I have to admit — making the decision to retire is daunting. I know it’s time, but nonetheless, thinking about why I am making this decision now and what I will do after I leave the full-time working world has kept me awake at night.
My Spouse knows me all too well. After yet another discussion about this life-changing transition, he suggested,
Let’s do what we did after the intense period following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. You were working 18/hour days, 7 days a week, in New York, DC, and at the training center in the midwest. You were flying around like a madman. You would come home tired, irritable, and exhausted. You had no holidays and when you got 4 hours off on a Sunday, you slept. You had no energy to do anything else.
Then we decided that by February of the following year, your workload would be lighter, travel schedule less intense, and you would have accumulated leave out the wazoo. We decided in October to plan to get away as far as we could for a vacation. A real vacation in a far away and distant land where we would not hear news on TV about terrorism-this and terrorism-that.
He was right, and is right… that three-week trip in February 2002 to Australia was a great escape from the intensity of what was then my working world.
For my mental health, I really needed it. Both to escape the U.S. for a while, but also to have something to look forward to during the most intense period of work I had ever done.
Now to today… I am working really intensely now through the end of the year when my resignation/retirement will be effective. I am feeling somewhat apprehensive about starting a new chapter of my life.
To give me something to look forward to during the next 3 months while working really hard, Spouse and I planned another escape.
I thought long and hard about where we should go. Since Spouse is still apprehensive about flying, and he can’t really tolerate sitting on an airplane for 16-hour flights Down Under, I selected a closer spot that is easier to get to and is only a few hours away.
My favorite island of the Caribbean — la isla del encanto.
For a whole week, we’ll be sitting under palm trees, drinking (virgin) piña coladas, enjoying the hospitality, and some beaches that only the locals know (and have told me about) that are completely quiet and empty (during weekdays). We will be in a B&B on the far western end of the island where only Spanish is spoken.
I plan to rest, read, relax, and not think. Hold The Spouse’s hand as we take quiet walks on the Caribbean Sea shoreline.
I love this place. I love the people. As I said, it is my favorite place to go for an escape in the U.S. I have been to every state and territory of the U.S., so this is my choice for “favorite near-enough escape spot.”
Can’t wait. And best yet? No political blathering on local TV. While it is snowing gangbusters where I live, my only complaint will be too much sand in my boots. 🙂
Life is short: Planning a respite for relaxation is important for one’s mental and physical health.