My Desire to Retire

My Desire to Retire

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Everyone has a dream. And, they can change over time and under certain circumstances. When I was little, I dreamt of my Prince Charming coming to sweep me off my feet when I turned 20 and I would have three children by 25 and be traveling by age 40. Well, my life took a very different turn and none of that happened.

When I reached age 20, then turned 30 and 40, 50 and now close to 60 my desires and dreams changed. The things I thought were important at 20 weren’t 10 years later and so forth. We don’t just grow up in age but also we learn what’s really important the older and wiser we get.

Now my dream is to retire. I started working at age 13 and so that would over 45 years. YOWZER! That’s a long time, over half my life. My first job was a summer job at a university on Chicago’s west side. I was able to work there every summer while in school.

After school, my first job was working at a production company in downtown Chicago. I don’t remember much about it except that when we had a big mail out, everyone in the office, except management, would have to pitch in and stuff envelopes. I didn’t like that job very much and I was glad when I quit. My next job would be working for a company that dealt in investments.

After that I moved to Atlanta, Georgia where I worked for a bank for a few years. This is where I picked up my tech skills. It was during this time where my life took a turn that would forever change me. It was one of the hardest jobs I ever had, but on the positive side, I learned skills that would follow me the rest of my life keeping me employed through several major milestones like: the 2007 economy downturn (recession) and the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic. And, at the same time I lost my first husband. He went to be with The Lord in 1990.

I moved to Florida in 1993 where I worked temp jobs through Kelly Services until I landed a permanent position at AccuStaff which eventually became Modis Professional Services. I worked there five years until our department was eliminated. I remember feeling so angry and betrayed at the news, but so thankful that I got (and maxed out) my severance pay because several other departments were eliminated afterwards with no severance and no warning.

Note to thyself: “Be grateful for what God gives you!”

My last job led me to start my own business. God opened opportunities and doors for me to work from home since 1999. I’m thankful everyday for what The Lord has given me. The skills that I picked up from the Atlanta bank and from the Modis were life changing.

Check out this post >>  Studying Grace, Part II

Even when we’re in circumstances that aren’t the best, we can make the best of them by looking at what positives are there. I took chances to learn all I could about computers, graphics and website management which led me to my current job for the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. My position is Director of Interactive Communications, I’m responsible for managing, updating and servicing the chamber’s websites, designing marketing materials (ex., online newsletter), writing/compiling reports and maintaining the chamber’s Salesforce CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database.

But, now that I’m much older, I’m thinking about the future and my desire to retire. It’s time to make plans and hubby and I have been working on that this year. We’re making lists and creating a contingency plan in case something happens. I think it’s smart to have backup plan that you can revert to. But, I want our future to be set and not a temporary solution. Hubby is semi-retired but I still have a few short years before I can file for social security. Of course, we can’t rely just on SS so that’s why it’s important to have a real retirement plan.

On the lighter side of this discussion, I was thinking of all the fun stuff I can do after retirement and thought I’d share some of that today like:

  • Sleep late and eat breakfast in bed
  • Do much more crafting (full time) and get together with other crafty friends over Zoom
  • Write more for GUIG
  • Go hiking (once the pandemic is over)
  • Shop
  • Cook more often
  • Curl up under a comfy blanket and watch old classic movies
  • Catch up on projects that I didn’t have time for
  • Decorate the house (when we get one)
  • Travel a lot more
  • Go out to eat more
  • Visit the beach any time I like
  • Possibly do some volunteer work

I love that I live in a town that has plenty of volunteer opportunities. I know whatever I end up doing, I won’t be bored. I can’t see myself sitting in a rocking chair wasting away my retirement! Can you? Are you nearing retirement? What would be on your list of things to do if you don’t have to work anymore?

Kim McDougal

Kim is the founder and creator of Growing Up in Grace. By day, she's the Director of Interactive Communications for the Hispanic chamber located in Jax, FL. Kim also owns "Beautiful Food Photography" and sells her handmade greeting cards and vintage art printables on Etsy.

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