Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Long Goodbye

Welcome to my blog!

I hope the newly retired, as well as those of you who have been retired for a while or are thinking of retirement will have some fun with me, as I explore this whole new world, while at the same time giving a “mature” perspective on films, fashion, food and whatever strikes my fancy.

Prior to this, and as part of my job, I wrote a library-oriented blog for my library. I was well-known for my satires and dogs in costumes (thank you Freddy, Mildred and Tarquin for putting up with that!).

Right now, I am in the throes of my last days at work – the long goodbye.

I am not very good at saying goodbye. I think I get that from my Mom, who was not very good at that either. She wasn’t one for showing emotion. When I would go home for a visit (I lived clear across the country from my Michigan upbringing), and it came time to leave, she would wave us off quickly, so we wouldn’t see her lips quivering as she held back tears. Now that I am a Mom with grown kids who live far away, I know how she felt and how hard it was to say goodbye, when she knew she wouldn’t see me for a long while.

Here at work, I felt I needed to give almost two months notice, so there have been many goodbyes, many “So what’s the first thing you want to do when you retire?” or “What are your plans?” type questions.  Not easy questions. How do I respond?

I could reply

"The first thing I’m going to do...

 is wear nothing but elastic waistbands and see what happens.”

“I’m going to watch a Real Housewives of Orange County Marathon and drink wine with my dog.”
(that's another whole blog right there)

Catalog my spice rack

Start a thimble collection

Or

"I plan to...

Win an Academy Award

Write the Great American Novel

Become a star on the Food Network

Train for the Olympics

Seriously, though, who knows?

Isn’t that the point? Once we don’t have “work” to get in the way, we have the time to ponder those questions. What do I want to do with the rest of my life?

Here are some more realistic plans:

Take zumba classes
Join a book club
Learn to meditate
Read more
Volunteer at the local senior center
Have the freedom to visit my children and grandchildren without having to ask permission
Find meaning

But mostly I look forward to the freedom to just be.

I always used to say, when you get to a certain age, you shouldn’t have a landlord or a boss. Now I won’t have either and won’t have to ask anyone’s permission for anything.

But now, as I am still in the throws of my last days at work, I am experiencing the bittersweet highs and lows of... 

The Long Goodbye.

I am meeting with each staff member to say goodbye properly and to let each of them know how much I have enjoyed working with them. I had the privilege of working with a wonderful group of people and I will take away many happy memories of them.

 And they threw me a lovely English Tea Party, because they know how much I love all things British.  We all wore fascinators and drank out of lovely teacups.
 
 
Here I am sporting my fascinator.

And that makes the leaving all the more difficult. I can’t help but wonder how I will fill that space of daily interaction with good and fun people with something else.

Who knows…maybe I WILL sit and watch TV wearing those expandable trousers and have wine with my dog. At least for awhile anyway.

But that’s the point. It will be my choice.

So I am turning the long goodbye into a long hello… to freedom.

And for those of you who miss my old blog, this is for you.

4 comments :

  1. You plan on winning an Academy Award? Not like you to set your sights so low. Personally I plan on going for the EGOT!

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  2. Mildred is such a good sport! I'm not willing to even think of the long good bye yet! Love the new blog - keep it up please!

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  3. I've found you: this is Sue from Over 60 and Over Here!

    A friend of ours in his 70s always used to say that he never knew how he had found time to go to work, as he had been so busy since retiring. It's 5 years since I retired and I know exactly what he meant!

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Sue, and for finding me! I also keep hearing that and so far, yes, I have been very busy but it's almost 3 months in and I am starting to wane a bit. The first week after I retired, I felt very guilty for leaving a good job that I could have kept doing but after the first week, I started getting into it -- the freedom. But now I am starting to wonder what it will feel like years from now. I'm glad to know that you have been retired for 5 years and are still busy and having purpose.

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