Imagine my surprise when I discovered the joy of nothing to do.
My journey to retirement was a gradual one, brought about mostly by my aversion to computers. When I was a full-time emergency department registered nurse, every day was a challenge. In the space of an eight-hour shift we saw everything from infants with high fevers, middle-schoolers with sports related broken bones, middle aged men with chest pain…….. to the horrible aftermath of a multi-vehicle pile up.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, around that time computers were being quietly introduced into our daily work load. First it was entering lab requests, then it was getting lab results. Pretty soon other hospital departments jumped on the computer bandwagon. In order to get a chest X-ray done on a patient it had to be ordered via the computer. Same for getting a patient to and from a procedure. It got so that more time was spent on the computer than with the patient. Time for me to go.
After the frenzy of E.R. nursing I thought that home care would be a nice change. Visiting Nurses saw clients in their own homes. It was total care of all their needs, from medical to social to activities of daily living. No more seeing a patient for a couple of hours, then on to the next one. Home care involved an ongoing caseload. Clients were seen anywhere from once a week to every day, depending on the problem. It was everything from dressing changes to teaching about managing diabetes.
For a while it was great. I worked Per Diem, which meant I set my own hours. I saw clients in the morning, then did my paperwork, which didn’t take very long. I loved getting to know my clients and their families. I felt that I was really helping them.
Then came the evil computer, sneaking its way into my workplace again.
No more taking my time talking to clients. No more stopping to pick up groceries for someone that was homebound. I had to get all the boxes on my computer program filled in. That took an awful lot of time and energy that I was not prepared to give. I wanted to be a nurse, not a computer.
After conferring with my husband, we decided that the best option for me was to retire from nursing and pursue a life of leisure. After all, I had been a working nurse for thirty years. Enough already.
Easier said than done. At first I was at loose ends, wondering what to do with myself. Gradually I realized that I was already doing what I loved, just on a small scale.
Now I could spend all day reading instead of snatching some time here and there. I could write about my community in the local newspaper, I could play golf every day if I so desired. I could also devote more time to the jungle in our backyard.
Soon there weren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. Now I divide my time between reading, writing, playing golf, gardening, Mah Jongg, and volunteering on several boards here in Avon. In addition, since I don’t like to cook I have become quite the accomplished restaurant reviewer. We have also recently purchased a home in Port Orange, Florida, but that’s another story for another day.
Add all this to the extra time I have to spend with family and friends and I have a very nice life indeed.
Retirement is great.