The thought occurs to me that the longer I am retired, the easier it becomes for me to say “I am retired.”
Yes, there was a time not long after my career in journalism came to an end that I was uncomfortable acknowledging my retired status. Granted, I didn’t actually officially “retire” until about three years after that day arrived, when I turned 66. I filed for Social Security, got my award and have been collecting it ever since.
But the idea of being “retired” was so totally foreign to my way of thinking that I actually struggled emotionally with acknowledging that status.
Full disclosure time: I am at this moment still “retired,” but I am working a couple of part-time jobs. I write for a weekly newspaper in Farmersville, Texas, and I cover water issues for KETR-FM radio based at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Both gigs are a lot of fun. I have in a way sort of come full circle. The Farmersville job allows me to cover city council stories and school board stories, along with the occasional soft feature. The KETR job allows me to dig into reporting on the construction of two reservoirs in Northeast Texas.
When I get asked, though, I say, “Oh, I’m retired.”
The words just fly out of my mouth. The evolution into retirement well might be an ongoing work in progress. Hey, no sweat. I’ve got the time.