Decision #2 was whether to have breast reconstruction. After a few months of info gathering and weighing the pros and cons, I decided to do it and am starting that surgery tomorrow. As most of my long time readers know, I have had some major problems with anesthesia, so I am a little anxious now. But by this time tomorrow I hope to be through the worst of it and on my way to feeling physically whole again.
Decision #3 is a much more fun decision. I am of retirement age (which astounds no one as much as me) and although I have worked in a couple of places, I have always been covered by the same government pension plan, so my benefits are really good. In fact, I think when it comes down to it, I think I will make only slightly less retired than I do going to work. And my health benefits are paid for life. So this is not a financial decision.
My issue is more that I am such an introvert and I’m worried about becoming socially isolated. I have worked with the same group of people for 25 years, we have grown up together, watched each other’s children grow up, and they have become my family. I love going to work every day to see them. And I have a very public position. I have to interact with the public all day long - people coming to ask me questions, working with community leaders, running meetings, etc. That has not always been easy for me, but I do it, and I am grateful for it. I have met some great people and feel that I am part of something bigger than myself, working to build a better community.
And so the big part of my decision is more about walking away from the thing that keeps me most active and involved with people. I thought that I would have a plan for my next chapter by now. But I don't. I just keep thinking that for as much as I love my job, there are other things I could love as well, if I had the time to pursue them. Dealing with cancer set me back a couple of years but it also made fully living each day a priority. I don't think I am reaching my full potential anymore where I am. If I am truthful, I don’t have the same for passion for my work I once did.
So that is where my head is these days. I have one foot still invested with my job and one foot wanting to pursue something else, yet unknown. I don’t have a plan. Martha does not want to retire yet so our long term plan of getting a winter place in the south will have to wait, as will most travel. I already do a lot of volunteer work so I am thinking it needs to be something more than that . . .
Right now I am somewhere in between wanting to retire and fear that I’ll become a hermit woman living with 37 cats.
As soon as I posted the first two decisions, answers came. Maybe this post will work that same magic. So feel free to give advice or opinions. I am open to anything.