Sunday, March 3, 2019

Mosaic Monday #17 - Report: Week 105 of Retirement

Sunset on Whitefish Lake, May 2017
March 3, 2019 marks two years since my retirement.  Two years = 104 weeks = 730 days = 17,520 hours.  It's cause for ongoing celebration, and reflection.

In my usual analytical fashion, I concocted a myriad of ways to approach this post.  Maybe I could use major milestones for the structure.  Or perhaps my key observations about retired life.  I could consult my "Joy of Retirement" book for inspiration.  Maybe I should summarize the six "retirement reports" that I previously posted. (Week OneWeek ThreeWeek FiveWeek TwelveWeek NineteenWeek Forty-One)
One picture from each of the six retirement reports
It struck me that I have not published a retirement report for over a year; I believe it means that I have been too occupied to think about retirement.  Or is it possible that retirement has become my state of being rather than something separate from me?

Then it occurred to me to look in my Legacy Box, a parting gift from my Human Resources team.  I turned the key, and ...

First I found the dedications from our kids, both orated by our son at my retirement party.  The tears began to flow.

First, a few words from my sister who couldn't make it today: Dear Mom - Let me first say congratulations on your retirement.  You've earned it.  I want you to know that you are the strongest woman I have ever known.  I aspire to be like you every day for you inspire me to be a better manager.  I hope that I have as big an impact on the people that I work with as you did.  I'm so proud of you and I love you.  #1 Daughter

So, this isn't so much a speech as it is a chance to tell a story.  A story of dedication, ideals and teaching.  As long as I can remember, there has been a phone, a laptop, and Mom.  Every night the laptop came out and down sat Mom to do unfinished business from the day or deal with an issue that had popped up on the phone.  Every vacation along came the laptop and phone.  Whenever it came out at night or got packed along with the rest of the bags leaving for vacation, I would urge my Mom to leave it.  Surely she had done enough work to warrant not needing to do anymore tonight or on vacation.  I didn't urge her because I thought she was a workaholic or because I wanted her attention; I did it because I wanted her to be free from the work for the night, vacation or any amount of time.  My protests were always met with a smile, and a "I wish, son."  

As I grew older, I began to understand why.  Her unending dedication to her work, that at times was very trying and unenjoyable, taught me a lot about my Mom and about how I wish to live my life.  Primarily, that I don't want an office job.  But more importantly, about upholding ideals of work ethic and commitment.  I could not be more grateful.  And now in a week, for the first time ever, there will be a vacation where I don't have to ask my Mom to leave behind her phone and laptop.  But the lessons I have learned by watching my Mom will never leave me.  
#1 Son

Yes, yes, YES!  It was worth it all.

Next I found this simple, handwritten and taped sheet, and it spoke volumes to me about my legacy and my retirement journey.

During my Human Resources career, I led leadership development events.  The standard program called for senior leaders to share career lessons, and toward the end of my career, I chose an unconventional medium- my collection of Chinese fortunes.

In my very last leadership session (the 8th under my direction), the cohort in training presented me with a set of fortunes that they had collected the night before at a local restaurant, together with their best wishes for my impending retirement.  I present some of them to you now, with corresponding pictures from the last 24 months.

A relaxing adventure is in your near future
As I noted in my first retirement report on 3/13/2017, I calculate I worked an extra 18.2 years due to long hours.
So, I have only relaxed off TWO of those years!

You will continue to take chances and be glad you did
Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park, August 13, 2018.  Standing in awe next to Man with Hat.

New experiences in Norway (upper left) and in Glacier (lower right)
New friends in the neighborhood (upper right) and at the ski resort (lower left)
Wildlife abounds - badger, elk, beaver, mountain goat, black bear, hoary marmot
You will soon discover how capable you are
… of running an informal bed and breakfast/boutique guide service.  We have thoroughly enjoyed our visitors and showing them our little corner of Montana.  And from their comments in our guest book, Spousal Unit could apply for a Michelin rating for his food!  Our tour guide services aren't bad, either!

You will get what your heart desires
If you asked me what I wanted most from retirement, time with Man with Hat, in our slice of paradise, would be at the top of the list.  So, I will close this post with my favorite pictures of my beloved (some with Hat and some without!)  Darling, I have enjoyed every minute of the 104 weeks = 730 days = 17,520 hours.
Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.
Inlinkz Link Party


  1. Your retirement journey is most fantastic and we're so glad you're enjoying all the magical moments!

  2. Oh so lovely! Retirement is an amazing thing isn't it? Before we do it, we wonder what we will do, where we will go, what we will achieve. But in the end for me, it has been all about having time to do what I want on my own schedule and to have more time with my husband and family. I will always be grateful I did it sooner than later. :) Kit

  3. ...OK, analytical I'm NOT. After 50 years in business I retired, I don't have a clue about the weeks, days, minutes or seconds. I miss working at times and then again not at all.

  4. Aw, that's really fun. I retired early and unexpectedly after caring for my dad. It was 2007. I didn't have a retirement party.
    I did hold on to the sweet letters some of my parents sent me.
    My youngest never forgave me for the way I raised him. I embrace my other two kids, and my 4 grandies!
    Such a lovely post.

  5. Happy Retirement Anniversary Angie and many many more! I’ve long ago reached that point where retirement has become my state of being, but Am still eternally grateful for the years we’ve been able to enjoy the adventure of this stage of life. Thank you for sharing your memories (those ‘fortune’ pictures were so great and your kids speeches/notes beautiful.). ....

  6. How wonderful to have those thoughts and experiences in writing from your children. What a fun way to recap your retirement moments with those cookie fortunes. Fun. When you've worked hard and well I can imagine that retirement experiences are better appreciated. Wonderful post!

  7. My husband and I have been retired so long that it feels like a very normal state for us now. We always say we are busier than when we held full time jobs yet every day is Saturday. One thing I don't miss about working as an RN were all the revolving shifts I did and the many years of working nights. The one thing my husband does not miss is 24/7 communication and stress of modern business. The thing we both love about retirement are our grandchildren and spending lots of time with them. They keep us young!

  8. I always enjoy hearing the details of your journey!

  9. Your retirement seems like so much! You are giving me hope that retirement can be the exciting time my husband and I are hoping it will be! ��

  10. Happy Retirement, Angie... it’s touching me to read this post. I ˋm retired since last year but it was not voluntarily. Wish you a very good week!

  11. Beautiful memories & interesting photos Angie. Enjoy your retirement days!

  12. Retirement is certainly a time for celebration, and I have never regretted retiring early. It has given me the time and space to indulge passions have have lingered in the background without the time to pursue them. If we are in good health and have the finances, there is so much life to explore and enjoy. Have a fabulous week and thank you again for the link up.

  13. Wonderful memories and thanks for sharing. I am enjoying my retirement too---fun fun fun

  14. It's good to see that you have loved retirement. Your retirement party sounded a hoot (when you were not all overcome by emotion - how beautifully your kids write!) Here's to a fun filled next two years = 104 weeks = 730 days = 17,520 hours.... not that you're counting! That made me smile! Have a wonderful week and thank you for your time in hosting and visiting us all at Mosaic Monday :)
    Wren x

  15. What a special post. Retirement is such an amazing lifestyle. I'm happy that you are finding it so too. Enjoy and live life to the fullest. Thanks for hosting us!

  16. Dearest Angie; Oh, I truly impressed by your children's messages and I can guess how much you must have been moved. I really LOVED the way you closed this Retirement Post♪ Isn't that WONDERFUL to be able to send the beautiful words to your husband♡♡♡
    ps;Thank you so much for your swift and sweet comment for my post last week and I was happy that you kindly mentioned about scarves; you cannot have enough, can't you(♡˘◡˘♡)
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan and have a wonderful new week, xoxo Miyako*

  17. Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah, Angie! A friend calls this stage of our life, our renewal. Your report certainly shows that. Big hugs, Madame!

  18. A very insightful post, Angie. It's been several years since I "retired" - and I say "retired and not retired as I still keep my hand in with some consulting work and also I do so much, which although is not work is "work". Still I have plenty more "me-time" and I get to do many things that I had never the time to do when I was working.

  19. Hello, Angie! I retired in Dec 2014 and it is the best decision I ever made. Living life to the fullest is an adventure, your photos show that you are having a great life. Lovely post and photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your day! Wishing you a great new week ahead!

  20. Wonderful messages from your kids and workmates, Angie. I think that times of great change prompt people to evaluate their interactions with us and often what has remained unspoken for many years, or what is tacitly understood, finds opportunity to be said, or shouted out even!

  21. It really is wonderful to be retired and have choices about how you spend your time! You are in a beautiful part of the country to enjoy life! Happy MM! I'm very happy to have my blog back and be able to take part today! Sweet hugs, Diane

  22. PS: I can see I am not the only one who worked extra (and unpaid!) hours at work everyday...

  23. I'm loving my retirement …
    You are clearly loving yours too. I enjoyed both reading your post, the memories shared and your photographs too.

    Here's to another great retirement year ahead.

    All the best Jan

  24. Wonderful photographs and reflections!

  25. Great memories, Angie. How fun to have the legacy box to pull out from time to time.

  26. Sweet messages from your children on your retirement. And so thoughtful of your co-workers to present you with a page of fortunes and their own messages. Proves that you made a positive impact and that's all one can hope for. After 7 years in a windowless office, I knew that it was time for me to move on and take life at a slower place. Cheers to more milestones and memories.

  27. I've been retired for 15 years but my blogging keeps me "working." Thanks for hosting.

  28. My wife says that she sees less of me in retirement than she did when I worked. It is amazing the variety of activities that I do now that were simply impossible when I worked. I am sure that my experience is not unique.

  29. It seems that like us two here, you both live for each other and your close family. I never regretted my own retirement from an office job, but rather saw it as an opportunity at a second like. And then along came 3 baby grandchildren and 2 older children through adoption. We are still working hard!

  30. Lovely mosaics, and I love the one with animals in it, excellent.

  31. i am so happy you are enjoying your retirement!! your mosaics are so pretty, a nice variety of "everything"!! amazing wildlife, what a treat!!

  32. What a wonderful and delightful post and photography is awesome ~ sounds like retirement agrees with you ~ Happy Journey to you ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  33. A wonderful post, Angie. Glad you are enjoying your retirement, nice reflections from your friends and family. Your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading it and viewing your images.

  34. What wonderful messages! So glad you're enjoying retirement.


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