Enough is Enough: Why I Had to Retire

Retirement Life...or is it?

Retirement Life…or is it?

Exactly one month ago, I retired from public service in recreation and parks, after 31 years. I shared several blog posts about my retirement experience, including a guest post on A Momma’s View.

I thought this might be a good way to wind up my retirement series with a post from the daily prompt Enough Is Enough.
Yes, the fight is over.

In my guest post I stated,

“Does this bother me? Sure, a little. The stress of change has been taking its toll on me these last two years. It is exhausting to explain to someone 20 years your junior how certain things are done and why. I know without a doubt why older people retire and give up. It’s just too hard.”

After sitting through drastic changes to our recreation department as a result of the great recession, and enduring the miserable decisions our City leaders made, I had to throw in the towel.

After watching countless colleagues get laid off while management still kept their jobs, and saying good-bye to another group of retirees, I had to call it a day.

After my staff and I worked our arses off to “make it work,” I gleefully filled out my retirement application.

After navigating even more changes with the influx of new management coming and going, making crappy, program-killing decisions, the exit door could not have hit me on the way out any quicker!

Enough is indeed, enough.

However…

Now that the fight is over and my stress levels are very low (I’m sure my cholesterol numbers have improved), I do have to get organized.

The image above is of a card I received when I retired. It seems to imply that retirement is a lot of napping and doing nothing. While that may be great for some people, resting and napping is not my idea of retirement. On the other hand, I do have to admit to hitting that snooze button too many times and putting my feet up…a lot!

But the idea of making my own agenda—now that is the tricky one! A task that I am implementing today.

I have a new calendar. After years of using on online Outlook calendar for everything, I have a beautiful, 2015 spiral-bound planner highlighting Thomas Mangelsen’s wildlife photographs. Here I keep my blog post schedule and ideas, my workout schedule, and any appointments I have (I had three appointments last week!). With this low-tech tool, I also schedule my daily routine for my consulting business, and preparations for my future university courses and lectures.

I love technology. I loved having an online calendar. When I worked full-time I was ridiculously busy; a calendar tied to my outlook account for work and personal time was a necessity. A simple click on my I-phone, and there was my life, laid out week-by-week. That was back in the day when I carried two mobile phones; my own and my work phone.

I had tried to use planners before, but they ended up in the office supply graveyard. In order to effectively use a real planner, I had to retire. Enough is enough.

Now, back to putting up my feet and basking in the glory of a new beginning.

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42 thoughts on “Enough is Enough: Why I Had to Retire

  1. Lovely. It really is a new beginning. It’s wonderful to create your OWN “pressures” and, as with you, the last few years of working for the state of CA took a huge toll on me. Calendars — I got two for Christmas but I also bought one I wanted. 365 days of Italy. I’ve used a calendar like that for more than 10 years. It just makes me happy to look at it. My friends/family couldn’t/can’t believe I wouldn’t miss teaching. I got a desk calendar with a different student writing mistake for every day. I love the giver and hate the gift. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been retired for a year and a half now. I am never bored for lack of interesting things to do. However, it is a time for adjustment. I’ve worked for over 30 years in nursing and shift work. I must have loved my job but the last few years were very stressful. The healthcare system had many of the problems you spoke of. I should have left sooner but didn’t. I’m slowly unwinding and de-stressing – that itself is an adventure.

    Lily

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Retirement is the first time in your life that YOU can do anything you want…with ONLY two limitations…Your Health and Your Wealth.

    The rest is up to you. Trust me, it is a full time job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would also add that your are not retired—you are on the brink of living up to your potential!! Subject to the two limitations mentioned above. Never call yourself retired. If you must answer, simply say you are a non W-2 taxpayer.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good one, Frank. Until I can get soc Sec (7 more years) I still teach part-time at Sacramento State 🙂 Because of the way Calpers works, I have to take 6 months off from teaching. So perhaps my status is semi-retired next Fall, for now–just going on my Second Act 🙂

      Like

  5. What a heart-felt look into this new chapter in your life! It’s true that retirement doesn’t need to mean napping and doing nothing…Au contraire!
    But I am glad your retirement means now that you don’t have to carry 2 cell phones nor rely upon an Outlook calendar anymore…how nice your new paper planner must be!
    Enjoy! Your amazing energy can be felt through your words!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved teaching…for many years…but you could not have outlined the problems in the system better. It is amazing how the same problems impact different entities. I had to leave, but I have not stopped learning in my retirement, and I am still trying to teach in my own way to a new audience. And I get to spend so much more time with my grandchildren who live all over the country…they like to learn with grandma and grandpa, too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I find it very interesting that you equated my issues with the educational institution! Those were my issues with my municipal rec and parks job. I guess these types of issues span all workplaces. *sigh*….oh well….GLAD to be out. That is great that you can hang out with your grandkids. They are blessed to have an educator as their grandparent! Both my children’s grandparents were educators and I believe my daughters’ lives are that much richer!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I couldn’t agree more with you on the excitement of using a low-tech planner – I love looking back over the diaries of previous years (which have a tendency to turn into scrapbooks – I can get a bit generous with the post it notes and Pritt Stick) and reminiscing over fond memories which can’t be captured in Outlook (doodles, ticket stubs and ideas that can’t wait – as you mentioned! – are my favorurites). Enjoy your calendar – and best wishes for your new adventure in retirement!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations Terri,

    Enjoy your retirement lifestyle as you embark upon your new life chapter.

    I use the analogy of retirement in the following thought.

    Recall your elementary school years and hopefully you enjoyed morning or afternoon recess in the school playground. Retirement is the same except, no one rings a bell for you to return to class!

    Welcome to the retiree family!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Terri, wonderful post! I know exactly what you mean about work environments. I am in the process of having the faith to manifest success (financial success – the final frontier) through”the work of my joy” so that I can quit jobs that suck the living life out of my soul without giving back much. Youth has so much to offer, but as we age we have so much more to offer the world. It’s our time to shine, and I know you will shine very brightly.

    I have a fantasy that when I do leave this job, I will take the time to do all of the above on your card…just for a few days to a week. Just enough to heal mind, body and soul. To de-stress. I am so happy to hear that your stress level has lessened. I’m looking forward to that also.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. You are always welcome.

    Blessings on your new Life,
    Marianne

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Terri, I noticed that you don’t have your posts “rolling” on your blog. Whenever you like someone’s post, WP sends an email to that person and on that email are three links to your posts. You can make these rolling so every time you post, those 3 posts on that email will change. This is preferable because that is how numerous people will read your blog. If they aren’t rolling, then once they have read those 3 posts they stop reading. So, to make your posts rolling will bring more readers to your blog. If you are interested, here are the directions: http://pricelessjoy.co/2015/01/06/rolling-posts/
    Some themes are different and this setting is automatically chosen but your theme doesn’t do this.

    Liked by 1 person

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