To investigate the complexities of the retirement process, the present article draws on a case study of Eva, a Swedish woman who "awakened" from all-absorbing relations. It considers the ways in which retirement can enable liberation from patriarchal kinship structures and embodied values of respectability. The aim is to illuminate how deep, embodied values can become conscious and explicit during precarious life situations and transitional phases. The relation between the Swedish welfare state, an I-we balance, and gender equity values are illuminated. These analytical dimensions support the analysis by providing insights into the ways in which individuals embody and use cultural and social structures when they aim to manage unpredictability and to create change toward self-actualization.