For several years I’ve been contemplating retirement. Though I have lots of time on the books, I just haven’t felt ready to go. I still enjoy the academic library environment and treasure my wonderful colleagues. My work continues to challenge. It’s been easy to put off the decision to retire. Maybe next year. Or the year after that.
But I didn’t want to stay too long either. I’d hoped to leave before everyone was eager for me to go – checking their watches anxiously – hinting as the guest stays too long after dinner.
How would I know the right time?
Because of fiscal concerns this year, my workplace offered an early retirement incentive to those of us who met the criteria. An offer not to be repeated for at least three more years. And – I qualified. But, as usual, I didn’t feel ready to go yet. So I asked two of my wisest counselors for their advice.
First I asked my younger brother, Dan. “What do you think I should do? Should I retire now, even though I wasn’t planning on it?”
He didn’t even hesitate, noting all my outside interests like writing, music, quilting, travel, and of course, spending precious time with my granddaughter, Sidney Anne. If I retired, I could commit as much time as I wanted to these pursuits. Dan also mentioned that he often met retirees on the streets of his town and they all looked relaxed and happy. “None of them have ever said they wished they’d waited two more years to retire.”
Good point. That was my experience, too.
I called my older brother, Mike. “What do you think I should do? I just don’t want to retire too soon and regret my decision.”
After urging me to file the retirement papers as soon as I could, he said something else that brought everything into better focus. “What if God arranged this retirement incentive just so that you would be led to retire right now? Everyone else benefits, but it’s all for you! Do you really want to miss out on His gift? Sis, I think that would be your only regret.”
What a sweet rationale. God is just like that, too. He loves each of us as if we were the only ones on Earth to love. How can I turn my back on such kindness?
My decision is made. And I’m so excited!