Planning for Retirement: Stepping Into the Void

I know my readers aren’t necessarily in the same boat as I am right now, but I’m hoping everyone can learn a bit from my experience.  I’ll have little to say about fashion per se today – hope that works for you!

In about a week I will be retiring for the second time.  The immediate future will be very busy because Kate and her husband are having a baby (you can follow her progress on Instagram) in a few weeks and moving a few weeks after that AND R and I are moving 2500 miles from the Bay Area to Knoxville, TN.

Yes, I am stepping off a cliff.  No, I don’t know what the future will look like.  R has been retired for a few years and he has been quick to find a million projects to keep him, and more particularly, his brain occupied.  In short, he cannot understand why I choose the expression “stepping off a cliff” to describe how I feel at the moment.

Maybe this is the way I should feel – stepping away from a career that I never envisioned in the first place and in which I had way more success than I ever thought possible.  I’m still the same person as before, but just one stripped of my professional credentials and accomplishments.  It doesn’t bother me that others will categorize me as old because I retired – I dealt with that shock when I first used my Medicare card!  But it is more that I call fall in the “former”/”ex” category.

I’ve taken an inventory of who I am today and I am determined to focus on the positive dimensions of the inventory spreadsheet and maybe that’s all I need to do until we get through the baby birthing, the packing and the move.  I also have a written list of things I want to do in this new stage of life and I can keep adding to that over the next two months.

So for now I am this: humorous, curious, intelligent, grateful, pretty good partner and wife, lucky all my life, pretty good mom, fit and determined to remain so, well-dressed, interested in the world, travel and many, many topics, organized, full of love, a Quaker in my core values, a lover of beauty, gardens, man made beauty and art. That’s what I’ll hang onto until all these life changes have happened.

P.S.  AND the whole process of change has taken a different slat because I took a bad fall last Friday at my daughter’s house.  I fell on and hurt my right hip and won’t know for a few days what will be required to get better.  Until then, I’m basically immobile and useless.  This definitely was NOT the plan.

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13 Comments on Planning for Retirement: Stepping Into the Void

  1. Frances/Materfamilias
    June 16, 2016 at 10:52 am (2 years ago)

    Oh dear! So sorry to hear about your bad fall just on the brink of your big transition. . . I hope that your positive attitude continues to see you through what will surely be some tough weeks, and that your healing is quick and well-supported.
    I’ll look forward to hearing as much as you choose to post about the process of adjusting to retirement, as I’ve been working through this over the last year, doing the work of letting go of that “instant identity” work provides, and just recently, moving from a waterfront island home that also supplied identity in spades. Who am I/are we in new places, doing different things? Destabilising but also exciting explorations indeed. Good luck to you!

    • Jeanne
      June 18, 2016 at 7:48 am (2 years ago)

      Frances – I am so very flattered to hear from you on this topic because your thoughts on retirement and this amazing time of life are eloquent and often soothing. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I’ve been somewhat reluctant to share my emotions in this blog – at least feelings beyond my fashion opinions. It is a very destabilizing time and my stupid, stupid accident has rocked my world – deprived me of in person final goodbyes to my California work colleagues and my life there in general.It all has me second guessing our plan to move this summer. Oh well, one hour, one day, one week at a time!

  2. Michelle Braverman
    June 16, 2016 at 11:29 am (2 years ago)

    I’d like to commend you for so beautifully sharing your thoughts on what really is a momentous next step. It sounds a little bit like the great adventure that started for us 13 years ago. I’ve much to comment on and reply, but a less public format might be best. If you’d like to continue, please feel free to email me. It looks like you might have it when I post this. If not, please let me know.

    • Jeanne
      June 18, 2016 at 7:33 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Michelle!

  3. Karen
    June 16, 2016 at 11:52 am (2 years ago)

    Hi Jeannie I have followed your blog for quite a while and so enjoy it! I retired a year and a half ago from a 30 year art teaching career. My first year was transitional but I was so excited to have my own life back. I’ve kept all the confidence I earned for myself while working and am a better more relaxed person today! Sounds like your change is quite big Dash with the move – but you have always struck me as a strong, will centered person. Funny isn’t it because I haven’t even met you! Anyway I’m sending white light for your upcoming changes! I hope you keep blogging I know you look fabulously fashionable after this current career ! Karen Tanner

    • Jeanne
      June 17, 2016 at 4:08 pm (2 years ago)

      Karen – I do need to acknowledge that the first year will be transitional in so many ways – being a grandparent, living near my daughter, settling into a completely new community. Making new friends will be the hardest – I am strong about many things, but pretty shy in the new friends department. Thank you for the white light. I will continue to blog, I promise. Thanks for following and listening. Jeanne

  4. Mother & Daughter
    June 16, 2016 at 12:14 pm (2 years ago)

    I felt a lot like you do when I retired last Nov., but it has turned out, so far, so good. I retired the end of Nov. because I knew I would be busy through the holidays. And if you had ask me about retirement the first week of Jan. I would have said I am job hunting. lol But daughter and I started our blog, I joined two gyms, have made new friends and have a very active and busy life. I am sorry to hear about your hip though that can put a damper on most everything. Prayers for a fast recovery.

    • Jeanne
      June 17, 2016 at 4:02 pm (2 years ago)

      You joined TWO gyms? I love it – sounds like something I would do. One week into my recovery and already I am dreaming about being able to exercise again. Your comments mean a lot to me. I know there’s life out there – just have to take all the steps to get there. Thanks for being my blog friend. Jeanne

  5. Barbara
    June 16, 2016 at 11:10 pm (2 years ago)

    Congrats! — on both retirement and the newest addition to your family. What a special time ! Retirement is hard, I identify with the falling off a cliff, but you’ll be awesome! I must ask , why Knoxville? Wow!

    • Jeanne
      June 17, 2016 at 3:53 pm (2 years ago)

      Barbara – Thanks for your note. I watch your comings and goings on Instagram. I only hope I can retire as beautifully as you have. Love, Jeanne

  6. Sharon
    June 17, 2016 at 1:46 pm (2 years ago)

    Hope you’re feeling better! I have just a few more days to work and I’ll be in your boat

    • Jeanne
      June 17, 2016 at 3:49 pm (2 years ago)

      Sharon – Thanks for your note. I feel like I am just growing accustomed to the fact that I am injured – to say nothing about retirement. It’ll be a summer I’ll never forget for SO many reasons – I’m glad we’ll be spending some time together becoming new grandparents. Fondly, Jeanne

  7. kbj
    June 18, 2016 at 9:05 am (2 years ago)

    I am just so darn proud of you. kbj


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