Yes. I’m retired, as of June 30, 2020. I’m trading my desk chair in for a back porch recliner.
This is actually my second retirement. In 2000 I left my position at a crisis center in Nashville, Tennessee, drew my Social Security, and moved with my 10-year old son to a small town in Arkansas where he could live in a neighborhood, ride his bike to school, and we could both be near family. After a year or so of stay-at-home I decided, for economic reasons, I should work a few more years. I was certainly healthy enough to do that.
I was fortunate to land a job at Wilbur D. Mills Education Service Cooperative about a mile from my house. If you don’t know what an E.S.C. is, you should research it. They provide an enormous service to Arkansas Schools. I was 67 years old. I can still hardly believe the Literacy Specialist I worked for and came to love and admire, hired a secretary old enough to be her mother.
I had thought the crisis center position was my dream job. I loved supporting therapists who helped victims of crimes. I was contributing to a worthwhile effort.
But I soon found that being a secretary at the Co-op was a dream job, too. Eighteen years flew by. Now it’s time for me to call it a career.
I hardly have words to express how I feel. And I’m a writer!
May I borrow (and paraphrase) words from poet Conrad Aiken?
“Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread.”
To my co-workers at WDMESC:
“The work we did together was more than a job, it was a calling. We were more than co-workers, we were family. We laughed together and prayed for each other. Sometimes we disagreed. Often we rolled our eyes. Being at WDMESC was a special time for me and I will always cherish the friendships I made there. I love you guys.
And don’t forget to turn in your schedules.”
Okay. Life of leisure here I come… unless another dream opportunity comes along.