When I walked out work for the last time yesterday, ‘free’ is the word that came to mind.  At that moment free meant I would not have to return to work…that job, that building, that place. I would no longer have to get up early,  pack my lunch, report at 7:00 AM, see a drop in customer, answer my phone unless I want to, …the list goes on. After the celebratory dinner I went home and was suddenly exhausted.

I then began to think about what free might now mean to me. Free to spend more time with Thommmee.  Free to come and go as I please. Free to finally get my sewing business off the ground. Free to say up late. Free  to spend time with family and friends, to try new recipes,  clean out that closet, to plant a garden and to remember how to make homemade jam. To read a book, call a friend, attend the gym, a Bible study, volunteer, babysit our new granddaughter, invite grandkids to spend the weekend. I could go on and on. People asked me if I would  get bored. I don’t think so. Would I  travel? Well, road trips probably. I would like to see more of  this great country and visit out-of-state folks. Take a world cruise, fly to Europe-probably not.  Contrary to popular belief not all “government” employees get a nice fat pension. With early retirement I am also free to make hefty insurance premiums, clip coupons, eat at home, explore thrift stores, make that pair of shoes walk a few extra miles, quit watching the shopping channels-in general learn to work with a smaller paycheck and manage a reduced budget, to consider dipping into the 401 (wasn’t that the point of saving?) and to invite friends over instead of meeting for lunch.

In my mind, I am now free to do all of those things. No regrets, no looking back. My sights are onward and upward!



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