I did not know what the plan was when I quit the job-I-had-loved. I remember telling my boss that quitting made no sense (at that time with the way the economy was), but spiritually it made all the sense in the world to me. People I met would casually ask me: “so, are you retired?” “I don’t know,” I’d respond in panic. “I don’t know if I’m retired!” After all, what did retirement look like? I knew I was tired. I knew I was burnt-out. But retired? Now that was a mouthful. I went on a mission: find out what being retired meant and what it looked like for me.
First up, I tried to find another job. I clearly was not interested in this and would almost always log-off right in the middle of filling out the on-line application. So … what did that mean? Then I signed up for volunteer work. Met many other retirees — but I didn’t see myself there either. I struggled and pouted. Tried to resurrect what was clearly dead — my old job. No good.
And finally, one day, either between my Tai Chi class in the Gardens, or on my way to writing club, I discovered it. Peace. Joy. Found, again, in what I love to do. I was fortunate. I had left a job I was passionate about — and now I was finding a new passion. I finally surrendered. I would not teach young ones again, and this was a loss for me. But I was seeing that there were many things I did love to do, many things that were replacing what I had given up. And so, finally I made a decision. I was retired. I would retire to doing the things I loved to do with a passion. I would begin the next phase; that which has been trendily coined by Oprah: My Second Chapter.