Less than a week ago I used this blog to announce my intention to retire.
Four days later I was laid off.
My position was eliminated during a “strategic realignment” of the organization. I was not alone. Three other colleagues received the same message as me. And there had been earlier realignments in the organization. It was a matter of time before they got to our department. I guess I’ll never know if I was chosen because I had announced my retirement or because my number came up. Either way, c’est la vie. (That’s a French way of saying “it is what it is.”)
The next day, as fate would have it, was my birthday — my 65th birthday. When I was a child that was the expected retirement age, 65. But things have changed along the way. My full Social Security payment will not kick in until I’m 66 but I had made up my mind I wouldn’t wait another year. I made application for Social Security on-line and in a few days received a call from a nice agent who informed me that I qualified to receive my late husband’s benefits — which are substantially higher — even though we were common law for many years. I’ve sent her the proof that Bob and I presented ourselves as husband and wife. She made it sound all very simple. Let’s hope.
On my birthday I awoke and immediately thought of the day before when I had been laid off. As I lay there thinking of the week’s events I couldn’t help but think of my good fortune. Certainly not everyone who has been laid off has that thought. But throughout the week I had been thinking how I would like to be retired by the end of October. Answered prayers! Not the way I would have crafted it but it is, nevertheless, an answered prayer.
I rolled out of bed thinking “Well, Alice, it is the first day of the rest of your life.” I smiled broadly and headed off to Alafia River State Park where I photographed mushrooms with the help of my sister. Here’s a sampling of the day’s work.
This little guy was no more than 1/2 inch in height. He was beginning his new life … and so was I. ❧