Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You

Photo by William Krause on Unsplash

When I decided to take early retirement last year, I knew I’d be taking a reduced pension. Financial security is a rather big deal for me (is it for everyone?). I created a budget in Excel and it all looked okay. Still, I thought I might want a side gig to fund the fun stuff.

I also feared that I’d grow bored very quickly. Don’t the retirement advisors consistently suggest that you understand yourself and your needs before making the leap?

Out of curiosity, I used LinkedIn to search for writing and editing jobs that might appeal to me. You know, something part-time, working remotely in my pajamas. Eh, I found a few and filed away the notion that this could be an option if I got serious about working post-retirement.

Earlier this year, a former coworker asked about my willingness to work on a small project for the community college I’d just left. It sounded appealing — something I knew well, short-term, on my terms. Within two days, I was regretting that I’d acted the least bit interested. Project timing intervened and I avoided the situation altogether.

I was also certain that in retirement I’d want to maintain my connection to academia through adjunct teaching. I was all set to reach out to a colleague about teaching a one-credit college success course. And then the internal rumbling happened again. My brain and my heart were rejecting the hassle. See, teaching this course is akin to dental work. Getting students to submit the assignments they think are busywork is not unlike pulling teeth. The thought of having to do something daily, even for only five weeks, filled me with incredible dread.

I never made that call.

This week, I received an email from a company recruiter on Linkedin. The work was definitely in my wheelhouse. That was one of the easiest email deletions I’ve executed. Perhaps I should have responded with a polite “not interested” but I won’t.

No doubt, my reticence is partly due to my being a mere eight months into this grand adventure called retirement.

They say these years are golden. So is the silence that comes from writing at home — no one knocking on my door, buzzing my phone, emailing 24/7. It’s glorious and I highly recommend it. So I say to all prospective employers, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

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