Friday, April 3, 2009

Early Early Retirement

It's a rainy day, my first day of "early" early retirement. I had not planned it this way, but I saw it coming.

In the morning I joked with another about the news of an advertising sales person being walked out the door. "We are only numbers" the truth spoken too soon.

After a brief ceremony with HR and given my pack and coat I was walked to the parking deck. Unlocking my bike and strapping on my helmet I passed the security guard who waved and said "Are you leaving early?".

"I'm done here." I replied. "I've had enough."

Moving through daytime traffic was a little different feel, but I was also wearing my "work" clothes.

At home in the sunshine I read the severance agreement. All seemed legal (I'm sure it is, I know lawyers look over everything MG does). Announcing my "early" retirement, then settled down to be fed (you always eat in unusual situations) and watch some soap operas.

"This is Opal's boy, he's having a child with Caroline, but she is really Carla from before, when Sonny was married to her, then she changed characters and hair color...."

After an unusual trip to Kroger (manly because there were so many weird families and their wandering kids) we unpacked the groceries and ate some more.

Then an ordinary evening of PDS, Obama's review of the G-20, "This Old House", and the weeny end of "ER" moistened by silver bullets and comments from friends on Facebook.

Then off to sleep. No nightmares or dreams.

As the rain falls harder, I will start to decide my new path.

Will I retire and take the pension? Will I search for new employment, including freelance or contract work? Will I start or finish some projects? Music? Painting? School??

This is the first time since high school I have been "unemployed".

I've always said you have to get up and have something to do. Now it's time to find out what that is. A new adventure is starting.

So after 38 years with the Times-Dispatch, it's over. You treated me well, sometimes better than I expected. I survived some trying times and enjoyed some wonderful memories and friends.

So long. It's time to move on.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, poignant -- perhaps the best prose you've written so far -- and nothing less than I expected of you.

Now get a job, you damn hippy. And cut your hair.

TripleG said...

The other shoe dropped. No anxiety now, and you have more inner resources than most. I sincerely hope you qualify for the retirement plan, can coast until Social Security kicks in, and find new ways to tear it up in the "final third" of this long, strange trip.

Art said...

Well written. Thanks for sharing. This is definate Blog material, since it describes a reality that many are facing now. You will survive and succeed. Obviously hope you can draw a pension and then find a way to double-dip.

And, having been laid off, let's see 2&1/2 times, I can tell you that "knowing that it's coming" provides little solace.


Rhea said...

How cool! I work as a journalist and sometimes I would love to just start over. Early retirement sounds great. I have so many things I want to do.

Bruce said...

I guess I was the ad guy you were writing about. It is nice to be met at the front door and turned around. I to had seen the writing on the wall or in newsprint as the case might be. But I can't complain about 27 good years. They could have called and then I wouldn't have worn a suit. Retirement is nice but the pension ain't all that it could be...damn cost of health care! Now it is upward and onward into a brave new world. Hope our bike paths cross soon.

mikezk said...

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