Saturday, November 27, 2010

Countdown: Tea for Two...

...and two for tea. Dum-dee-dum and dee-da-dee....

Two weeks to retirement. My brain is mush, except for toddlers and toys and Christmas. I can do a task for work, but I can't strategize even a little.

I do have new post-retirement goals: learning to tap dance and play drums. Just enough to enjoy. And maybe pass along a couple of tricks to the kids. They want to dance on the ceiling like Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding.

I was wondering how long we should let them keep being amazed and asking "How does he DO that?" One of these days, we're going to help them build a model so they can discover how he does it, and we'll make a little movie to awe their parents. Magic and wonder needn't be lost when it leads to experimentation and figuring something out and re-creating it.

I'm off to make some tiny furniture and find a Fred Astaire-like action figure.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Guess how many weeks until I retire!

I'm not doing the countdown to make you jealous. Really, I'm not. I'm excited, I'm celebrating, I'm helping myself adjust to the idea. Last week the eminent Mr. London Street called me a "lucky sod," which has had me laughing all week. But it also made me think.

My response all along has been, "I've earned it." I've worked hard for 45 years. I've stayed at my current job 28 years, during which I often worked long hours, periodically put up with nasty politics, and made some fine and important contributions. I've worked longer than my father did, because we needed the medical insurance. I've continued to work even while working with my husband to provide daycare for our two toddler grandchildren. The daycare continues, full-time weekdays during the school year. It's great--and also a challenge. So yeah, I've earned the right to retire.

But I'm also a lucky sod. I've been able to work in my chosen field--call it public relations, publications, or communications--my whole life. Except for one regrettable experiment working for an insurance conglomerate, I've worked at colleges and universities--good ones, at that. I believe in the product, and the workplace is filled with interesting people, ideas, stories, possibilities. I've had a semi-decent retirement plan that didn't go belly-up. Our health is fine, except that we should exercise more. Social Security is still solvent. Our house is paid for; we have no debt. And Peter's business continues to be successful. So I can retire, and we should be fine. And that, when I think about it, makes me a lucky sod indeed.


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