After working full time almost every year since graduation from college, I finally reached the point where I no longer enjoyed working, and I retired in April 2015.
So far, I am still enjoying retirement and there are no regrets!
I didn’t have specific plans other than to spend more time with my husband and do some of the things that I never had time or energy to do when most of my waking hours were spent at work. And while we did a lot of traveling during those years, two weeks’ vacation never compensated enough for missed opportunities during the rest of the year. And, of course, shadowing our annual getaway was always the knowledge that we had to return home on such and such a date.
Retirement is wonderful!
For relaxation, I tend the garden, maintain the bird feeders or just read to my heart’s content, knowing that if I can’t finish a planned activity, there is always tomorrow.
One definite plus of retirement is that our activities can be done on weekdays when there are fewer crowds and less traffic. This gives us the opportunity to enjoy going to places that we normally wouldn’t visit on a weekend — for example, Port Jefferson or the Hamptons.
My husband and I also see a lot more movies, attend more Island events and visit places on Long Island that are new to us, although we have lived here for more than 40 years.
One item on my bucket list was to go horseback riding at Deep Hollow Ranch in Montauk, which I did this past summer.
We did take a vacation last June, one that was, for the first time, not confined to the allotted, iconic two weeks! We drove through New England at our own pace, with no reservations, stopping wherever we felt like it, for as long as we wanted.
Heading into my second year of retirement, I may settle down some and give attention to another thing I always wanted to do in retirement: volunteer at an animal shelter or health care facility, and I am beginning to look into these options.
Oh, yes, there is one regret. I wish I hadn’t waited so long!
After 40 years of teaching high school math, 39 of them at North Shore High School in Glen Head, I will be retiring this June. I have the best job in the world (ever!), but I guess it’s time to allocate more time to other interests. No more getting up at 5 a.m. Now I’ll get up 100 percent willingly at 6:30 a.m.!
What will I do with all my extra time? Playing with my rock group that includes my son, my sister, my wife and my brother-in-law is certain to take up some time. I’ll now have more time to wax (and to drive!) my 1956 Chevy Nomad and my 1970 Cadillac. More time to continue writing textbooks. More beach. More bicycling. More vacations. More gym. More Mets! More jogs. More hanging out with my family.
Now that I’ve listed it all for the first time it sounds pretty exciting! My friends who have retired all say they are so busy they don’t know how they ever worked!
STAYING OR GOING? Retirement. It’s a dirty word to some who love their job and want to keep working until the last whistle blows. Work provides a purpose, a social outlet and a welcome paycheck. But after clocking in every week for decades, many longtime employees look forward to leaving behind the daily commute, company downsizing and humdrum routines.
Are you staying or going? What are your plans if retiring? Baby-sitting grandchildren or climbing mountains? Returning to school or taking piano lessons? If you’ve retired, is it as good as you thought it would be? If you have no intention of quitting your career, what’s keeping you there? Share your thoughts for possible publication. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Act 2 Editor, Newsday Newsroom, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY 11747. Include your name, address, phone numbers and a current picture if available.