I loved Gail Collin's Op-Ed in the New York Times last week. "Take A Bow, H.C." was the title and it was all about Hillary Clinton and her retirement from her role as Secretary of State. Like Gail, I've followed Hillary's career from First Lady, to Senator of New York, to her run for President (I voted for H.C. in the primary and wanted her to win), to Secretary of State these past four years. What a mentor she has been to boomer girls like me.
"Women of Clinton's generation have a special bond with her because she encapsulates their story. She spoke for their rebel youth at her Wellesley graduation, demanding 'a more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating mode of living' than the older generation ever knew," says Gail.
While I am 10 years younger than Hillary, I too feel a special bond with H.C, as Gail calls her. After all, like Hillary, I am also retiring from my executive job in 2013. Though I may not have visited as many countries, tracked as many miles or conducted as many meetings as Hillary, I do feel a sense of accomplishment after raising two wonderful children, being a devoted wife for 24 years (I was widowed at 49) and climbing the corporate ladder for 35+ years, almost 30 of those years with my current employer. (Time out, I'll have to do a recount because if I add up all the meetings I have attended or produced in my career they may equal Hillary's list. Okay, maybe not, since Gail says Hillary had 1,700 meetings with world leaders the past four years. You win Hillary. You win.)
"So it's understandable that people are questioning how long the resting part of her future will last," writes Gail. Is she really retiring at 65? Being a Type A person like Hillary, I know she will not rest for long and nor will I.
"It sounds like you are going to be busier in your retirement than you are now," said my friends J and D this weekend as we gathered around my kitchen table for a leisurely brunch. I told them all the things I wanted to do in my second act: write a memoir; continue my blogging; study yoga; grow a garden full of flowers; learn how to make gelato; take writing courses; teach blogging classes; start sewing again; try spinning at the gym; volunteer for a non-profit board; read books; read magazines (the same month I get them); go to AARP and social media conferences; learn how to use all the features on my Macbook computer, iPhone and iPad; see my friends and family; do more cooking; spend more time with my boyfriend L; visit my mom in Flo-ree-da. Maybe get some part-time consulting jobs. Travel to France with my adult kids A and D. (Ooh, ooh, ooh, our trip is all booked. I'm so excited. We're going to Paris to eat croissants, Provence to smell the lavender and Nice for the beach.) If I survive my trip to France and have any money left, maybe I'll travel to other countries as well.
I've been working on my transformation for the past five years since losing my husband M. I'm a different person than I was five years ago. I'm ready for a second act (and maybe even a third in my lifetime) and in a few months a new act will be ready for me.
Hey Hillary, thank you for all you've done for our country. Listen, if you want to run for President after you take a little nap, let me know. I'm sure I can find some extra time to help you with your campaign. From one Type A boomer girl to another... you can count on me.
Hillary Clinton and me... retiring? Not really.