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  • corneliusmary

Retirement Chronicles: Navigating the Transition from Full-Time to Leisurely Chaos

Updated: Jan 16

Feeling restless managing retirement, I began writing to learn what I think and to invite people into the discussion.

Full disclosure: I am white privileged American female old enough to benefit from the prosperity of the 1950’s as well as experience gender discrimination. As a mother of two with a husband earning a decent income, I stayed home for the first few years, not entirely by choice. Childcare would have eaten up my entire income if I had worked out of the home. To keep my mind from turning to mush, I taught piano and served as a church musician.

After many years and with great surprise I gave birth to a third child. Hormones raging, I returned to school for a graduate degree. Again faced with child care costs as well as the thrill of a young child, I worked part-time until we decided to relocate to a milder climate.

At that time I began years of cycles of full/part-time work, filling the gaps with teaching music and leading music at churches. About 10 years ago I started down the road to retirement, decreasing my hours and responsibilities in the medical field and discontinuing private teaching, while continuing my church work. A few years later, I began contemplating retiring from church music, which is a more complicated departure than from other jobs. Meanwhile, my husband retired and we were looking forward to travel but were limited by my church schedule. One Sunday morning, I knew I was done.

It took about two months to complete the transition. Immediately, God laughed and my leisurely slide into retirement became a rocky hike.

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