Retirement is still a long way off for me but I had a good conversation with my now-retired manager at work yesterday. A manager for whom I have a lot of respect and admiration.
She took six months long service leave last year because she wasn't sure if she was ready to retire or not. But she had found so many voluntary activities to get involved in she said she was sure it was the right thing to finish her paid working life now.
It made me think about transitions. The old story about one door closing and another one opening. New opportunities to help others have come my way while I have been on maternity leave. Some of them very enjoyable ones. I'm thankful to God for them all.
I do enjoy work, not necessarily the day to day grind of it, but the challenge of helping children and families is rewarding. But this year, time to explore other avenues has given me the chance to enjoy other things too, the most important being time to be with my kids, both physically with them (at home and school) and emotionally available for them. Being honest, I would say that being emotionally available for them was hard at times when I was busy at work.
So I need to pray for wisdom in sorting out my priorities before my return to work deadline early next year. With my older two kids, me going back to work happened without a lot of thought. The opportunity was there, the extra money helped and I enjoyed the work I did. All those things are still true. But there are other things that now fill my time that I need to think about as well.