She has dotted all her Is and crossed her Ts. She has prepared for this retirement. She has acted wisely at every turn. She's ready, willing, and able.
I, on the other hand, have fallen into retirement. My retirement could also be called underemployment, or even unemployment. I made no plans. I had no scheme. Preparation - what's that?!
But then, if I look back to the beginning of my so-called career, I had no plan or scheme there, either. I bounced from college to college and job to job. I got married at age 21 (!) to someone I didn't much like because he said God wanted him to marry me, and because I just didn't know what else to do. Bad [un]plan.
I worked a while as a secretary, then stayed home with my babies, taking occasional part-time piano jobs and keeping books for my daddy's medical practice.
There was no roadmap. There was no order to my life.
When I divorced, I began hoeing three rows at a time, as my rural Tennessee-born ex-mother-in-law would have said. I worked full-time as a programmer at IBM, went to school at night, and frequently played piano in local hotel lounges on weekends. Sometimes I wonder if I can't find a job now because there's a quota on the number of jobs one can hold during life, and I passed that number years ago.
At the end of my career, I left a good salary in a hostile work environment to work on a freelance basis for my son. Then the work I was doing for him decreased, and kept decreasing. In a manner as disordered as that in which I entered the workforce, I was slowly leaving the workforce. Month by month, hour by hour.
Now that I've tasted some form of retirement, I'm not very motivated to leave it by finding full-time employment. The luxury of not setting an alarm, of not considering what office-acceptable attire I'm going to don each day, of not worrying about ticking off some colleague .... It's just that—it's pure luxury.
So I don't get to have a retirement party. So I don't get an engraved Rolex or a pen set for my desk. I can buy my own damned watch. I can throw my own damned party.
We have a friend who retired several years ago. She liked her retirement party so much that she invites all her friends to meet her for dinner every Tuesday night. She calls it "Retirement Dinner."