I started this blog a year ago, with the idea that I would take readers along on a three-year plan with me toward The Semi-Retired Life.
At the time, my company was in a precarious state, starting to come back from operational meltdowns, but not there yet. With contracts expiring in three years, and me showing early signs of burnout, three years seemed like a reasonable time frame to use. It also lined up with when youngest child would graduate high school.
Six months ago I moved to a new position internally, and the company began staging a dramatic performance improvement with our contracted partners. It gave me new hope, and quite honestly, I let the blog languish as I dove into my responsibilities and renewed interest in my work.
Just a couple months ago, it became apparent that my continued work out of town was taking a toll on my teenage son that was unacceptable. After agonizing over what to do for several weeks, things came to a boiling point, and I requested an opportunity to speak with my boss. Bottom line, I needed to choose between my company and my child, and it wasn’t even a contest.
I cannot BEGIN to tell you how wonderful the company was to me. After 11.5 years, I was two weeks shy of being retirement eligible on my fifty-fifth birthday. I had three weeks of vacation not taken for this year, and almost two accrued already toward next year. The decision was made to let me take my vacation immediately and retire at the end of it, literally getting me home to my child the next night.
He asked me to come kiss him goodnight – my 5’9″, 200lb, baby – and as I was rubbing his head he said, “Mom, thank you so much for coming home to me.” Then he fell asleep for 13 hours, the most he has slept in months. Yep, did the right thing.
What this means is that my three-year plan is now a three week plan. I still feel the same way – I don’t want to pursue or accept full-time year-round work. I don’t mind working full-time for periods of time, such as one or two quarters, but I hope to build a life where I can take 8 – 12 weeks off every year for travel, artistic work, and just relaxation.
I want to make this blog THE resource for how to do that when you are over fifty. I hope you will re-engage with me and come along for the ride. Best case, you get inspired to do it yourselves and join the tribe.
The Semi-Retired Life just got real.
P.S. If you sign up in the upper box left, you’ll get any blog posts delivered directly to your email instead of having to come back here and see what’s new. Some things I will post only to subscribers, such as “Dream Job Alerts” and open-mic calls where I will take questions and brainstorm ideas.