reflections / Retirement


Now…Well I’ve finally done it,..  given my notice in, ..resigned, …decided to retire?

8 weeks and I won’t have to go to work anymore.

8 weeks and I won’t have to get up at 0545h anymore.

8 weeks and I won’t have to go to bed early anymore.

8 weeks and I won’t be waking up at 3 in the morning, worrying if I’ve caused a death by missing something anymore.

8 weeks and I won’t have to refuse lunch invitations cos I’m working anymore.

8 weeks and I won’t have to be so frustrated at work anymore, because I can’t give the care I want to give?

8 weeks and I won’t have to fill in all those stupid tick lists and proformas

8 weeks and I won’t have all that stress anymore.

8 weeks and I won’t continually have that constant dull little knot of anxiety in my stomach any more.

8 weeks and I won’t have to go out in the cold wind and rain anymore.

If I want to, I can get on a bus, with my bus pass and travel all over England.

If I want to, I can say “yes” to an invitation, without having to request the time off.

If I want to, I can book a bargain holiday when I see it, without having to check if I can have the time off.

If I want to, I can paint my nails red.

If I want to, I can dye my hair purple.

If I want to, I can wear rings on my fingers.

If I want to, I can never take off that special necklace.

If I want to, I can see my grandchildren every day.

If I want to, I can lie in bed all day.

If I want to, I can stay in my pyjamas all day and mess about on t’internet.

Or if I want to, I can get up early and go for a cycle ride.

What was it that finally made me jump?

Quite simply a bad day…. One of those days when there was too much work for the time allotted, too many demands,  not enough time to care for women in the way they deserve,  and the way I aspire to. The way I know I should do.

Nobody died, but that was more down to good luck than good management.  And I went through the formal  channels of reporting to management, but ” everybody was busy”

Over my 45 year career,  I’ve had many crisis days like this, so what was it about THIS day that made the straw that broke the camels back?   …..well it was realising that, as a coping strategy, other people around me had stopped having empathy for clients distress and worry,  and I don’t want to be like them.

I also realised that it’s futile for just little me, to try to change the system.  Plus I no longer have the passion or enery or even interest.  So my only answer is to abandon ship………because I’m in the fortunate position to be able to do that.?

At the same time it’s still scary.  Facing up to the fact that I am officially “old”, burning my bridges, because, unlike other life events, there’s no going back from this.  No getting another job.  Only forward into the unknown old age, we all plan this day and look forward to….


Towards the dream?

But eventually …DEATH?

Reading this back, it sounds a bit depressing, but no, two weeks on,  I’m really happy, can’t wait.   Now I’ve only 13 shifts left…and counting.

Gradually letting go of something that has been part of me for 45 years, since I was 20 years old.  Through marraiges, children growing up, bereavements, sadness, happiness,  successes and failures, my job and a lot of the people connected,  has always been a constant.

But like leaving my family home and all its memories,( which I have never regretted).  its time to move on, move on to a new phase in my life.

Take a deep breath and be brave Denise!


21 thoughts on “….TOWARDS THE DREAM.?..

      • Afraid not. They are supposed to be multi-million pound renovating there sometime soon so I don’t know if it’s going to close for a while. Get it whilst you can.


  1. I’m so pleased for you that you’ve done this Denise. I know you had some concerns about retirement when we last met up but I can honestly say that since I took the plunge and went for retirement 4 years ago I have never felt so relaxed, so free, so well as I do now. You are not old, just think of it as a new chapter and enjoy making the most of your new freedom! I hope it will be the same for you. Looking forward to seeing more of you when you’ve done your final shift!


  2. Woohoo!!!!!!!! Let the party (and life) begin!!!!!!!! Congratulations on this decision and for all of the new adventures to roll your way Denise! So happy for you and hope that one of your “bargain holidays” will be to Malta! Bisous! M&E


  3. I can understand that it can be scary to let go of part of your life, but I am sure that you will enjoy your new life very much ! Make the most of your new freedom, spend more time with Michael and your kids and grandkids, travel, and if ever you get bored you can always take up some light volunteer work in a field where your medical experience will be useful !


  4. Wonderful description of the time you are now facing. I retired a little over a year ago knots and worries and stress of the job are utterly gone. Freedom from that anxiety is the best thing about retirement. The lunches, weekday tennis games, and outings with my husband are a big bonus, but waking up and going to sleep without the burdens of work are top of the list. Jump on a plane to Paris!! Congratulations and here’s to small pleasures and new adventures.


  5. Congratulations Denise, I’m happy for you! I retired from a very high-pressure job 11 years ago and have never looked back.

    I will say there is definitely an adjustment period–kind of a “settling in to a new normal” time.

    As far as being frustrated with work, please focus on and remember all the people you so lovingly cared for, nurtured and made a difference in their lives.

    Carry on! Do you have a trip to Paris in your near future?
    Best of luck to you!


  6. Bravo for taking this next step towards the dream (no question mark!). Although change is never easy, and often very scary, I’m sure that you’ll come through this and be all the happier for it. In exchange, you’ll have time to do all the things on your “I can” list and many more. Perhaps even a trip to Prague?! 🙂 Best wishes for your remaining shifts.


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