My Quasi-Retirement

I never expected to retire from full time work. After all, my father worked (quite literally) until the day he died at 74, and my mother persisted as an Operating Room nurse until 85, when they inconsiderately closed the hospital on her. After I returned from Canada to New York, I became the Executive Director and chief fundraiser for a non-profit. I even had lunch scheduled with a vice-president at Lehman Brothers the day the music died there. So did my lunch. And a year and some into the recession, my job as a fundraiser was eliminated, along with many of the sources of the funds we were raising.

Next up was a plan to work as a Consultant. With backgrounds in higher education, development, and Board building, a group of colleagues and I set out as Dinter Consulting LLC to take the world by storm. A terrific concept in theory, in execution, not so easy. Over the past few years we have written grants for national, state and city agency funding, carried out an executive search, and done executive coaching, but the need to constantly drum up new business has been daunting. None of us are marketing experts, and so we depend on the referrals from past clients and colleagues, and they can be slow in coming.

To my shock, however, I have found that occupying myself apart from work is amazingly easy. I remember thinking that when retired people claimed there were never enough hours in the day to do all they wanted to do, I thought it was a pretense to cover how bored they must be. Now I find myself on that side of the fence (mostly), wondering how I ever had time to work!

Since we are blessed with having a house in Buffalo, where Phil works, and a condo in Brooklyn, for alternate weekends with family, there is some responsibility in maintaining two domiciles. Then there is my need to meditate every day for twenty minutes. And study Spanish online. And work out at the gym. And walk six to ten miles. And write, either this blog or a novel I am working on, not to mention revising the novel I already wrote and am looking into self-publishing.

I signed up for an online course with Dan Ariely of Duke University, one of those dreaded MOOCs, but found that I didn’t have the time to keep up with all the requirements. I thought it was a terrific course, one of the most stimulating I have ever taken, and intend to re-enroll at some point when I am not so busy.

So is this retirement? Whatever it is, I am enjoying it. Once we land in one place I want to start volunteering again, and maybe using that Spanish. And the Galapagos Islands and Barcelona are calling.

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