One day I asked a highly respected educational mentor and friend, “When do you know it’s time to retire?” She replied, “ oh, that’s easy. You woke up one morning and you say I don’t wanna do this anymore.”

Then, is the reality strikes you begin to think of the real reason why

Many of them you have mentioned above. In my case I wasn’t putting the passionate energy into it that I had done for so many years.

I just had a dear elderly friend die. As I sat beside his bed after he was gone, I told him I was ready to retire. I also knew I needed to be available to watch out for his wife, who was my mother‘s best friend.Charlotte

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Charlotte - I can see how not finding yourself as passionate as you'd been would be a signal for you, particularly since you have such a lifelong love of children's books and storytelling. I didn't realize the connection between your friend dying and your decision to retire, but that makes sense. And if it's who I think it is, you were able to be so present to her while she was dying too. Maybe that's another piece of the decision - the way our life experiences shift our attention to things - like special friendships - that call us to be more deeply present and let go of work a bit.

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