Revelations of a retiree

Jimmie Batchelor

Guest Columnist

“No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks.” Remember that little ditty? Can you also remember the excitement building inside of you because if was the last day of school and three long months stretched ahead of you, full of fun, sun, and whatever made you happy? I really feel for the students of today not knowing what that is like with their vacation schedule.

When I retired back in January, that same feeling came back to me of the wonderful expanse of days ahead and what new adventures awaited me. I have found out that time still runs on at breakneck speed. I’ve managed to fill up my days, which makes time seem to go all the faster. I do try to slow down every so often to catch up with myself.

I never looked ahead for retirement, it just came to me one day and I answered, “But of course, I’ll try retirement!” It wasn’t that I didn’t love my job, I’ve been very lucky in that area and have held positions that gave me growth and enjoyment. I had become tired of working, period. It was time to move into another phase of my life.

The only difference in the analogy of school and vacation excitement was my last day’s experience. I wouldn’t be coming back to my friends and my home away from home, at least not in the same capacity. Now, that was sad. I didn’t feel this until that last day, sometimes you have to be in a situation to really face reality. Big move for me, big decision. But, I knew it was time and it was right for me. I have always listened to my gut feelings, along with my heart. There was so much I wanted the time to experience away from working.

I had been given a wonderful retirement party weeks prior to my last day. That was a wonderful gift, I was just glad it didn’t happen on my last day. When I went to set the alarm as Nelda and I were leaving on my last day and locking up, feelings started to surface as I thought, “This will be my last time setting this alarm.” Something I had done for most of my 11 1/2 years at Hidden Valley Senior Center. Wow, reality hit.

Nelda and I locked up and walked out the front doors, gave each other a good hug and walked in opposite directions to our cars. I didn’t make it to my car before the tears started running down my face. I couldn’t have stopped those tears any more than I could stop loving the people I was leaving. I was glad it was raining on the way home, no one could tell the tears from the rain running down my window.

After my traumatic exit, I gave myself talks about my decision and how having those feelings is quite normal. I had experienced such loss before in leaving another long-term job I had held through my 30’s and 40’s. It is always sad to leave those you are familiar with and see every day. I knew I would be fine.

I have since gone on many senior trips with friends from the senior center and enjoyed every one. While working, I was unable to participate in the trips and other events at the center. I have found I much prefer being a participant than being left ‘at home’ while everyone else departed on another adventure. I knew how Cinderella felt, not much fun.

I enjoy having time to write more, visit friends, try exercise classes, read, and so much more. I am a happy camper now, no more tears! No one has gone anywhere and I know where I can visit my friends anytime I feel the need. Many expressed their sadness over my leaving and how they would miss me. I believe I wrote this before, but I said to them, “Look at how many I am going to miss!” And, it turned out to be true.

Retirement has a good side and a sad side, but I won’t allow there to be a bad side. I’m having too much fun!

Jimmie is finding fun and interesting adventures in the world of retirement, including more time for writing. She hopes you enjoy reading the fruits of her efforts in The Henry County Times.