profile betty sullivan
I think differently about death than I did before.  When it happens it happens...

 

from her interview
Q: What has helped you enjoy and make the most of your retirement years?

Life is a PC for which each one of us does his own programming. Ours was what could be considered the first generation of working moms. We took upon our shoulders the dual responsibility of demonstrating to the world that we were more than capable in the workplace, and those 24-hour work days took their toll. It has now been five years since I stopped working at the university and said good-bye to friends I had known for many years. My retiring had a ring of finality: tout fini. The end of my business life, chapter closed.

Before I left, some of my co-workers had warned and joked about the perils of retirement: boredom, imaginary health problems, lack of purpose, and possible depression. None of these things has happened to me. Why? I exchanged a grueling 9-to-5 routine for a well earned casual and carefree lifestyle. And there starts the next chapter.

 

from her journal
It's midnight. I suppose I should go to bed.

But why?

I'm not tired.

There are lots of good programs on late night TV. In fact, I feel like having a snack. Maybe I could hop in the car and scoot over to the 24 hour diner for a hamburg. You know what...this is actually a good time to catch up on my laundry. Who would be using the washing machines in our building now? And after the clothes are cleaned and dried I'll put a ton of cold cream on my face and nestle down in a soothing bubble bath for a half hour or so. Maybe I'll be sleepy by then, but if I'm not, it's o.k. No problem. No matter how late I go to bed, I can sleep as long as I want in the morning.

I'm no longer bound by time a schedules.

No, I'm not tired, I'm Retired.

....................

6:00 A.M. came quickly. Time to get up, take a fast shower, put on make-up, get dressed, gulp down a cup of coffee, jump in the car and prepare to battle the traffic.

But not for this gal!

I simply rolled over and went back to sleep with a smile on my face. To this day, after 5 years of not getting up in the morning to go to work, the smile is still on my face.

Do I miss the challenge of the workplace that had once been so much a part of my persona? Heavens, no. My days are filled with healthy activities...swimming, working out at the gym, shopping, bicycling, taking classes such as writing, art and yoga. In the evenings there are movies, concerts, dining and dancing. Soon, I may do a little traveling. And you know what? If I don't feel like doing anything at all except lounge around my apartment, I'll do that too.

I have the choice to do whatever I want, now. There is a whole new kind of life ahead, full of experiences just waiting to happen.

Some call it "retirement". I call it bliss.

 

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