WE RETIRED AND MOVED to Spain in 2018. We were excited and eager to explore our new home and a new culture. We traveled a lot, mostly in Spain, but also the rest of Europe and Asia. But since the pandemic started, our travel has been limited.
Indeed, COVID-19 sped our return to Dallas. I’m happy that we’re now closer to our sons, and can see family and friends in person. But having lived in Dallas for 28 years, I already know the city well. Still, I plan to keep exploring—but this year I’ve resolved to take my retirement journey in two different directions.
First, during the ultra-strict Spanish lockdown in early 2020, I discovered my love of drawing and painting, and even set up online art shops. Creating art has helped me deal with the stress of the pandemic and of my mother’s situation. It has become my way of turning off the outside noise. This year, I’ve resolved to continue to draw and paint in my sketchbook every day. Whether that will translate into making more money isn’t important to me, though I’ll admit that I get excited and enjoy the extra validation that comes with selling a piece of art.
My second journey for 2022 is returning to graduate school. Like my husband Jim, I was recently admitted to the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program at the University of Texas at Dallas. My focus will be gender studies and economics.
Why? I spent my career in the male-dominated world of finance and banking, and I’ve written about my experiences and the challenges women face. I’ve also been interviewed about the gender pay gap. It’s an issue I’m passionate about and want to explore in depth. Classes are set to start in late January. I hope that, by drawing on multiple academic disciplines, I’ll have the opportunity to turn my personal experience and interest into a more complete understanding of the issue—and then I want to work to broaden opportunities for women who are still in the game.