Sunday, September 6, 2015

Countdown to Seenager! By Gail Roughton

Sometimes Facebook really nails it.  That poster says it all, doesn’t it? In eight months, one week (as of the date of this post), that’s going to be me!  And I can’t wait for glorious retirement.  While I’m waiting, though, I’ve heard from both sides of the early retirement versus the “What would I do if I retired? I’d be bored to death! And broke!” factions.  

“But…but…you’re only 62! Why don’t you wait and retire when you can get full benefits?”  That’s the most common question.  My answer?  “Because, sugar.  By then I might be dead.” I hope I’m not, you understand.  I certainly don’t expect to be, but then, I don’t think anybody does. I’m blessed in not having any health issues, neither does my already retired husband (well, that’s not exactly true on the already retired part, seeing as how he’s “Granddaddy Day Care”, the man really earns his keep) and trust me, I know how fortunate I am to be able to say that.  It’s cause for celebration, and what better way to celebrate it than to retire and enjoy it? 

“But…but…nobody else can do my job the way I can! I don’t know what my boss/company/firm would do without me!” My response to that?  “Darlin’, I don’t care what my boss/company/firm is going to do without me.”   Let’s face it. If I (or anyone else) should be killed in a car accident this afternoon, another warm body would be at my desk (or anyone else’s) the next day. Because no one is irreplaceable. I’ve spent the last forty years in a law office as a legal secretary/paralegal.  I’m good at my job. I’ll go further than that.  I’m very good at my job. I do the best job I can under all any circumstances. I always have, and I’ll do that until the day I walk away. That doesn’t mean nobody else can step in after me and do the same thing. Maybe not as well, not at first.  But they’ll learn.  Who knows?  Maybe they’ll even be better at it than I am. And the world will keep right on turning in its assigned orbit, now won’t it?

“But…but…I’d be bored!”  Really?  My sympathies. Because I won’t be. Oh, granted, I have the small advantage of being a writer, and being a retired Seenager will finally give me the time I don’t have now to dive right into that next plot waiting over the horizon, or that one over on the side that’s been brewing for these last few years, or that one that just sprang up, full-blown, from a chance conversation overheard in the check-out line at the grocery store. I have not one but two coming soons, covers over on the side of this paragraph, that have been coming soons so long  my fans (yes, I really do have one or two) don't even ask when anymore.  (But before I retire, I promise, I'm workin' on 'em, I'm workin' on 'em,) But even without that—because writing’s definitely not the only way I’ll be spending my time—I have growing grandchildren two miles away to play with, a husband to go shopping with in the middle of the day if we want to, pets to nuzzle my face with wet noses, television shows and movies to watch, sunsets to marvel over, hoot-owls and crickets to listen to in the evening twilights. Again, I’m blessed.  And I know it. And again, what better way to celebrate such blessings than to enjoy them?

“But…but…I can’t afford to retire!”  I’ll admit that’s a personal decision no one can make for another, and whether that statement’s true or not for any individual depends to a great extent on personal preferences and lifestyles. Me, I’m a simple country girl. I always have been.  If my dream retirement consisted of world travel, well, no, I couldn’t afford to retire. Of course, I couldn’t afford to do that if I didn’t retire, either, so that’s kind of a moot point.  Fortunately for me, I don’t even like to travel. We have the home we always wanted which is comfortable, but not fancy, set squarely in the middle of a fifty-acre wood we couldn’t have afforded if we lived in any other area of the country.  In short, I have everything I ever wanted and I don’t want anything I don’t already have. Blessed.

Would I turn back the hands of time and do things differently if I had that magical power?  Change my life? Nope. I wouldn’t be a day younger than I am right now if you paid me.  Because everything that’s ever happened in my life has made me who I am, right now, at this precise moment in time. And being a Seenager is going to be a lot more fun than being a teenager! Bring it on! 

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