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Saturday, June 06 2015

I have stood over more dead men than I can remember, and it has changed me.  I came to the job of a Crime Scene Investigator from a very active and fairly dangerous position on a Tactical Team where we hunted narcotics and ran felony warrants. The new spot as a CSI was much more cerebral, and a definite drop in the adrenaline rush. As a CSU by the time I arrived on a scene, the dust had settled and they had counted the dead.

Looking back, I see that the bulk of my career as a police officer has been trying not get dead, and playing Twister over people who were already dead. That much time spent both avoiding death, and then staring it right in the face, changes your perspective on life, and I've learned a couple of things.

1) When things don't work out the way you want, don't get discouraged. Just have faith. If that door closed, there's a reason for it. Quit knocking. If you're in a place in life where you don't want to be, quit fighting it. Be patient. Maybe there's a reason you're there. Maybe you need some polishing yourself, or maybe you need to help someone else along their journey. Have patience. When your time is ready, the exit door will open.

2) When things that don't normally work out easily suddenly fall into place like a child's block puzzle, it's time to sit up and take notice. Don't question it. Just have faith.

My last year in the police department has been a very happy one. I love my new job fighting crime behind a computer screen. It's stimulating and enjoyable. The schedule is great and so are the people. That said, I was completely unprepared for the final puzzle pieces of my career to plop into place so quickly.

It's finally happening. After 34 years, Other Half just pulled the plug on his career. We started looking at our finances and realized that it just didn't make sense for us to keep two houses, with two farms, on two different sides of Texas. We started talking about the idea of me retiring early, and selling the farm in South Texas. As soon as the rancher next door got wind that we might be putting the farm up for sale, he swooped in and bought it. Just like that. It was three days from the time Other Half announced that he'd had enough and he was selling the house to the handshake that sealed the deal.

I still didn't believe it until we went to the title company to sign papers. This is really it. The house is selling. He turned in his papers at work. Yesterday I made the phone calls to begin the end of my career and the start of a new chapter. I was talking to one of the guys at the office yesterday and he helped me put things into perspective.

He said, "You seem just a little sad."

"I guess I am just a bit overwhelmed. It's what I wanted, it's just happening so fast."

Then he said the most profound thing.

"But is there really anything else you still want to do in this job? I mean, you've had a pretty interesting career. It'd be hard to top what you've already done. Is there still something you want to do here?"

I gave it just a blink of a thought.


And with that, I was free. I was ready to embrace the new change with no regrets. He was right. If I stayed, it would just be for the money, and I've never been one to follow the money. I never take the safe route. I follow my heart. And now, my heart is leading me down a red dirt road.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:50 am   |  Permalink   |  12 Comments  |  Email
Such great news! I was about your age when my husband & I retired. Still feeling spunky, took up mule riding & my husband started to built things on the ranch. We are the lucky ones that can follow the dream! Congratulations
Posted by rochelle on 06/06/2015 - 10:13 AM
So very cool, now you can make GOAT lotion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Many congrats.
Posted by Jeanne on 06/06/2015 - 11:52 AM
AND WRITE. I am still debating retirement . I work from home and heading towards 70. My difficulty is movement problems so gardening etc is a pain. Meanwhile however my brain is nice and active pondering over about 10 languages while I catalogue books. Happy new job [retirement] look forward to your tales
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust) on 06/06/2015 - 05:35 PM
.... and now that I am retired I wonder how I ever found time to have a job. I am busier now than I was before ... it is just that I can be a bit more selective.
Posted by Susan on 06/06/2015 - 10:51 PM
Congrats!! My husband and I both quit our engineering jobs 10 years ago and became full time buffalo ranchers. Haven't looked back since!!
Posted by buffalogal on 06/07/2015 - 09:02 AM
Congratulations! Now the busy part starts. I think you have the right idea. Retiring now, while you are healthy and active, makes the most sense. You can enjoy life and start something new. I am looking forward to reading about building your new home.
Posted by Pam on 06/07/2015 - 11:36 AM
Very well put. I will miss you at work but admire you so much for making the change. Best of luck to you at the ranch and I can't wait to hear of the new adventures!
Posted by Fergus on 06/08/2015 - 09:21 AM
Talk about synchronicity! I have finally reached a point where I can set a retirement date without palpitations(Feb. 8 2016) I read this the day after agreeing with my Baboo.(He wanted sooner, I fear poverty on 30 acres of clay!) You reaffirmed my decision to listen to him. Good wishes for your big step to the future - may your golden years be truly golden!
Posted by Andrea on 06/08/2015 - 03:45 PM
Congratulations! I look forward to the ranch stories from North Texas!
Posted by Janie on 06/08/2015 - 04:24 PM
Holy Cow...The whole world is in exit mode!! I couldn't be happier for you. Enjoy your time w/ the other half in the country... Can't wait to get there too :)
Posted by Robin on 06/09/2015 - 07:38 AM
Congratulation!! Wow! Schedules that aren't completely opposite of each other, what will you do? I wish you the very best.
Posted by Patty on 06/13/2015 - 08:19 PM
Thank you so much for your well wishes! We really look forward to the adventure.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 06/13/2015 - 11:21 PM

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