It’s been a little over a month since I retired. With the deposit of my first check Wednesday night, I know it is real.
I never think that I am superstitious until something good happens to me, and then I watch the circles I will go through to not lose it. Until I can get to a place where I know it is real I can’t let myself think or feel or experience the good things in life.
My last 2 days at work were emotionally draining. Saying goodbye to people and hallways and processes that have been at the heart of my life for thirty years was not only hard but almost unbearable to vocalize.
Those last few days seemed more like a dream than a reality. Much like an out of the body experience. I knew what I needed to do next, went through the motions, but it didn’t seem real. I know I wasn’t emotionally strong enough to say goodbye to people and processes and hallways that had been a part of my life for 30 years. Maybe, none of us can. Its why there are songs like Happy Trails and Until We Meet Again. There was always such a since of hope when Dale and Roy would sing Happy Trails at the end of their show. This wasn’t the end of an episode. It was the final episode of the series. But, there were no groups hugs, no tidy endings with everyone leaving to head off for new, exciting adventures. For everyone else it was only an event on their Outlook calendar. For me it was more like being in the Mayan 2012 calendar.
The last Friday, I loaded the car and drove away from my known life. The next few days are a blur. In between a couple of obligations and a brief Walmart trip, I slept for four days. During the stop at Walmart, I set the stage for the rest of the week by buying a new nightshirt and a pair of lounging pajamas. Lounging pajamas are a luxury I have never allowed myself. As I entered the store, I realized I wasn’t in a hurry. For the first time in a very long time, I didn’t feel like I was stealing time from all the other things I have to do.
What is it like to be retired? Freedom, absolute freedom! No decisions need to be made, no one waiting for me, depending on me, no responsibilities. This month has been the ‘break’ that Ross on Friends could only dream about.
In addition to resting I’ve been busy. I have merged the stuff from the office into the house. I almost have the house in order. I have a new cat and helping her adjust to a new home and dogs. I’ve been visiting my Chiropractor, which I desperately needed to do. I’ve helped my parents out with a couple of their doctor appointments. Some of the time, I’ve been learning about my new Mac and Iphone. It is hard to escape technology. However, most of my fun has been exploring eBay, amazon and aafes.com for bargains and things I just have to have. I also managed to work in a writers conference.
I know that this life of no responsibilities will not last. In fact, I still have my Sunday School and Bible Study commitments. And soon, I will be diving into this world of being a writer. But a for few days I am enjoying this sense of total freedom.