I'm back to work today--and not too happy about it! I truly enjoyed the 1 1/2 weeks I was home on sick leave and it was very hard to come in today. While I was home, I kept imagining my retirement days, soon to come, I hope, and it felt very good.
I've spent nearly 25 years helping disabled people access the financial benefits they're entitled to and it's been a very rewarding way to spend my professional life. It's the only job I've ever had where what I do on a day-to-day basis makes a real difference in someone's life--like finally getting the money to have a home. I worked with one young man years ago who was struggling to maintain sobriety after years of addiction and failed treatment. He was homeless, illiterate, estranged from his family, uneducated and had a terrible work record. In addition to his addictions, he had medical problems. I was successful in getting him benefits and when the checks started arriving, I closed his case and moved on to working with my other clients. A year or so later, he called me to again say thank you and he told me that in the past year, he'd continued to be sober, had obtained an affordable apartment, was on good terms with his family, and best of all, was going to school to learn to read! This story is only one of many hundreds or possibly thousands of similar ones.
It's time to bring this career to an end, I think, and if my plan goes the way I'd like, I'll be retiring in January. As the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived...this is to have succeeded." I like to think that in those terms, I have been a success.
After retirement, I plan on doing some volunteer work--probably taking a few cases pro bono--at the local food pantry and maybe at the county historical society. I also plan on enjoying my home and gardens, devoting time to quilting, embroidery, etc, and being a true grandmother to Lily, not a surrogate parent. Travel is one of my passions that I've rarely indulged and both Don and I want to see some of the world while we can. First is a week on a pristine beach by the aqua blue waters of the Caribbean. Just like this