I have 4 work weeks left until I retire. There is something special about that number. It’s real, and it’s coming soon. I am strangely serene about this whole Outgoing process, and anyone who knows me realizes just how unusual this is.
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 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.
I’m in my last three weeks of full time work, and I find myself struggling a bit. I need to keep myself going by focusing on what I can do, what I need to delegate, and what I just can’t do at all. It’s called Letting Go, and it’s a lot harder than I thought. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
This dish I created years ago based solely on what I was growing in my garden. You can switch out any ingredient you don’t like, and add any you do. Make this YOUR recipe. You can play with the herbs for a different taste. I use in the sauce a hearty red wine like a Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Barbera or Nebbiolo. Anything robust and Italian goes great in this dish. We then finish what’s left in the bottle with dinner.
Cooking is not just for retired people. It’s gaining greater status for the younger generation as well, who are more concerned about what they’re putting in their bodies, do not want packaged or processed food with chemicals, sodium or the like, and the high cost of pre-made food. People of my generation who have existed on take-out during their working lives are getting into it too, and are starting to cook seriously in their 50’s and 60’s.
There are so many emotions roiling about right now, that I am not sure which one is the most dominant. I think the top five are: scared, apprehensive, sad, wistful, and a bit excited. What’s even stranger, I’ve discovered you CAN feel all of these at once without exploding. And it’s OK.