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?

I can’t.

My decision is made. And I’m so excited!


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22 responses to “Decisions…Decisions….

  1. Betty Wilson

    Dear Kathy, I am happily retired though I could use a little more income. If you have a nice retirement package it sounds wonderful. The students will miss a wonderful person I know, but you can drop in now and then to see how things are going. (Maybe the students will say “who is that lady dropping in?” And you can let them wonder!) Best wishes to you–I know you will be surprised to find yourself busier than ever, but completely with your own projects! Betty

    • Cathy Elliott

      Betty, thank you for your kind words. It’s nice to hear from someone with real retirement experience! I’ll be counting on that “busier than ever” part. But not TOO busy!

  2. Essie Strathdee

    Outstanding! I’m thrilled and can’t wait to see more of you in this next phase of a blessed life!

    Love and blessings.

    • Cathy Elliott

      Me thinks we have a project on the table, don’t we Essie? And Fred? 🙂 I will love a life with more of you two in it. Thanks for sharing my excitement!!!

      See you soon, dear ones.

  3. Caroleah

    I’m excited for you – and a little jealous. I would love to retire, but it’s not in the picture at the moment. How great to see it through the lens of others’ eyes and to know God is orchestrating it all. Congratulations!

    • Cathy Elliott

      Caroleah, you young, pre-retirement gal, you. 🙂 Yes, it is quite lovely how God is working it all out. If you’d told me in January that I’d be retiring in July, I’d have thought you had a new fiction project! And here it is only a few months later and my plans are upside down. But in a good way.

      Thank you for sharing the joy, my friend.

      Hugs, Cathy

  4. Cathy,
    What great news! I am looking forward to hearing more details at Quills. Congratulations!

    • Cathy Elliott

      Thanks, Chris. Maybe all this decision making will become an article as well as a lifestyle. Always thinking writing!
      Warmly, Cathy

  5. Linda H

    Cathy, congratulations! How exciting!
    Cathy, congratulations! How exciting!

    I had to say it twice… retiring with special incentives AND a new baby. I mean, a new book!
    That really is super-duper special. Wow, the possiblities. Have fun.

    And congratulations to me on finding your blog.
    We’re all winners tonight! Hurray!

    I’ll be looking for the new book. In fact, I’ve been gathering titles that I might take with me in July when we go to see our east coast family. This is kinda like a replay. I was gathering titles to take with when your last book came out. I left the book with my daughter-in-law so she could read it, too. I can do that again. I like that.

    I’ll be quiet now and stop talking your leg off.

    Blessings on ya
    Linda Hancock

    • Cathy Elliott

      Thank you, Linda! Your joy for me confirms that this IS the right time. Much appreciated.
      Warmly, Cathy

  6. Marla Doherty

    Blessings and best wishes, Cathy, on your new book and next exciting journey!


  7. Kimberly Shaw

    Cathy, Cathy, Sweet Cathy,
    I know that is a big decision, but what an amazing opportunity for you at this time in life. I pray God directs your path to double the blessings you received at your job. You will be missed, I’m sure-I’ll miss you when I pop in down there. There’s always so much to chat about.
    Blessings on your new endeavor and congratulations on your latest book! Woo HOO- you go girl!

    • Cathy Elliott

      Kimberly: You sure have been a beacon on this writing journey of mine. Now that I’ll be able to work at it more, I hope to see you more, too. That would be yet another sweet prize at the end of the race. Thanks for being happy for me and the kind words. You always bless my world.

  8. Tom and Jackie Wilcox

    We’re so excited to hear about your new book and you pending retirement. God has surely rewarded your faithfulness with a wonderful family, loving friends, and tremendous talents. Now he is rewarding you with time to enjoy these thing even more. Great success to you.

  9. Barbara Dawson

    Congratulations on your decision! I think you will soon be asking yourself…”How did I ever have time to work?” You will be so busy with all of the projects you love. Hey, I have a title for your next childrens book…”Gramsy’s Magic Suitcase.” Can’t wait to read it 🙂
    Love, Barbara 🙂

    • Cathy Elliott

      LOVE the title. Now, if I just had a good idea for the story. I might have to borrow one from you! 🙂 Thank you, Barbara, for sharing the excitement. Let the good times roll! Back at cha, Cathy

  10. Julie Marsh

    You are have enough years in to retire??? How can that possibly be? I thought we were the same age…Or is it just that I looked at you and discovered an instant friend?

    I share in your excitement, but suspect it isn’t really a retirement but rather a change in full time occupation. 🙂 Happy writing friend, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

    Blessings always,

    • Cathy Elliott

      Oh, thank you, Julie! Yes…a kinship for sure…though I appreciate the kind words. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to this new season. It feels sweet, indeed!

      Hugs, Cathy

  11. THRILLED for you! So perhaps that love of traveling might bring you to Nebraska???

    • Cathy Elliott

      Wow! That would be a big trip for sure. But rewarded with a good friend at the end. You never know, Cyndy!

      Thanks for sharing the joy….

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