Two Weeks Out
Ready to go
I’m 66, and I’m retiring in two weeks. I’ve worked for 30 plus years, the last 20 in this stressful company. I’ve been through a lot of organizational angst, and learned a lot. I am passionate about much of my work, and like most of the people I work with. And, I’m ready to go.
My pattern in undertaking big life changes like this is to ramp up my resources and emotional work way ahead of time to help me get through it. I create all kinds of support networks to draw on the experience and strength of others who have gone through something similar.
I started to think about retirement seven years ago. I went to a woman’s weekend seminar on the inner work of transition. On the fear continuum, I was pretty far out on the dread side. The process was magic – I have not been anxious or afraid like that since then. I loved the introspection, and relished the relationships that grew from those two days spent with other women like me. Perspective always helps.
Five years later, I went to another transition workshop, met more women. Some of us continue to meet every month. I love this group – we talk about the real stuff that’s going on in our lives. Like working out a few tender difficulties with a daughter-in-law, or how life-long depression shows up in our 60’s, or the total joy in becoming a part of the youthful green movement. It’s like AA – we share our experience, strength and hope, but not much advice unless asked for.
Yesterday, I was talking with a friend who is 65, and just took a full time, challenging job at my company, a stressful fortune 50 financial organization. He said he keeps thinking he should be retiring. “I’ve always identified myself with my work, and without that, I wouldn’t know what to do.” So he’s starting a challenging job. I’m not. Unless you call “retirement” a challenging job.
Like my friend, I identify a lot with my work. I also talk a lot to my friends who are already retired. They love it. I expect I will too. There’s just so much else I want to do, and I’m really ready to go.
One Week Out
I started my day full of gratitude for the many blessings I have that enable me to retire. I ended the day making an appointment with Rose, the EAP counselor at my company, so she could tell me something I already know– that strangling the people who are “assisting” with my retirement process is not a great exit strategy. I manage to contain my frustration this day, and I end up not even talking to Rose. Maybe my reactions come from displaced nervousness about the future.