Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho

The oddest thing happened last year: I didn't retire.

Well, no, I'm not old enough to collect Social Security. Not by a decade or so. And certainly the accounts payable manager in the family was not encouraging the ditching of my paid employment. (With four kids still in college, and no end to school bills in sight, Husband enjoys a hearty laugh every time I discuss my retirement plans.)

A year ago, though, we were in our first weeks as official empty nesters. Instead of falling into a funk about the quiet house, I found myself with a little extra skip in my step. Hey! We officially managed to get them all to college age without paying bail for any of the four!

I managed to keep that extra little skip until I woke up one morning and realized I still had a job. Of all the empty nest symptoms, I was most unprepared for this one.

It's not that I don't love the job that so faithfully puts money in my bank account every month. In fact, many days I can't believe I'm paid to do something I enjoy so much. I write--they pay me! I talk--they pay me! I scold coaches for distorting the logo--they pay me! (Okay, some of my job is not all that much fun. The rule of thumb is that 90% of my job I'd do for free, but the other 10% is way underpaid and policing logo usage is in the 10%.)

Anyway, as someone who had only wanted to raise kids and suddenly discovered they were all grown up, it felt odd that I had any responsibilities at all. For at least a couple of months I found myself dragging through the days at work rolling my eyes (internally, of course) at everyone who came through the door. My inner whiner complained incessantly about these PEOPLE who didn't realize that my Boys were GONE!

Huh. When I put it that way, maybe I was in a bit more of a funk than I realized. The second year, I'm pleased to report, is easier.

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