A New Chapter


It’s official as of yesterday.

Then again, I’m an author. So I’m never really retired, just able to devote more time to this thing I love. I know people who quit working at a much younger age, and I know plenty who will continue working, either by choice or necessity.

When I walked away from the lucrative job I had as a fraud investigator, I did so because the job, the toxic environment in which I worked, threatened my health. For the next three years, I did not work outside the home. But I tried. I looked for work. I was able to see how much the employment landscape had changed. Back in the 80s, I would revise my resume and send it out with a well-written cover letter to the head of personnel at a company. Ha! Five years ago, I applied online for a variety of jobs, trying to hide the fact that I was over 50, but I knew that whoever or whatever program sorted out applications, mine was likely tossed early.

Then I had an interview with HopeHealth (formerly known as Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island). Here was an agency that actually valued experience! Here was a place that understood what I could offer. I worked part-time for Hospice from June 2014 until yesterday. I worked at the front desk in the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence, where old friends and colleagues were admitted at the end of their lives. I assisted in Medical Records, ensuring a patient’s file was complete. I helped out in Quality Control, doing tasks that added to the agency’s compliance with so many federal and state guidelines. All through it, I worked with smart, professional, dedicated people who truly put others before themselves. The years I spent working for Hospice helped to erase the  bitter memories of my previous job.

And now it’s done. I’m 60 years old, which to some of you might seem young for retirement. But my time at Hospice has taught me that life can change in an instant. Sometimes circumstances dictate that we keep working, past the time we’d like to have stopped. My husband and I saved aggressively while we worked full-time, and we don’t live large. I don’t know how many years I have left on this earth – thirty? Eighteen? Three? My goal is to keep writing novels, cherishing a day at the ocean, a cup of coffee, the sound of my old dog snoring.

Here’s to my new chapter.

44 thoughts on “A New Chapter

  1. Hi Martha,
    I’ve been retired from teaching for 12 years apart from a year as a WW leader. It has been the best time of my life. I’m trying to write my first novel based on the lives of my mother and grandmother. Meanwhile I’m getting ready for the A to Z – this time “Travels in Our Caravan” which is mainly the stories of places we have visited. I have had to do a lot of research and am only up to “e”. April is getting awfully close.

    All the best for your retirement. I thought I would sleep in every morning but got caught up with an early morning aqua jogging group so now rise at 6.20 every weekday. The mornings are dark but Daylight Saving ends soon here in NSW Australia.

    The best thing about retirement is the freedom. There is still housework and cooking but even that can be put on hold and I can read or write or research family history when I feel like it. If only it could last forever! What I have seen of nursing homes does not inspire me. I have a 97 year old half sister (discovered through DNA) who still lives at home and has only just relinquished her driver’s licence. What an inspiration. She says she’s not moving to a nursing home if she can help it. I doubt I’ll get to 97 or even want to. Meanwhile I’m trying to keep fit, eat properly, not drink too much alcohol (that’s a challenge) and enjoy every day. Best wishes for your future retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheers to the next chapter, Martha. I have been at the Hospice Center to say goodbye to three friends in the last few years, two were not much older than I, and the most recent last week. Treasure every day, starting with the first cup of coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on your (almost) retirement! I’m so happy you get to work on your craft full time now. I was at the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center just last month saying goodbye to a friend. She was only 53. Her husband was in awe of the kindness from the staff there.

    Life truly is short, so welcome retirement with open arms and enjoy time with your husband and time with friends and plots that your creative mind conjures up. See you around the book-tour circuit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations Martha – I am thrilled for you. I wish you the best in “retirement “ I am also very exciting for you to keep writing because you do great job! I thoroughly enjoy your books . Just a few left to read …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are but a puppy in retirement, Martha. I too retired at 60 years old from much more than full-time work managing a law firm of 65 attorneys for 12 years. I have had 17 excellent years since my retirement, and only wish I had started writing sooner. But I am deeply into novel #6, and book #7 if I count my financial planning book back in 2001. Now that you are “fully” retired, there is no way that I will ever catch up to you in novels written…but i sure as hell will give it a try. Be well, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations old lady! I’ll be 60 next year in March myself. I did not know, or if I did know, I forgot that you worked for Home and Hospice. And at the front desk! The costar of my book, Oscar, was a nationally registered pet therapy cat. Tony and Oscar volunteered for Home and Hospice of rhode island. They traveled from Westerly to woonsocket visiting patients that requested a visit from a cat. And they also went to the center regularly to visit patients. Yes it’s nice to retire so young. Enjoy, Kristen Calenda

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lovely piece. I’m happy for you that you were able to end you work days on a positive note, spending your days with professional, caring people. It makes all the difference. I did not know that you worked at the Philip Hulitar Center. Bless you and all the workers there who provide so much at a time when love and care is especially needed.

    I retired in June at 65, limping along until I could collect full SS when I turned 66 in November. I am still in awe that I am at home. I don’t write novels but write every day and am cognizant how precious this time is. I am joyful every day. I never want to lose that nor do I want to take it for granted.

    Welcome to the world of retirees! May every day be filled with joy, may you be blessed with good health, and may your years be many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, Connie, I thought very little about retirement when I was thirty years old, but then I began socking away as much as 25% of my pay. I knew that I needed to forego some of life’s luxuries in order to do it. Now I’m able to choose what I want to do!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My book is a children’s fantasy. The characters are Fairy Frogs and Toads. They live in The Cattail Forest- in The Cattail Forest, Fairy Frogs live in Fairy Creek and Toads live in Graysloup.

        Sparkle is 12 years old, courageous, adventures, rebellious, stubborn, does not listen well to adventurous, and is deeply invested in her craft in drawing. All the Fairy Frogs are deeply compassionate, clever, and naturally gifted in the arts. Sparkle is the main character.

        Sarge is 17 years old, confused, jealous, angry, and unloved. He is a bully due to his heartbreaking backstory. He wants to break up Sparkle’s friendship she formed with Marge and the friendship Marge and Sparkle that they want to create with the Fairy Frogs and Toads.

        Other names in my story- Misty, Aries, Darcy, Felipe, Celeste, Tweetsie, Norg, Claude, Effa, Rudy, and Marge.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. The thoughts are ready … I need to write them up … I’m going to be doing another lot on Canada …so 6 weeks to go … I’ll get there!! Thanks for asking … and you?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations on a well-planned decision. I retired at 62. Not once in ten years have I regretted that decision. I was gald to be away from what everyone described a s a toxic environment. I loved retirement so much I even turned down a job paying twice whst I had been making. Life is short.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations Martha. Enjoy some well deserved rest and relaxation.

    On Wed, Feb 20, 2019, 12:03 PM Martha Reynolds Writes wrote:

    > Martha Reynolds posted: ” It’s official as of yesterday. Then again, I’m > an author. So I’m never really retired, just able to devote more time to > this thing I love. I know people who quit working at a much younger age, > and I know plenty who will continue working, either by choi” >

    Liked by 1 person

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