For a long time now, people have been asking me, “When are you planning to retire?” My reply was always, “I’ll know it when I know it.”
This week I knew it.
My thirty-three year career in higher education administration at the Harvard Kennedy School has been second only to my family in making my life so blessed. But I finally realized that if I stayed in my job until I was eighty, leaving it would be no less wrenching. So why not go out on a high?
Especially since I am leaving without leaving. On Wednesday, I will become a student at the very institution I love. I am joining the Mid-Career Masters Program as the oldest entering student ever. And if I complete the degree, as I intend to, I will walk across the stage and receive my diploma from the colleagues I handed out diplomas with for so many years.
It’s more than daunting to think of papers and exams, and I am scared.
But I’ll give it my best.