Saturday, May 28, 2016

Thoughts on Retirement

Beloved in Georgetown, Colorado

As of this writing (on Wednesday night), Beloved has 36 days till he retires. We are easing into it mostly with joy and some understandable trepidation as we make decisions about healthcare, hoping our financial preparations have been adequate, and giving a lot of thought to what we will do with ourselves, both as a couple and individually. And there's a bucket list, too, of course.

checking out Clear Creek as it flows through Georgetown;
the water is swift and high due to snow melt 

Beloved is using up his remaining vacation days (which he will either "use or lose") so staying busy at the office is not a big factor in the sunset of his corporate job. You could say we are 'practicing' for retirement!

Georgetown post office, an important location in
John Denver's 1986 movie, The Christmas Gift*

Earlier this week, we took a day off to drive into the mountains. We are thrilled that we can take day trips like this on weekdays when the traffic on I-70 is light, not the heavy congestion of the weekends.

looking up the main street of Georgetown
which literally terminates at the base of a mountain
To prepare for this big life transition, Beloved's employer has offered a workbook-guided course of study to help him define to himself who he is, what he would like to do with his retirement years and think about ways to accomplish those dreams.

antiques for sale in a Georgetown yard
This has been such an eye-opening course for my husband that he shared it with me. Now I'm working on the same pages and discovering things about myself that I sort of knew and sort of didn't!

the business is not as old as the building
We are encouraged to answer the workbook questions with complete honesty -- nobody else needs to see what we've written. The point is to come to an understanding of who we really are, what makes us get out of bed every morning, what motivates us and what gives us satisfaction in life.

Georgetown's First Presbyterian Church
built of native stone in 1874

My faithful blog readers know that I am a deeply spiritual person, so it follows that my answers to some of the workbook questions would stem perhaps more out of "what am I supposed to say" as opposed to how I really feel.

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Georgetown, Colorado

But there is truth to be learned about ourselves when we are completely honest. In the process of such openness, we discover that our tendencies can be honed for good, even if at the outset they may smack of selfishness. Our Creator has known that all along and with this set of questions, we are finding it out for ourselves.

Georgetown eye candy for historians

I have discovered, for example, when I admit I am not a good "team player," that is not all bad. Yes, it means I don't work well with others and reveals my tendency to be bossy as I insist things go according to my ideas.

quilted decor on private home lamp post
But it also means my inability to concentrate with a lot of noise indicates I work well by myself and can be surprisingly productive in a short amount of time. Or as Beloved jokes with our friends, "She doesn't need a supervisor." (call me "a good self-starter")

heading west on I-70 out of Georgetown

This upcoming retirement is going to be a game-changer in many ways, but I think it will be fascinating to learn more about ourselves and how we best fit in today's world for both service and enjoyment.

my study today

I do intend to continue blogging...


*To see more of Georgetown, Colorado in John Denver's movie, you can watch the entire movie for free! click here


  1. My husband was forced into retirement at age 39 and that was 11 years ago, due to having series of strokes...anyways, to call retiring at that age a "Eye Opener" is an understatement. But, here we are... and here I am personally starting a new chapter with going back to school at my age and hopefully going back to work.

    We went through some counseling through the church awhile back to help us cope and it sounds like we had similar questions. I enjoyed your post, as, love, love the photos. Have a beautiful weekend...smiles

  2. Glad you are still planning to blog!! My Joe retired quite a few years ago, though still has a few clients he works with. I am SO looking forward to retirement and having time to devote to more creative pursuits. I think we will be just fine.

  3. Oh, Barbara, I do believe we are "two peas in a pod" when it comes to needing no supervision and working best by ourselves. How funny! I guess Hubby is somewhat semi-retired and likely as retired as he will be for as long as he can. Since he owns his own business and our son and 3 ladies run the insurance agency, Tommy doesn't keep regular office hours and hasn't in several years. He's more in and out but available if they need him. It was quite an adjustment for me when he went to this routine as I was so use to his being gone all day and now I never know when he'll be gone. I like a regular routine but I've adjusted. I'm sure you and Tom will adjust accordingly and I pray the Lord will show you both your "new normal." Blessings!

  4. Oh what a neat day trip! I love doing things like that!

    Life is an adventure in so many ways isn't it... Oh my.

    Jem is gradually retiring so to speak, he is a Realtor in our own business so it has been interesting having him around more. : ) I love to see him on his tractor moving dirt being a little boy again, and I'm creating on the sewing machine etc. I just kind of let him be him and me be me but then I'll say.... I have not gotten a good hug from you today! : ) A short evening walk is a nice time to re-cap many a day as well. You and your husband seem like very nice people so I know you will enjoy life.

    You are a sweetheart Barbara. Have a good and godly day!

  5. My hubby and I retired three years ago. After a few months hubby took a little part time job, and just left that job in May, so we "eased" into full retirement. We are looking forward to doing things during the week when it isn't so crowded and we have fallen into the routine of working on projects and chores in the mornings and then do more relaxing, fun things in the afternoons. We are loving retirement, I hope you do too!