Seems like I had it all wrong. I thought I was depressed and anxious because we couldn't find out what was causing my on-going GI problems. Turns out that the stress of my progressing neurological condition, commute, and work was making me depressed and anxious and that was causing the GI problems. My husband, daughter, and doctor all encouraged me to think about retiring. I realized that the time really had come for me to leave my work and so I did. When I went in to sign the paperwork, I thought that maybe I'd get cold feet and change my mind. But that didn't happen; I was more certain than ever that I'd made the right decision.
I am so happy and at peace with puttering around the house and garden. I am as busy as I want to be--pulling weeds in the garden, cooking and baking, piecing my next quilt, and reading.
Finances are more constrained but I am by nature frugal and am a great believer in living below one's means. Thank goodness we have no debt, a good emergency fund, and JMM is still working to bring in income and health insurance. I plan to make out a new Dave Ramsey style budget where I tell my money where to go instead of wandering around without a plan. I am not planning to take money from my 403b or draw my Social Security until 2012.
I will probably find some kind of volunteer work to do one day a week but not quite yet. I am still reveling in life in the very slow, peaceful lane. Lovely!