I have not really said anything public about this, but six months ago I retired after working almost 29 years for the federal government. I felt that I needed to retire as Parkinson’s had been pushing me hard, making it difficult to do an acceptable job (in my mind) due to the mental side of my work, and the mental and physical exhaustion from just trying to keep up each day.
I am thankful that I was able to retire on my own terms from one of the most enjoyable positions and some of the best co-workers I ever had. I truly miss the work but even more I miss my co-workers. Some of them I have never met in person due to the pandemic and now that I am retired, I guess I may never meet some of them.
Despite all this, I know with a certainty that I made the correct decision to retire. I have been able to significantly increase the amount of exercise I get. Exercise is known to be as good as medication in staving off the symptoms and progression of Parkinson’s. There has been a definite improvement in my symptoms, so that is a good thing for sure.
Six months – it has seemed a lot longer in some ways. I have started the process of re-tuning my life. I did not realize how difficult this would be. For example Parkinson’s makes me wide awake in the middle of the night sometimes. Actually that happens quite often, and it can be a couple of hours before I get to sleep again. When working I would struggle to get the sleep I required just to function normally through the day. Now, as I am still learning, it is okay to be awake at 3am, because I am able to take a nap during the day if required.
Now that spring is just around the corner, I am excited about the future: the opportunity to do more gardening, yard work, building some things, and a new addiction of mine – metal detecting. I hope to write more often about these things as I have always enjoyed writing. I was going to say “as I should have more time now”, but I recall my grandpa saying that he was busier when he retired than when he worked. I am starting to understand that now.