This day last year was my last day at work before retiring from the National College of Ireland - how time flies! At the time I didn't imagine one year on, or even what life would be like into the future. It was very much a step into the unknown.
One year later, I have absolutely no regrets to take the decision to retire early at the age of 61. Even though the Pandemic has dominated everyone's life for the past year, at no time did I think I would have been better off still working. I do miss teaching and interacting with students, and the camaraderie with colleagues at the College, but there's lots that I don't miss!
I have only been back to the College Campus once since I left. Recently, I met a former colleague for lunch and was brought to see my old "office". It is gone and has been turned into a classroom! I'm sure that if I had not retired that I would have been chucked out of this office. I was very fond of that office and many colleagues were envious that I had a room to myself. But I have no doubt now that the space is now being put to a better more productive use as a classroom.