The temptation to wax poetic at this stage of my life is held at bay by my tendency to keep it real. Turning 65 next month - woohoo! I made it! And please don't take this as an invitation to try to sell me Medicare Supplemental Insurance like everyone else on the planet has! As retirement looms, it's weird to actually finish projects at work and to get to things that have been on my plate for months and even years in anticipation of leaving. Such is life in a not-for-profit setting: far too few people doing far too many jobs, so nothing but an emergency or deadline gets its due attention. The when-you-can-get-to-it pile is still deep, and some things need the dust blown off of them before they can even be dealt with.
They're not replacing me, which they couldn't if they tried. I have the weirdest skill set on the planet and it fits perfectly into my jobs. I serve three major functions and a shitload of little ones. But not showing someone what I do and how to do it is a little unnerving. "What are we going to do without you?!?" If I hear that once a day, I hear it a dozen. I don't know - I guess everyone will find out.
Then there's the question of what am I going to do with my new-found time? All of my retired friends donate a lot of their time and always laugh about having to go back to work to relax! I am no stranger to volunteer work - I've been volunteering in one capacity or another since I was very young. My position on the Board of the Florida Watercolor Society - going on five years now - is like a part-time job in itself! I do not anticipate giving that up anytime soon and I can do that job from anywhere.
Justifying and prioritizing expenses is going to be challenging - like this website! - and my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, neither of which are inexpensive. Thankfully, I'm healthy but no one knows how long that is going to last. So it will be my time to go and do while we're both still able. But the day-to-day decisions will be based more on necessity than want. Wants will need to be subsidized! Still - I'm really looking forward to being able to spend more time as an artist. It's what I am - not what I do, which I'll also have options on! Here's to whatever comes next!