I know when I am being purposely ignored, and this was it. In fact, I’ve been ignored by experts – just ask any of their ex-husbands. There I was, ready to drop over $4,000 on the spot after I got a couple of questions answered, but to the employees of this Apple Store, The Old Lady wasn’t worth the time or effort. I refused to go up and beg for help, when the result would be getting patronized by a Salesdude younger than my son.
People mean well. They just don’t always convey that sentiment properly. Now that I’m telling people about my plans to retire at the end of August, I’ve been getting a lot of comments – mostly because I’m retiring early and I’m pretty visible in my industry. The comments have ranged from the typical, to the pretty personal, to the extremely skeptical. I hear this is typical for someone who is just about to retire, but I must say some of them surprised me. I thought I’d share a few of them with you. Who knows? You may get them too, when it’s your time.
I always wondered why cartoons of artists have them squinting at their thumbs held out before an object. Now I know. I had a hard time not laughing the first time I did it, and I am happy to report I didn’t say anything snarky. I thought it, but didn’t say it. Most unlike me, and probably the result of First Day Jitters.
Taking an art class was something that was always forbidden – it was a ‘waste of time’ that would better be spent by another math class, and classified with basket weaving as impractical. I knew I would never justify it to my parents, so I didn’t try. I used to look wistfully at other students sitting on the cliff or the lagoon with a sketch pad on their knees as I rushed off to my advanced macroeconomics class. They looked so peaceful, and I was jealous. Even 30+ years out of school, I still feel a bit guilty about this.
Nothing sucks the soul right out of you like a business trip. With all the stresses jet lag, airline nightmares, weather difficulties and hotel beds pile on, I found even the smallest thing would set me off. Last year, during a particularly long NorthEast business trip, I had trouble getting the Starbucks across the street from our SoHo office to get my name even close to right. Even the right gender seemed to be impossible for them.
I’ve always wondered what that meant. Not being the superstitious type in general, (unless the SF Giants are in the playoffs) I had never really followed astrological phenomena. Thanks to my college roommate Selene for clueing me in, now I know. Major appliances and pretty much anything else that you need will spontaneously decide to break, and break badly. Hey – I’m pretty much retired, so don’t I get a break?
I knew it was time to retire when I realized I had lost not only my sense of humor, but any vestige of creativity I once had. It was like there was a blockage in my brain that got worse as stress increased. My best girlfriend and therapist recommended art therapy, and my life coach and dear friend seconded that notion. With two such recommendations like that, it became number one on my Decompression List.
Nor should it. That’s the mantra I’ve been saying to myself over and over the last several weeks during my extended work transition. After two months, I’ve learned quite a bit about what transition really is. In keeping with my last post, here is a list of what I’ve learned so far.
My apologies it’s been so long since I’ve written a post on this blog. My mother-in-law (MiL) had an unfortunate accident that involved a fractured tailbone. Extremely painful for her, and in a different way, no less so for us. My last 6 weeks have had every available minute devoted to her affairs when I wasn’t working. It hasn’t been the fun that I had hoped. Now that she’s on the mend and doing well, I have a few reflections on this thing called Semi-Retirement.
Today was my last day of full time work. My last day of checking email while still in bed. Last day of putting in 12 hours of working with clients, composing emails and working on powerpoints. Time to celebrate with my family, right? ….. Hah.