Letting go: The next stop on my retirement journey

Work Or RetireThis month marks the 10th year of my “unretirement.” With my husband planning to leave his current position in late June, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into what retirement will mean for me.

I love writing about retirement and workplace issues and I plan to continue writing for my terrific clients as long as they want me to. But the real question I keep coming back to is how I want to spend the rest of my time.

When my column at the Toronto Star ended last September, it freed up 8-12 hours a week. I decided to start this blog “Retirement Redux” because I had the time and I wanted a venue where I could comment on the many provocative issues I encounter every day. I decided to post articles on Monday and Wednesdays and run a Media Scan on Fridays.

Some weeks this schedule has been easy to meet but from time to time lately it has become a chore, particularly when a vacation or holiday intervenes and I have scrambled to write content in advance to keep up the momentum. As I write this, preparing our home for Passover and welcoming our family and friends seems infinitely more important.

Also, I want to start enjoying more things in the community including theatre, music and art without restricting myself to weekend evenings because I have to get up early every day from Monday-Friday in order to accomplish both my paid and unpaid work. I’d like to get back to attending synagogue on Saturday mornings without worrying about how to fit in grocery shopping and errands in what’s left of the day or on Sundays.

Travel to places near and far also beckons. Our daughter’s family lives in Ottawa and we frequently do day trips to the Stratford and the Shaw festivals. We have 5 weeks/year at our shared ownership house in Muskoka but we have never used them all because there has just been no time. I am also determined to enjoy longer periods in warmer climates in the winter plus there are so many other exotic destinations we want to visit.

My son jokes that they will be wheeling me off to the old folks home and I will still be protesting that I have one more deadline to meet. Maybe so, but I also want to be able to say I ticked off more of the items on my bucket list.

So the next step in my journey to retirement is to toss out the schedule for RetirementRedux. I am giving myself permission to only post when I have the time and I really have something to say. Of course, that’s the plan for now. Keep reading to find out how it all works out!

You can follow me on twitter (@sherylsmolkin), Linkedin or sign up to receive emails when new blogs are posted.

Happy Easter and Passover to all.


  1. This post resonates very strongly with me, Sheryl, and I suspect many other of your followers. Actually, you have a clear crossroad for a decision (= the upcoming June retirement of your husband), whereas quite often I find myself balancing: “Should I take on this opportunity – part-time work or volunteer- just offered to me? How much of my other life/family/friend/health etc. priorities would be consumed by it?”

    From your post the answer seems to come through: try to keep scanning my list of what factors and activities are important, then use my best judgement/instinct to prioritize and re-juggle what I take on.

    Looking forward to reading how it works out for you! (Of course, you can still tweet from Muskoka or warm winter retreats when the inspiration takes you :) Happy holiday weekend. Ian

    • Thanks Ian. The posts I enjoy writing the most come from my heart. I hope by letting go a bit I will have more of those stories to tell.

  2. Good luck, Sheryl.
    How nice would it be to make time for the family, relaxation and spiritual stuff through the early years! What happened to the 4-day work week?

    • Thanks Nancy. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

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