Archive for May 17th, 2011

A lot of people I meet casually always ask why I retired from work early. They are curious how I spend my time staying at home. Gosh, it’s exactly  eleven years now since I availed of an early retirement and left Bank of the Philippine Islands for good. How time flies! You don’t need to reach the normal retirement age of sixty before enjoying life without the routine of a nine to five job. Sometimes in one’s life, you need to make a  major decision that would benefit the whole family better. The kids are always the foremost consideration. Of course, two breadwinners in the family are always the ideal set-up, but you can never compromise anything when it comes to your kids’ welfare and well-being.

You could not deny that during the first few years, there are times when you think of the life you left behind, your office mates, some of whom became close friends too, your demanding boss who would always reminds you that you could do your best in any situation as long as your heart is in it.  What I miss were those early morning walks going  to Greenbelt and attending the early morning mass at the Greenbelt chapel, the lunch break walk from the bank to the Ayala Center, the occasional night-outs with office mates, the community we have formed while carpooling with friends. Hmm, simple though they may seem, they were part of my daily routine for more than twenty-one years. The corporate look  became jeans and t-shirts, closed shoes were changed into Happy Feet and Havaianas slippers, pen and pencils were replaced by  pruning shears and shovels, and the wide corridors and office of the bank is now a garden with a small pond.

Being hands-on in taking care of the kids is the most rewarding experience when you are a stay-at-home mom.  We have this what we call power moments too. You can budget your time the way you want it, which is a bonus because you have all the time to pursue some hobbies that you’ve wanted to do. You have the luxury of experimenting in the kitchen, or reading all the books you’ve stashed for so many years but have no time to even open the first page.  You have time to be alone with your thoughts and just enjoy the passing hours and minutes of trying to be productive in your writing. You can get in touch with friends any time you want.

Some people think of retirement as something to be afraid of.  The usual question is, “what will I do at home?” My goodness, there  are more jobs of a full-time mom than an employee in the corporate world. And you are doing it gratis for your family. What could be nobler than that? Be proud, be proud of it.


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