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Posts Tagged ‘retirement’

Things are kind of weird at the Auntie B’s Wax World Headquarters these days.  Luckily I know someone who’s going through the same weirdness I am.  The someone is my long-time friend Mary Ann, and the weirdness is commonly known as retirement.

Don’t roll your eyes, you nine-to-fivers.  I used to react the same way when anyone spoke of anything but utter joy when it came to retirement, but in reality it’s weird.

Mary Ann and I had lunch and discussed something we’d never imagine discussing six months ago – how weird retirement is.  It’s not bad, but it’s definitely different.  Neither of us wants to go back to work, but both of us are finding the abundance of time both heavenly and hellish.  In a word, weird.

We’re adjusting to a new way a life, not unlike when a young adult moves out on her own for the first time.  I remember the time soon after I moved into my first apartment how I mixed up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and ate it with a spoon.  On the couch in front of the TV!  Why?  Because I could. Even though it felt glorious, it was kind of weird.

Mary Ann and I concluded that procrastination equals cookie dough during the early stages of retirement.  Why would I wait to clean the bathroom?  Because I can.  Why would I put off folding laundry when it’s done drying?  Because I can. As luxurious as that may sound (despite wrinkled clothes and a scummy bathtub), what we do during the time we’re not doing those other things seems…weird.  And the guilt ensues.

We made a pact with each other to develop some kind of routine that fits our respective lifestyles.  Even though eating raw cookie dough gave me a sense of freedom when I was embarking on my new adult life, it didn’t become a regular practice.  While embarking on my new retired life I’m have a new sense of freedom, but procrastination shouldn’t become a regular practice.

To procrastination I say, as I said to my former employer, “I QUIT.”  Hopefully that will put an end to the weirdness.

PS – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Interestingly, today would have marked my 36th year working for the government.  I don’t miss it at all, even though things are kind of weird.

PPS – The first person to tell me how many times the word “weird” is used in this post will receive an invisible gift.

 

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The Perks Of Retirement

This morning I woke up at 6:00 a.m. and my first thought was, “Oh my gosh, I’m late!  I’ll have to call in and request some vacation time, maybe two hours.”  Then I realized I don’t have to report to anyone anymore.  The day job is nonexistent.  So I flipped my pillow, turned to my other side and lay there thinking of the dreams I’d just had.  Of course while trying to recollect those dreams I fell asleep and had yet another dream.  Dreamy mornings are the best.

After some additional slumber I finally got out of bed and started my day.  Craftland needed so much help, so I restocked the shelves with product that was still packed in tubs from the last show I did in…November.  Ack!  After a few hours the product was back on the shelves and the tubs were put away – Craftland was once again fit for production, and so I commenced producing for a few more hours.

Craftland and my cheerleaders

At the end of the day I was grateful for not having to use vacation time at the day job, but mostly for the freedom to spend my time doing things that mean something to me.  Retirement is sinking in, and I’m loving it.

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The Gift Of Time

I’ve been retired for two weeks now and so far I would highly recommend it.  Every day if feel incredibly lucky to have been able to retire as early as I did, but there’s one drawback – I have no job to use as an excuse for not getting things done.

For many years I’ve used the forty hours of work every week as an excuse to fall behind or completely ignore some things in my real life.  I now have those forty extra hours and I’m still falling behind.  My excuse these days is that I’m not yet used to my newfound freedom.

I haven’t been completely aimless, however.  Since the office farewell I’ve been to a holiday bazaar, a fabulous antique shop that’s so glamorous to visit during the holiday season, a European Market held at the Union Depot in St. Paul, and out to some venues for delicious things to eat like lobster bisque, crab-articoke dip, and a “Dream Burger.”  (It lived up to its name.)

Then there was the whole thing about decorating my house for Christmas.  It’s quite a task, but what a wonderful task.  Much better than the mundane dusting and vacuuming required in routine household maintenance.  I put decorations everywhere, trimmed the tree, and made plans for future holiday gatherings.

Also somewhere between all of that I went shopping with my nephew, Paenney, to Ikea.  That’s a whole ‘nother blog post.  Right now I can say it was a fabulous adventure and a learning experience for his old auntie.

All of the things I mentioned deserve their own blog posts, and perhaps I’ll start on that soon.  After all, I have forty extra hours in my week.

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Yikes! I’m Retired!

Well, it’s done. I have finished the Work chapter of my life. Maybe it would be more accurate to say,  the Working-For-Someone-Else chapter of my life. Today at 1:20 p.m. I turned in my ID badge, walked out the door, and forgot all about the things I left behind. Oh yes, as much as I’ve done since I turned in my resignation letter three months ago there was still plenty of work left for my replacement, whoever that may be.

The festivities began yesterday having lunch with my coworkers. They treated me to a lovely Greek buffet at Christos in the Union Depot. Glam and delicious.

I don’t often post pictures of myself on the interlinks, so I’d be interested to know if any of you can guess which one of these people is me.

Today my boss set up an open house of sorts. Come on in, have some cake, and wish me well! It’s always fun to see who comes to see me and who comes for cake. The best ones are those who come to see me and enjoy the cake.

Yikes! TWO cakes, vanilla and chocolate!!! Plus cookies and peanuts! This is my kind of party!

I might have reconsidered leaving this great group of people after they threw me such a nice party, except for the part where I’ve burned out and have paid my dues. I deserve to retire, right? After all, I’ve devoted nearly thirty-six years to the State of Minnesota. That’s over half of my life. Half of my life!

After driving home in a daze Husby greeted me with a tremendous hug and a dozen roses. “I thought I should do something,” he said.

Weeks ago he offered to take me out for a fancy dinner to celebrate my retirement, but I requested a special meal, made at home, at the side of a blaze in the fireplace. Pizza Rolls, frozen clam strips, and mini eclairs for dessert. He filled the order to a T.

As of right now my retirement is going very smoothly. The only thing I’m concerned about is that I don’t have the day job as an excuse anymore. Will my “side” business thrive? Will I publish my novel? Will I whip my home into shape to my severe satisfaction?

Stay tuned for the next episode in the adventures of Auntie B!

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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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Waiting

Every day I wake up with a song in my head.  Sometimes they’re so obscure I have no idea how they got there.  Other times it’s very clear what teeters on the very thin line between my subconscious and consciousness.

Today I woke up with Tom Petty singing in my head.

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

I’ve been waiting on two things lately, one good and one not so comfortable.

Retirement.  I’ve been waiting on this one for years.  Now that I can almost touch it the waiting is even harder.  It’s like waiting for a big party someone’s been planning for me ~ I know it will be a great time, but I don’t know what’s really in store for me at the party.  What kind of games will we play?  What kind of food will be served?  Who will be in attendance?  Being retired will be great, but the details of how my life will actually be are still a mystery to me.  Waiting to find out.

My dad’s recovery.  This is the not-so-comfortable kind of waiting I’ve been doing.  It’s the kind of waiting all people have to do at one time or another, or lots and lots of times.  And when I have no control over how the story progresses, waiting for the outcome is nerve wracking.  I’ve been waiting for information from doctors, waiting for phone calls, waiting for signals for help, waiting, waiting, waiting.  It all kind of makes me want to sit in a corner and suck my thumb because I feel so helpless.

The thing about waiting is it never goes away.  We’re always waiting for something.  Once we’re done waiting for this we’ll start waiting for something else.  They say we should live in the present, but the hard facts are that there’s something beyond this moment in time, and waiting to find out what that is can be really, really hard.  In fact, it’s “the hardest part.”

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