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Archive for November, 2015

A Heartfelt Gift

By now you all probably know I’m retiring in a few short days.  Days!  I can’t believe it.

My boss asked me if I wanted an agency retirement party and I came right out and said no.  She pushed and pushed, so I finally agreed to have an open house of sorts ~ a cake at my cube offered to anyone who would like to wish me a fair farewell.  Not a lot of pressure of me to perform, treats for the whole agency whether they know/like me or not.

But I’ve been encountered with a number of people in recent days who have wished me good luck and a wonderful retirement without the reward of cake.  One person offered me a link to a publisher friend of hers when I offhandedly mentioned I might finish that novel I’ve been working on.  Seriously?  I felt like she cared about me, like, as a human being, not as a worker in the same agency.  If I knew the regard people paid me throughout my thirty-five-plus years of service I might not even be leaving.  Okay, maybe I won’t go that far, but I wish I’d known these people were so interesting and that they thought I was a little interesting.  I might have actually formed some relationships with the people I work with!

There’s one person who I know appreciates me, and I appreciate her too.  Margaret.  Margaret works in the mail room and routes mail to all the units throughout the day.  Every morning at 6:40 she comes to my cubicle bearing some mail or cases for me to work on.  Or not.  No matter what she has or doesn’t have for me she chats about her life with me.  I nod and offer a comment or two, but I realize I’m just someone she can talk to.  People often ignore Margaret because she’s, well, from the mail room.  I appreciate Margaret because she’s dependable and such a hard, hard worker.

When I told Margaret I was retiring she was very excited for me, and said she’s give me a present.  Of course I told her that wasn’t necessary, but a week later I was presented with a gift, wrapped in a plastic Walmart bag.  Handmade plastic canvas nested boxes.

Margaret is a gift in herself.  I’ll think of her often and I hope she has a chance to enjoy retirement soon.

 

 

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Yesterday after work I ran straight to my hair stylist and got a haircut.  She chopped an inch off of my wild mane and it felt great.  She could have gone another 1/2 inch, but I’m satisfied for now.

When I got home I was like a ball of fire.  I had a smile on my face and lots of chatter to spew at Husby.  He referred to me as the Anti-Samson.  Instead of my weakening with the loss of my hair I gained strength and vigor.

Husby was glad to see me chatty and smiling after being at the day job.  I haven’t been chatty and smiling for a couple of weeks now, so I must be getting back to myself again.  Chop off my hair and I’m good to go.

Today I’m having lunch with Mary Ann.  We’ve known each other since high school and when we both got big girl jobs in the big city of St. Paul we started having lunch once a month.  For the last twenty or so years we’ve had our monthly lunch at the same restaurant.  They know us.

Mary Ann has been retired for two weeks now, and I’m getting ready to launch that rocket on December 1st.  Today we’re having our last “downtown” lunch.

Right now I have only six more days at the day job.  It’s surreal.  It’s glorious.  It’s just a little bit scary.  But mostly it’s an admirable milestone and the beginning of a whole new episode.

I’m glad I got my hair cut yesterday.  It’s given me the energy to boldly move into retirement life.  After all, I am the Anti-Samson.

 

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I picked up James Michener’s The Novel because 1) I’ve never read Michener before, and 2) I thought a book about a novel might inspire me.

I found out that 1) Michener is way into detail, which can be kind of distracting, and 2) I’m more resistant in my aspirations to publish than ever because of this story.

When I lie in bed tonight with my eyes going back and forth across The Novel’s pages I’ll wonder what will be the thing that puts me to sleep ~ the book, or the toll my day has taken on me.

If I ever write a book will it put people to sleep?  If it’s anything like this post it will.

 

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So, So Sleepy

I’ve been trying to write this post all day and I don’t even have the energy to find words.  Any words.  On top of that WordPress pulled a boner on me (sorry for my harsh words WordPress, but you kind of did) and made the appearance of my writing screen different.  I don’t want different!  I’m too tired for different!

Oh, the exclamation points.  I’m not agitated enough to use exclamation points.  My fingers must have slipped.

The thing is, I just spent a very weird week of being awake for 24-36 hours at a time and then getting 10-11 hours of sleep.  Today I had to get into my regular routine at the day job.

After a week away from the day job it was anything but regular or routine.   My last few days will be the most busy, draining, and psychologically exhausting I have ever encountered.  But that retirement light is shining brighter than ever, and the mess that’s left after my departure is no fault of mine.  I’ve given it my best shot, passing of the torch that is, but the administration has mucked it up so badly that my efforts are of no consequence.

On top of all that I’ve got my personal life, the usual things that come with being middle-aged (or more) with parents, being a wife feeling like I’m not pulling my load at home, a sister and friend who feels I’m not giving enough.

Ugh, it’s all just, so…tiring.  I’m trying to be at the top of my game, but feel like I’m performing at mediocrity.

Sleep.  That’s what I need right now. Tomorrow I get another chance.  But right now?  Sleep.

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You hear a lot about writing letters to your younger self or older self. It’s an interesting concept, but quite frankly I don’t know how much good it does. If you write a letter to your younger self it’s not going to make a bit of difference because that self and so many years ahead of it is now in the past and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. If you write a letter to your older self it might be interesting to read when you get older, if you can find the letter those many years after writing it, and if it hasn’t been thrown away as drivel.

But like I said, it’s an interesting concept and perhaps the exercise helps with, I don’t know, something.

Recently I was introduced to a video that is just about the coolest thing I’ve seen in a really long time.  This guy, at age eighteen, filmed himself asking questions to his older self.  Nearly forty years later he filmed the answers as his older self and edited it all to be one man’s interview with himself.  I don’t know why I think this is so much better than writing letters; maybe the visual quality makes the “interview” seem more valid and worthwhile.

Check this out – it’s only about four minutes long and will give you a smile if nothing else.

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Happy Moose


Happy Moose read in his book today:

Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness. ~Zhuangzi

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