As I prepare for retirement, my company has agreed (to my great pleasure) that we should have a long, smooth transition. When they identify my successor, I will gradually reduce my hours and work part-time for as long it’s mutually beneficial for the company and me.
How perfect is that?
I can just ease myself into retirement. And who knows, part-time work may suit me fine. Work a little, feel like I’m making a contribution, have some spending money, and enough free time to write and read or just plain goof off. I think I can dig it.
This got me to thinking….
There are a lot of part-time situations and lifestyles that might also be perfect for me:
1. Gardening. I enjoy my flower beds. Digging in the dirt and watching things grow is good for my soul. I even like weeding. Sitting on the ground and grasping tiny weed fragments is serene and allows my mind to drift in such pleasant ways. But not all the time! I don’t want to be sitting on the ground pulling weeds EVERY SINGLE week. I think once a month would be about right.
2. School. I loved college. I loved the whole atmosphere. The air positively vibrated with the learning going on. I’d like to go back. But I don’t want to study or take exams or write research papers. And I don’t want to take anything I’m not interested in. Or with a professor I don’t love. But I wouldn’t mind sitting in a classroom. Or walking between classes. How I used to love strolling through the campus. I could do that part.
3. A Dog. I had a great dog when I was a teenager. I’d love to have a dog again. We’ve come close a couple of times. Like just this Sunday. We went to Tractor Supply (awesome way to spend a Sunday – if you are my husband.) There was a rescue group there with a bunch of little puppies. And one not-so-little one… about a year old and a gentle giant. With a lab’s body and the massive head of a pit bull, but the kind, puzzled eyes of a sweetheart. This guy watched everyone swooning over the tiny puppies, and never made a sound. Just watched. Hopeful. Both my husband and I were tempted. But we have three cats, and the very old one really really hates dogs. So we can’t do that to her in her old age. But I see our neighbor walking her dog in the morning as I drive to work. And I wish it were me. But not in January. Or February. But I’d like a dog, For maybe six months of the year.
Come to think of it, having cats is just like having a part-time dog. Because they only notice you part-time.
4. Marriage. This is a big one. When I was young, I dreamed of being married to some wonderful guy. But as I got older, my dream got a little more specific. I wanted to be married to a wonderful guy who was a traveling salesman. Someone who would actually only be home on the weekends. And leave me to my own thoughts and activities during the week. So what happens? I find a wonderful guy who is a salesman – only he is a self-employed advertising salesman who worked mostly by phone… out of our house! Rather than seeing him just on the weekends, I see him every single day! And now he is retired and I am about to be retired. That’s a lot of togetherness. Can I be married maybe just four days a week?
5. Parenting. I always wanted to be a mother. But I married late in life and it didn’t happen for me. And you know, as time went by, although I often wished I had kids, I also recognized the nice aspects of not having any. Like money, freedom, quiet. But every now and then – even at my age – I wish I had a kid. But not all the time of course. I’d like to rock a baby to sleep. And read a story to a toddler. Or sit him in that spot in the front of the grocery cart where I now only put the bread. I think I might like the first day of school, or shopping with a teenage girl. Or maybe playing with a little boy on the beach. For an hour. Then I want to read my book.