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Retirement: Interesting Concept

by Joan Bachman

So, I’ve been retired now for 13 years; at least I haven’t earned a regular paycheck since 2004. I truly enjoyed all of my working experiences most of the time. During these past years, I’ve been busy with “projects” so much of the time that I’ve often wished for a regular job just for the certainty of what to do next. Finally, this morning I’m marveling at the difficulty of making decisions between “like to” projects because there are no “have to” projects in my face. Seems I have finally made/am making a decision to really retire and eliminate outside obligations. We’ll see how this goes.

Observation #1

The startling realization made in 2004 that there will be a steady adequate income without ever working again. That security is so freeing. (Social Security and investments are good!)

Observation #2

There are more opportunities to use past experience and knowledge and to learn whole new things about this earth and its inhabitants than there is time to pursue everything that presents itself. And the opportunities do indeed present themselves. It’s amazing how regularly God drops stuff among us—just have to pay attention. Maybe retirement is about having more time to see what goes on around us.

Observation #3

There is excitement in doing temporary work with an existing organization, whether to just “hold the fort” or to make an evaluation of potential operational improvements. It’s also fun to contribute to the establishment of an all new business with entrepreneurial professionals, and it’s educational to get to know a whole new set of people and see the variety of methods to getting plans and tasks completed—or not, (failure is still a fact!). It’s also satisfying to recognize that sometimes the “old ways” are still the best (Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in Sunday School).

Observation #4

There is finally time to have coffee and visit with old and new friends. This has actually taken some practice! My yard looks a little better each year. Travel has been less than desired, but my Subaru is still good to go—and will!

Observation #5

Getting old is hard work (Mom, now I understand): printed instructions are too small to read, shopping requires entirely too much walking—why are the butter and eggs always at the farthest corner?—getting shorter has a negative effect on the wardrobe, blue and black socks have become the same color, etc., etc. But, dust keeps and houseplants are forgiving....

Observation #6

STUFF—I’m a saver, not a collector (thankfully), but what to do with crystal, china, books, photos? Generational differences show up here almost as much as in the social media world. Most of the shelves of paper (proof of projects completed) can be eliminated. Sorting is fun and frustrating. Someday I'll tell you my kids' plans for the remaining STUFF .

Observation #7

Watching my family of upstanding successful kids and grandkids is the best of all!

God is good!

About the Author

Joan Bachman

Joan Bachman is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Registered Health Information Technician, and Faith Community Nurse. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Joan has experience as a Nurse, Administrator, Developer, Trainer, Grant Writer, and served as Administrator of SD State Survey Agency. She has consulted with health care facilities and nonprofit organizations and presented leadership training. Joan is the author of Guidebook for Assisted Living Facilities and Senior Service Providers and Guidebook for Physician Services in the Nursing Facility, and she has published in professional journals.

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