Present Tense

On retirement and fear….

9473170550_a8d06952b6_hI’ve been retired for over 6 weeks now. Calling it retirement still grates on me. I prefer ‘not working’. Retirement sounds so old and final and stodgy. It also sounds sort of clinical and legal to me. Like some sort of ‘status’ that you use on government forms or something.

So, I think I will stop using that word for my situation. Starting over: I stopped working for money about 6 weeks ago and I’m holding up just fine. No regrets and I honestly don’t miss the job. I thought that I would. I had a sneaking suspicion that I would miss certain aspects of my life as a radio host; that I would long to weigh in on current events or issues. I wondered if my opinions would back up like a clogged drain pipe, causing a messy flood of unspent energy.

Nope. I don’t even keep up with current events anymore. I don’t have to. Seems that the world keeps spinning whether I know what’s happening or not. In a related story, it keeps spinning without my valuable opinions being shared on the radio every morning. I suspected as much, but the truth is, I don’t care and it doesn’t bother me.

I would love to know the percentage of what we fear will happen, actually happens. In other words, all of the stuff that we worry about, ponder and over-analyze; the ‘what ifs’ that keep us from doing what we want to do.

Ever since I announced to friends, family and then publicly, that I was leaving my job, I heard this drumbeat: “What will you do? I would lose my mind. I have to work. What about money? Won’t you go crazy? You’re such a go-getter; you’ll need to find something to ‘do’.”

That is fear talking. Not my fears, other people’s. I thought about those things because I’m a worrier and a planner, although I’ve let go of a lot of that stuff. People who immediately voiced those ‘concerns’ to me, are afraid to make the changes that they long for in their lives.

Sound familiar? Do you often find yourself in the hell of “What if (fill in the blank)”? You cannot move forward on your life’s path if you are paralyzed by those what ifs. They are fear grabbing you by throat or the neck or the heels, keeping you from fulfilling your needs or dreams.

Your life will never be perfect. EVER. There will never be a perfect time to jump off that cliff into the unknown. That’s just not how it works. Sometimes you have to jump and see where you land. Do it while you have time because none of us are guaranteed anything in this life. Sudden changes can happen in an instant and sometimes those catalysts are just what we need to get off our asses and change our direction.

But, catalysts are messy and stressful. How about you do things on your terms?

That is what I’m the most proud of regarding my status. I left on my terms. I moved forward on my timeline. I left on top. Now, I’m not looking back.

So, yes. Retirement is great. Thanks for asking.

January 6, 2015 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , ,


  1. Leap and the net will appear…

    Comment by pat | January 6, 2015 | Reply

    • Yessssss………..gotta trust.

      Comment by janelondon | January 6, 2015 | Reply

  2. Jane…thanks for including me in your blogosphere. I hope my book helped. Currently I am working on a scientific/philosophical/theological book called “The Odyssey of a Man” wherein the man is whisked away to the unknown parts of the universe and experiences the salvific power of God in various galaxies.

    Comment by edspolitics | January 6, 2015 | Reply

  3. Awesome! And so true! Like I tell my children all the time – you’ve got to do what makes you happy – it makes for a much better life.

    Comment by Meredith | January 6, 2015 | Reply

  4. I am so happy you are loving it. I have to admit I was one of the concerned ones! Keep telling me how fantastic it is and I might just join you!

    Comment by talktraffic28 | January 6, 2015 | Reply

  5. You are an inspiration and I love reading this post. I am in the phase of not working and sitting with what will come next! Trusting the Universe to support me and my passion!

    Comment by kab563 | January 6, 2015 | Reply

    • Sitting and waiting is not such a bad thing, is it? Be well.

      Comment by janelondon | January 6, 2015 | Reply

  6. It’s great to hear your thoughts on ‘not working’. I just entered that same state 5 weeks ago and I’m having similar feelings. I’m treating this time as a short rest before the next sprint (jog or perhaps brisk walk as it may be). I’ve noticed that the days are speeding along much faster then my pre-not working days. I’m told that this is a good sign and that when the days start to slow down a bit, I’ll be ready to start my next adventure. I enjoy reading your thoughts and appreciate your reminders that it is your unique journey. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Mark | January 6, 2015 | Reply

    • Mark
      That’s so interesting. I was JUST talking to a friend about my days and how I’m not super busy, but they are flying by:) The weird thing is that I still have in the back of my mind, this sense that I have to do ‘work things’. For instance, Mondays still sort of loom and I was traveling every month or so for work and I feel like that is also looming. Then, I remember that I’m free of all of that. It’s the ‘new normal’, but in a good way. It just doesn’t quite compute as yet!
      Best of luck. Thanks for the note.

      Comment by janelondon | January 6, 2015 | Reply

  7. Just a quick note from one of your long-time radio peeps, just because you left the radio, it doesn’t mean we aren’t still “listening”. Your retirement has changed a lot in your life, I imagine, but I, and many of us I expect, still look to you for some entertainment and pithy insights.

    Comment by Sher | January 7, 2015 | Reply

  8. Your blog spoke to me. This March I will be a year away from full retirement age. But I think I’ll work all of next year. Then….Boom! Happy New Year! I have been through all the fears as well, both mine and those of others. Now it’s just down to those of others. My husband and I have a plan in mind and I am looking forward to it. Personally, sleeping in and not getting up to the tune of an alarm clock is very appealing. In spite of what all the experts say I will NOT be getting up at the same time every day! And if I do, I will be going back to bed in an hour or two—just because I can!

    Comment by Eileen Mary Stortz | January 8, 2015 | Reply

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