In the months approaching his retirement, acclaimed writing instructor Carl Klaus felt an increasing anxiety about what lay ahead. "Given such an unsettling state of mind, I decided to start keeping a diary, a diary that might help me work my way through the anguish and anxiety, through the bittersweet feelings so that I could genuinely take retirement rather than feel as if it were taking me unawares." The result is this original and intimate account of a subject rarely explored in literary writing. With quiet courage, Klaus embarks upon the emotional work of retiring from a lifetime of teaching--a difficult task for someone whose sense of self is so strongly tied to his role as a mentor. TAKING RETIREMENT offers many charms: the lively give-and-take between Klaus and his witty wife, Kate; his stories of how colleagues, neighbors, and relatives are handling retirement; and his account of a revelatory trip to the Canadian and American rockies. Refined and thoughtful, this diary of retirement charts a process that we all must face, one that forces the author to confront the deeply disorienting issues of identity and mortality as well as the pleasures of creating a whole new life. For anyone who undergoes a major life change, TAKING RETIREMENT provides a testament to our perennial ability to remake ourselves.