I've been waiting for this time for a while now. And finally it has arrived. R-E-T-I-R-E-M-E-N-T!! Ah, the word is music to my ears. I actually have to work 6 more weeks or so, but I am already giddy with anticipation.
I know some people who can't imagine ever retiring. They love their jobs, or they can't afford to retire or they have become accostumed to a standard of living they are not willing to give up. But for me my job was rarely ever a source of satisfaction and it certainly never defined me. It wasn't a career, it was just a job.
My job isn't awful, but there have been some awful moments in the past 13 years. Why did I stay in that job? Fear, inertia? I'm not sure. Instead of quitting, I tried to figure out how I could make my job something that I could be proud of; something that would be pleasing to God. I've found in other circumstances that every situation I'm in - whether positive or not - is a learning experience. I frequently asked myself what God was trying to teach me in my current situation. So, I've spent a lot of time reading about and thinking about "faith and the workplace", about working on my servant spirit toward my colleagues and trying to see some of the difficult people I worked with through God's eyes.
I'm not boasting, because I was rarely successful, and I certainly did not always "love" my co-workers; but I did gain insights into my own relationship with God over the years. I wanted to witness to the people I came into contact with - if not in words then in my attitude and my deeds.
I'm probably retiring before I've done all that God wanted me to do in my workplace, but I choose to believe that God has big plans for me in the next phase of my life - starting July 1st!! :)