Entering Retirement with MS

LifeMy disability will be converting to retirement this summer and it has me thinking. First, a substantial pay cut is looming. Second, a new phase in my life is beginning. As a young woman I embraced life and ran full speed ahead and though I thought I was in control and planning as I went, I can see through older eyes that I had as much control as a feather does in the wind.

With this new stage of my life I want to have more direction. The question is which way do I go? Multiple sclerosis hangs over my head as I consider things such as working a job for fun and extra cash, where do I want to live, how I want to spend my days, and with whom. I don’t want to blink and have it all be over and think, “I wish I had…”

My head is filled with ideas. Learning the harmonica, water painting, gaining more advanced quilting skills, and expanding my knowledge of photography are swirling around my pot of dreams. Another piece of me wants to find a job, start a business or work a bit on the side to accomplish goals for my house remodel and travel dreams. There are at least two or three books left for me to write. And, of course, I must prioritize time for my family. Part of me has a little fear of returning multiple sclerosis symptoms with increased activity should I add things to my plate.

With my dad passing last summer the reality of the shortness of life becomes clear as does the memory of my grandmother on her deathbed at 84 saying, “I feel like a 30 year old in an old person’s body.” If only I had a crystal ball to help me decide the next 20-30 years of my life!

About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of www.MSsymptoms.me. As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.