The Spanish word for retirement is jubilacion…”an expression of great joy.”  That’s pretty heady stuff!   But in English, I find the word “retirement” to be a bit of a misnomer…

My working friends ask me why retired people are busier than they are?  Well, when a person retires, it’s only from doing that particular thing, right?  I taught Third grade, Kindergarten, and Reading for 25 years, and after that I figured that it was time to try ALL the other things that had ever piqued my interest!  During most of my career I was single…I married 6 years ago at age 47…and I could do whatever my pea-picking heart desired.  I started an antique booth with a friend downtown, and over the years, tried my hand at several different art endeavors.  First, I made silver jewelry – earrings mostly – because who wouldn’t want to make two exact replicas of something intricate???  Then I played with batik for years, and designed and made candles, dubbing myself Wiley Waxmeister.  Later, I  reveled in making mosaics, and finally started building”cajitas” – those little shrine boxes that have kept me captivated me ever since.  But these were just hobbies…you know, on the side.

A couple of friends and one book told me that it could take about two years to settle into retirement, and at first I first thought they were nuts!  But here I am, 21 months in…and I’m still not quite in sync with it all.  My house isn’t any cleaner, my closet hasn’t been dealt with, my photos still live in a box, and I have yet to become a gourmet cook. 

Post “retirement,” I work a day or two a week at that antique store and now run two booths, both of which involve regular shopping jaunts, repairing/painting/cleaning of various items, pricing, stocking, and fluffing.  As for the art, I’ve recently joined Face Book, lunched my website, and am regularly blogging…not to mention all that’s involved in making and marketing my work.  So, in reality, I have two jobs – neither of which are “just hobbies” anymore.  Throw in the fact that I sometimes fancy working out, playing my flute, hiking, biking, cooking, hanging with my husband and friends, reading, sewing, taking classes, gardening, traveling, decorating, playing ping pong, watching movies, etc, etc, etc…I find myself busier than ever before!

 So there you have it.  No complaining intended… I mean, my husband isn’t retired yet, so I have to keep a low profile and make sure my gig doesn’t seem too cushy.  Truth be told, I’m definitely leaning more towards the jubilation side of things!

~ by Dawn Elliott on March 18, 2011.

10 Responses to “Retired…Really?”

  1. To me it sounds like a great life. Keeping involved even after retirement is what it’s all about. You do a lot, which means you are enjoying life and what it’s all about. Congratulations and keep doing what you are doing. Have a great weekend.

  2. Obviously the Ping Pong has to go. Problem solved.

  3. i love “an expression of great joy”…
    certainly you are fulfilling yours!

    thanks for the heartfelt donation in our efforts to realize a shelter box for japan. together we are strong.

  4. honoring you today at recuerda mi corazon!

  5. I always think of my grandmother…she just never slowed down, always learning new things right up to the end of her 97 years. So I say, keep on keeping on and no problem if the house never gets cleaned!

  6. Jubilation, indeed! It sounds wonderful! I love your work! Thank you so much for commenting at Mother Words! I look forward to following you!


  7. Here’s to celebrating Jubilation with J O Y !!
    Dear Dawn,
    Sounds like you’ve got it down! About the cleaning and organizing thing. I think one seems to do that when they are ready for a change in some area of there life.

    It’s great that you were a teacher ~
    It’s great that you found your husband ~
    It’s great you get to explore your life now!!


  8. Hope you have a wonderful creative Sunday, Dawn!


  9. I love reading your blog and being able to hear your voice as I read your words. Only you could have come up with “pea-picking heart” and “make two exact replicas of something intricate” in the same sentence! Retirement, like life, is a journey. But – I think it will be our grandest journey of all – because it is our chance, FINALLY, to explore, seek and learn what WE want instead of someone or some other entity filling our brain and time with trash.

    Happy Spring!

  10. I love your website, and this note caught my eye. I’m about 39 months in to Jubilacion after leaving my work life love – the Highlands Center. But now I pick through so many other things I love. Best of all I like figuring out my own time – even employed time. I agree, the interests can move a bit and it is great! Happy life to you.

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