Thoughts on Retirement

In May, I retired from my long career as a NICU/pediatric nurse. I tried to quit a few years ago after working 13 years in a pediatric office. I loved my work, but I felt it was time to hang up my stethoscope and focus on my writing. I contacted some of my writer-friends who did freelance and I started to make a business plan.

My co-workers at the doctor’s office gave me a wonderful send-off and a great retirement party. Their generous gifts included a Nook reader, the modern day version of the gold watch.

Things went well until autumn when I realized my cash flow wasn’t what it used to be and Christmas was coming. It also was flu shot season, so I thought I might be able to pick up a little cash by giving flu shots. So, I queried my nurse-friends and asked if anyone knew of places that needed nurses to give flu shots. I had plenty of experience giving injections! After all, as a pediatric nurses for many years I probably averaged giving between 60-80 shots a day, depending on the season.

By the time I was looking, most places had already lined up the staff needed to give flu shots. One of my friends got “wind” of my query and called me. She asked me to come work for her. She was a manager at a NICU and desperate for nurses. I was reluctant at first. After all, this was not my plan. I had hung up my stethoscope, got rid of my scrubs and never planned to return to nursing, especially to a hospital!

Long story, short, my friend was very persuasive and I did return to nursing, working a little over three more years in NICU. The 12-hour shifts and early mornings were hard on this old body. I loved the babies and my co-workers. The work was very satisfying and it was the best job I ever had in my years as an RN. But my body was tired. So, after three years, I retired. Again, I had a lovely send-off, complete with tickets for my husband and me to a baseball game. (Anyone who knows me knows I am a baseball fanatic.) With two such wonderful retirement parties, I thought I might consider becoming a professional retirement party recipient! But in order to do that, I would need to go back to work!

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So, I think I am content to stay home now and write. I am finding some definite advantages to being retired. My calendar is pretty full now. I think I will soon get into a routine. So far, my favorite things have been:

  1. I don’t have to wear a bra all day.
  2. I can stay in my slippers unless I have to go get groceries or the mail.
  3. People want to take me out to lunch.
  4. I can do all the projects I have been putting off because I didn’t have time. (This is a double-edged sword!)
  5. I don’t have to shower every day unless my husband starts to complain.
  6. I have time to make gourmet meals and desserts again.
  7. I don’t have to set the alarm.
  8. I can come up with more ways to annoy telemarketers when they call.
  9. I can have more conversations with the cat.
  10. I can attend all the writers’ group meetings I used to miss because I was at work.