It's been a meal served up in my house for months now, ever since we hit the 20 year mark back in September. It's sometimes a dinner menu item, but more often - for no apparent reason - a meal we toss about in the mornings and, as a snack, right before bed.....
Papa Bear is retirement eligible. The little bear cubs are all nicely settled in to the current area with schools, friends, acclamation to the area and, in the case of Migs, doctors/hospitals. I just got a job as a civil servant. So, what's a military family to do!?!?!?!!?!?
Today, we think we're retiring this summer. Who knows what next week will bring. Here's what I do know....it's not a decision to be made lightly or frequently. They say this is one of those marriage stressor things - they are right. It's the waffling that makes it the most difficult. I can handle almost any decision as long as it's made and I can march forward. As with most major decisions in life - to go to college or work, to get married or not, to have a child or be happy with your family as it is - once the decision is made, it's easier. Problem is, there are so many factors to be considered and it's so permanent. Worse yet, it makes me feel so old!
Chief among the issues is what does Papa Bear want to do when he grows up? Can he match his career goals with the current job market? And, oh heavens....the economy!?!?!?! What are the psychological factors to retirement? Will we be happy as retirees?!?!?!? Is there life after Active Duty? How do you possibly stay in a house for more than 3 years? Must I decorate? Paint? Put up curtains? Egads, I even have to pay attention to landscaping!!!!!! I detest gardening. The pressure is horrid!
I have to concentrate on wondering if I like the friends I've made here - you know, for the long haul. We've moved so often that I never really considered making life long friends that you live in the same neighborhood/town/county with for long periods of time - and by this I mean more than three years! What are the criteria for that? I've always had migratory worker friends. You know, the kind who pop in and out of your life for one assignment or another. Fortunately, I have several that I believe I could be friends with for the long haul. One of them is from this migratory lifestyle. We've popped in and out of each other's life through a number of assignments. We've just plopped down in the same area for good, I guess! This is huge pressure for someone who's gone through her share of moves as both a brat and a spouse.
So, my vast array of military friends, what do you think? Are any of you on the retirement waffle meal plan? Been there, done that, stories of support?!?