Reflections on a “Seme” Retirement

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It’s been just a year since I turned in my company car and laptop for lowered blood pressure and seven-day weekends.

My former job used to be fun, exciting, rewarding and all the things that make it worth getting up in the morning.  However, a few years ago it stopped being fun and became 24/7 stress.  Kissing that good-bye has been exhilarating, amazing, crazy, surprising, healthy, wonderful, and liberating.

What I miss:

Certain colleagues and customers

Sales bonuses

Not having to pay for gas (company car)

Visiting certain charming, idyllic campuses

The caliber of people I met daily

Learning cool technologies

Any sales meeting we’ve ever had in Arizona

What I don’t miss:

Certain colleagues and customers

Sales goals

My company car (a big perk, but for the 1st time ever I am driving the car of my choice )

The NJ Turnpike

The 6 am alarm ringing

The system being down

Any sales meeting we’ve ever had in Texas (sorry Texas friends!)

People wonder what I do with my life, if I am bored, and many tell me that they can’t imagine their lives without their employment.  I have not been bored a nanosecond and I have found that my days fill up with all sorts of things – some planned, some not planned.

Serendipity rather than a paycheck now manages my schedule.

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I find I have more time for old friends and for making new friends, time to cook and bake bread, time to exercise and go to the movies, time to read a book and do counted cross-stitch, time to volunteer, time to clean out closets and basements, time to travel, time to write and create, time to drink more wine, time to be thoughtful and kind.   I have realized that most days are spent doing what I want to do, not what must be done.  I notice more sunsets, remember more birthdays, read more books, do more puzzles, walk more steps, and generally spend time with people and things in places that make me happy.

I am more preoccupied with filling my soul rather than filling my calendar.

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I do have a confession to make.   Three months after I retired, I was approached by a Marketing colleague from my former company about working part-time on some projects just for a few months.   That “temporary” gig is still ongoing, so some could argue that I am not really retired.  However, retirement is as much a state of mind as a state of employment, and this part-time consulting is at my own pace, during the hours that I choose, stress-free, and it’s work I enjoy doing.  Plus, it’s additional income and we are hosting a wedding this year.

So, I can joke about my “seme” retirement, but for those of you who have faithfully been following me for the last year, I am sure you can see that “seme” retirement agrees with me and that I agree with it.  I am so grateful that we have the savings so that I could retire, and I encourage all of you to save as much as you can so that you can experience this wonderful passage of life when that time is right for you.

It’s a passage of possibility, and I am still imagining what those possibilities will be for me.

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