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.



6 thoughts on “Thoughts on Retirement

  1. You are such a valuable human being, I’m afraid someone else is going to ask you to work and then we won’t have you at writer’s group!! Part time is all I’ll allow you. I need you at our Wednesday meetings!

    I had a lovely conversation with my cat this morning. She’s an excellent listener. The dog ain’t bad either. 🙂

    • Thank you, Gina. No worries about my going back to “work for the man.” I’m my own boss now. It was a great run, but time to move on to my next stage of life. Last time I thought I was going to retire, i hadn’t considered dipping into my retirement fund. Now I am, so I feel more secure, too. Life is good! And people like you make it even better!

  2. You know, when going through old photographs, I’m struck by the variety in caps awarded female nurses (male nurses apparently got something else). But for me, there’s never been a nurse’s cap as “normal,” as commonsensical, as the style awarded by Bellevue Hospital in New York City; the style our mother wore.

    It looked like an upside-down cupcake paper. I vaguely recall that during the late 1960s, she used to have to order them by the half-dozen from Bellevue Hospital, and at the time they cost $4.50 per half-dozen. I however have no idea how often she had to get a new half-dozen of them.

    Since I can’t post them myself, I’m e-mailing you two photographs, taken circa 1938, of friends of the parents, wearing the cap, in case you’d like to put them up. I doubt it’d be any invasion of privacy, as their identities are unknown to us (and hence can’t be publicized), and this being so long ago, I suspect both have long ago left this Time and Place.

    I’m not fond of non-uniform-wearing nurses, but of course I understand the utility of them wearing the garb they do wear, and one needs to be comfortable when doing one’s job, especially one handling people. But as a layman, I always thought the uniform added an aura worthy of respect, and so that’s sort of lost when one wears what nurses usually wear these days.

    For me, personally, the best uniform was always a nurse’s habit, but that’s a breed of professionals now nearly extinct.

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