The symbolism escaped my notice until this morning, but today, the 29th of February, is the day my little sister has chosen to take a giant leap into a different lifestyle: she is retiring. She has worked her entire adult life. Now, she'd like to rest for a while.
Today will be a difficult one. She loves her job, her boss, and her co-workers. They've been part of her life for many years, and it makes her sad to know she'll no longer see them every day. But there's a part of her, just like there was a part of me in 2009, that is begging to slow down. A part of her that needs peace and calm more than it needs excitement.
It took me a while to settle into retirement. For several months I felt guilty about staying home, being unproductive, no longer part of the work force that helps to keep the wheels of justice rolling. Those feelings went away as soon as I realized that the "hole" I had left in the office had been filled nicely by the woman who replaced me. I think it was an innate sense of responsibility that had caused me to struggle in those early post-retirement days, and I expect that my sister will experience some of that same second-guessing. She's responsible by nature and very dedicated to her job. She's good at what she does.
That's why I think she'll be good at retirement, too, once she gets used to it. After she discovers the luxury of waking up when she's ready, not when an alarm clock sounds, after she gets plenty of rest, after she experiences the freedom of living in the moment without worrying what she needs to do from one minute to the next, I believe she's going to relax and enjoy the fruits of all those years she worked.
I'm happy for you, Sis. Welcome to my world. Hang on and enjoy the ride.