This will be the year that I turn the big 60. Never before have I spoken of retirement or options for the 60s until this time in my life.
I have always worked, whether it was a part-time position as a teenager, or full time, since the 1970s. Work has always been a part of my life, not just for the satisfaction in my career but for the monetary benefit as well.
I have always been able to jump out of bed at 5 a.m. and organize my life and its responsibilities in an orderly manner. Even as my children were growing up and in school, I was always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that they did not sacrifice because of my full-time positions in the workplace. Activities never suffered, dinner was always served and family life never took a back seat.
Ah, to be young and energetic once again.
Time does take its toll. As I have gracefully aged, I have found that I can still learn new things even faster than ever before. I have the wisdom and grace to deal with situations and have found the secret to sort out that which is important in life from those inconveniences that don’t really matter anymore.
I find that I need more time to enjoy my surroundings and more time to enjoy my life. I still work full time, but I need to take little vacations more often and do more things that bring happiness to my life. Now that my children have long moved out, I can be more selfish and do what I want to.
But a 60-year-old body is not what the 30-year-old expected. Getting out of bed in the a.m. is a little more difficult; those creaking bones need to adjust and never have I enjoyed looking forward to resting on the couch after a long day on my feet as I do today.
After much thought, I have decided it is time to slow it down a bit, maybe go to a four-day work week. At this age there seem to be more doctor appointments coming up and more things that need my attention, such as an aging parent. Spending time with the people I love is at the top of my list. Taking more trips to visit my son on the West Coast and enjoying friendships has taken precedence. During these last 10 years I have realized more than ever how tenuous life has become and that taking one day for granted is too many to take. Losing friends and family over the last decade has taught me that lesson.
There is comfort in knowing that as I age, so do those around me. We can commiserate about our aches and pains, family and friends, and look back fondly on the wonderful memories we have made and plan those we are about to make. Life has been an adventure. I have learned from many lessons and have soaked up what life has to offer.
So here’s to the next decade of adventures. God has been good to me and I plan on giving back as much as I can.