As of 5 PM today, for the first time in 27 years, I am unemployed. Not because I was laid off or fired. I am jobless by choice. I am what they call… retired.
Now you might be saying, “You’re too young to be retired.” Which is true up to a point. Technically one must be fifty-five to retire from the university where I worked (past tense!). I am two years short of that mark. I always expected to stick it out for the full term, even when we started planning for an early retirement.
As it turned out, putting in those last couple of years didn’t offer much in return. We don’t need the tuition benefit (no kids), retiree health insurance was less expensive with my wife’s insurance, and I already have access to campus perks as an alumnus. So, I’ll take those two years back even though it means the university says I’m resigning. I prefer to think of it as retirement with a little “r”.
Whatever anyone wants to call it, I’m ready to explore everything it offers. For one thing, there’s no shortage of things for me to pursue with what used to be working hours. Projects around the house, hobbies set aside for years, shelves of unread books, and all those places to travel. And let’s not forget the wonderful world of… doing nothing. Especially doing nothing and not feeling guilty about it. I like the sound of that combination.
And no, I’m not walking away from the world of the IT Pro (not that anyone was worried about that). I still enjoy playing with these tools and we all need to feel useful now and then. Regular employment isn’t in the cards for me (for now), but if an interesting opportunity knocks, why not answer?
Until then, I’ll be over here figuring out what’s next. See you around.