Friday, June 12, 2009

Storms, a dog and a child, and retirement

We've had fairly ferocious storms in Texas this week--my neighbor says I'm the only one who thought one deluge was a lovely storm; she claims everyone else was terrified. But it was heavy rain, thunder and lightning, but no high winds--they had those in Dallas and eastward. Still I later learned I didn't hear the sirens went they went off, and so didn't take to the closet.
Tonight it was threatening again, though the storm went south of us--we got thunder, lightning, and a wee bit of rain. But I have Jacob tonight, and when I asked him if he liked storms, he said they were scary. And then there's Scooby who is terrified. So in an unprecedented mix, I brought Scooby in. Well, Jacob is also scared of Scooby and whined every time the dog started toward him; Scooby was nervous and anxious because he was confined to the playroom instead of the office where he usually spends his evenings. And the two of them were making me uncomfortable, so I put Scooby in the office. Jacob immediately wanted to go see "Puppy"--I have the hardest time teaching him the dog's name. They got acquainted through the French doors, and I thought I'd never get Jacob away. Now, all is peaceful--the storm has passed, Jacob is in his bed talking, and Scooby is sleeping at my feet in the office.
How could I forget to announce on my blog that I'm retiring July 15. I announced it to my boss probably two months ago, but she asked me to wait until June 1 to turn in my letter and to keep it fairly quiet until then. I guess that's why I forgot that now I can tell the world. I will still have a connection to the press--doing acquisitions and some event planning--but there willl be an interim director and then a permanent one. We'll see if the permanent director wants me involved or not. People ask my plans, and I say I have none. I'll write, I'll play, go to lunch with friends, and visit grandchildren whenever feasible. And I'll not feel that I have to pop out of bed at 6:30. I'll have to watch my budget--my pension just took a rather large hit and I will get a fraction of my usual pay from TCU. But I can be frugal--I've done it most of my life and only in the last three to four years had disposable cash. It was a treat, but now it's over. I'm still looking forward to the freedom. Maybe I'll even clean out my overflowing bookshelves and my stuffed clothes closets.
I've worked at TCU Press 28 years and it's been a great run. I've made wonderful friends, met some famous people, worked on some really wonderful books and truly enjoyed it. But everyone always said I'd know when the time came--and a wake-up call from two of my closest friends told me it was time. Jeannie picked me up at the train station one day when I'd been in Dallas, took one look at me--a mess of anxiety--and sweet Jeannie gave me a stern lecture, telling me that I had to retire. She and Jean were worried about me. Every time I talked about the office, I tensed up. And I immediately took that to heart. So I'm off on another of life's adventures--and I fully expect my balance to get better and my anxiety to decrease, though maybe not right away. Retirement is a huge change in life, and I'll have to adjust.

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