The number 55 has been meaningless to me all year.  As an age, it just is hard for me to get my mind around it.  I don’t feel like I’ve been out of high school long enough for my age to get to such an advanced number.  So it has been nothing more than a number all year.  I’ll confess I did take a look at my discount eligibility, but I have not yet taken advantage of them yet.  This probably has more to do with the sense of unreality that I have when considering my age.  I literally forget that I am 55.  Sometimes they will be talking about a person in their 30’s and I’ll think “oh, so they are my age”…..then I have to take a step back, shake my head and remind myself how many years have gone by.

But now I am retiring (talk about a sense of unreality!).  I saw paperwork the other day that states my age at my next birthday.  When I saw the 56, my age slammed into me like a train!  Somehow the 56 was so much more real to me than 55.  I remember starting at NASA when I was 18 and being one of the youngest people in the building.  And now, suddenly, I’m old enough to retire.  I’m excited about the prospect.  My alma mater, UAH, has classes that are inexpensive.  No tests, no homework; just learning.  I love the variety of classes that are available.  I may take a language or a painting class or music lessons or just anything that I find interesting.  I used to worry that I wouldn’t know what to do with myself as a retiree but now I’m worried that I won’t have enough time in the day!  Even though 56 sort of hit me hard the other day, I don’t plan on this being the end; I have a lot to look forward to with time to find renewed joy in living………

…By the way, high school was 38 years ago.  I’m not sure how that is even possible!!!


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