive candidate! Do I really want to put myself through that?   But realistically, people get many of their feelings of accomplishment and sense of value from their career.  Who am I if not a paralegal, a contributing part of a legal team?  If someone asks me “what do you do?”, I’m not comfortable saying “I’m retired.”

As I go through my days settling us into our new digs, looking for a gym, a doctor, a hair salon, etc., I ask myself, am I retired?  I’ve certainly enjoyed the “honeymoon” phase of retirement, being able to say yes to comings and goings without counting my vacation days. I’ve been able to spend some time with my mother-in-law, my sister and all my grandkids.  My time with Mr. Smith is better than ever as I don’t have to worry about getting laundry, cleaning, etc. done on the weekends or take up our evening time with trips to the gym. I already have a gig in November to go and stay with our awesome granddaughters while their parents take a short break and it was so much fun to just say “yes” when they asked.  

Many people talk about retirement as a time to reinvent yourself.  I see it more as an evolution, to develop parts of your true self that may have been put on a shelf while attending to the demands of working life. And who’s to say you can only retire once???  If I come across an opportunity that sparks my interest, I’ll go for it.

Michelangelo said the masterpiece was always within the marble and his job was to get rid of the excess.  I like to think of my remaining years – my third act – in this way.  I need to shake off the excess – societal values, etc. – and find the masterpiece within.

C’est la vie.

5 thoughts on “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else. Fred Rogers

  1. Would you consider volunteering at either a law school legal aid clinic or a county Legal Aid office? As budget cuts continue to happen to social service agencies…sure your experience and time would be very valued.

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    • Hello. Yes, I’m hoping to find a volunteer opportunity. My first job in the legal field was in family law and I have long thought about the Court Appointed Special Advocate program for children. Thanks!

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  2. As far as I’m concerned the skies the limit. I haven’t been able to work due to physical issues so I tried volunteering. It was great at first but again the pain started in making going there harder and harder. All my life I have worked either full-time, part-time with a fulltime job down to a third job as well. This sitting around drives me up the wall. So go for your dreams.

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