The one year anniversary of my retirement recently passed. I can definitely say I am a happier, healthier person today than I was a year ago. I remember the stress of the last day I worked full time; turning in two plagiarizers was my final act. It was a sign I had made the right choice to retire from being a full-time professor.
When I stopped teaching, along with that went the interactions between my students and me and my colleagues and me. I had friends, but not as many as I wanted; an extremely demanding work schedule had meant little time for friends, let alone a family.
As a single woman, I knew I had to reach out to others. I made sure I had a plan in place to get out with people, make new friends, and to reach back to others in my past to get out and have some fun. I began filling up Fridays with dates for shopping, lunches, an occasional movie, and more. I am a natural hermit, but I knew being solitary was not good for my mental or physical well-being.
As it turns out, this plan has worked. I rarely get sick anymore, and my hair has grown in thicker. I added social media to my life and connected with old and new friends that way. My attitude is better, and I am having a great time in this third phase of my life. Those social days have spilled over to other days of the week. Retirement, by far, has turned out to be the best time of my life.
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