The last two weeks have been some of the longest of my life. I didn’t think they would EVER pass but they did and here I am, reaching the end of my first full day of retirement. It’s been a long time coming and I intend to enjoy it.
Sunday, DD and I finally had a good conversation. She had been to a second interview and wasn’t sure she wanted the job if it did get to the point of being offered to her. It is more of a two person situation than one, it seems. She hasn’t said anything since or posted an update on Facebook.
I’d been bugging my doctor to make sure I got everything done that I needed to before I no longer had insurance for outpatient work. He is pretty laid back and I decided to threaten him. He hates thistles. There were two pictures with thistles in my office that were visible from the lobby. He leaned in the window one day and told me I could have a picture of a junkyard on the wall that would look better. The other day, I ran across a small print of one of the pictures so I scanned it and emailed it to him. Later, I threatened him that I would set it on his computer as wallpaper.
He finally got back with me when it was almost too late. Not totally but almost.
The days crawled by. Monday, I went in to work as usual. The alarm went off and I was up and at ’em and to the hospital on time. Joint Commission was there. I was hoping they’d wait until next week. Tuesday, I thought, “I’m on salary. There’s no reason for me to wear myself out the last few days just to make everyone but me happy.” That morning, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I left home anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour late. First morning, there was a message in my voice mail wondering where I was. After that, no one bothered.
People all over the hospital were lamenting my leaving. “It won’t be the same without you!” “You have been so much help!” “Who will work on my computer??” I said my replacement would be there. Of course, if anything went wrong with her computer (it’s currently DOA), she would bring it to me. Sure, it won’t be the same but they got over other people leaving, they’ll get over my departure, too.
Thursday, I attended my last department head meeting. It was announced the party for Tommie “The Dawg” would be the next day at noon. I countered that I was leaving at 11. Well, I was only kidding but I would have liked to.
One of the girls wasn’t going to be there for the party so she gave me a beautiful card with a Walmart gift card inside.
I’d taken everything personal out of my office except for my pictures. One of my favorite people took them off the walls for me (she’s taller than I am) and I loaded them into the trunk. I left a few things I’d acquired just for the office for anyone who wanted them. I gave the little sign, “Can I ignore you tomorrow?” and, on the flip side, “How about a big glass of it ain’t gonna happen?” back to my replacement. The place looked mighty bare.
Friday, I went in at my usual time—8:45. I made ready for the last in a series of long days. My office mate gave me an early gift—a retirement pig.
She’d put some change in it in case there was a banana emergency.
A few minutes after noon, I went to the chapel where the party was being held. When I walked in the door, I was met with applause and shouts of “There she is!” Made me feel like a celebrity. I went around handing out my cards like I was a politician on the campaign trail.
“My” last girl hired gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts—a jar of her Dilly Beans and one of Pickled Potatoes. I know they aren’t good for me but they sure are tasty. I’ll make these last for a LONG TIME. I haven’t opened either jar yet.
There was a cake with a good representation of my netbook except mine isn’t an Acer. It’s an Asus. Since I’ve had mine for a couple of years now, that link is to a later model. No one there had heard of an Asus. Behind the times!
When the meal was over (I had a little fruit and some raw veggies), I cut the first piece of cake and the HR coordinator took over.
There were balloons everywhere but the only one I kept was this one (and it freaks Twinkle out).
Then it was time for gifts. There was a card signed by so many employees they had to cover the back, too. It had a nice collection of money and checks in it.
If I don’t look awful, I’ll eat my hat. That job just about killed me. Until I saw these pictures (and this is the best one), I didn’t realize how much I’ve aged in the past few months. Hopefully, some good R&R will help reverse the trend.
When the party ended, I gathered up the loot (with help) and took it back to the office. It included:
A mum that is still just buds
Money (pictured above with the Poor Old Lady)
A purse, warm throw, journal and hand cream
A fake $50 bill in one of my jars that was being returned
A bunch of bananas
A GPS and mount
Retirement pig (pictured)
Card with Walmart gift card
Dilly Beans and Pickled Potatoes (pictured)
Some smarty-pants brought in a wheelchair to take me out to my car. I put most of my stuff in it and she pushed it while one of “my” girls and I carried the rest.
When we got to the car, I discovered it had been vandalized. Someone had written all over the windows!
It’s kinda hard to see but the first one says “I’M RETIRED! WOOHOO!” The other side says “RETIRED!” I’m gonna have to wash my car sooner or later but the pastor’s wife thinks I should leave it for a while.
There had been hugs all around and a balloon release and then I was gone. GONE! WOOHOO, for sure!
I called my sisters last night as I was headed to bed. They were busy having sundown worship and promised to call me back later. I went on to sleep and never heard the phone if it, in fact, did ring. I was exhausted. I’m still tired.
This morning, I woke at 4:30. I refused to get up even though Twinkle was moaning and pleading outside my door. I dozed and prayed the rest of the time, getting up about 7. Just as I got out of the shower, the doorbell rang a couple of times and there was a banging on the door. I pulled on a T-shirt, hid behind the door and peeked around. It was the neighbor’s garage-guest asking if I drink coffee. Uh, NO! Maybe he can kick the habit.
I was late getting to Sabbath School (is that getting to be a habit?) but got in on playing the last song or two for song service.
I’m so tired, I couldn’t even play my favorite song in the hymnal well. Maybe this week will help. On my way out, one of the ladies asked me what I was going to do with myself. As usual, I recited, “First week, I’m not doing anything I don’t feel like doing.” She fixed me with a beady-eyed stare and asked in a sonorous tone, “Will that be good for you?” #^@* yes, it will be good for me. I haven’t had a week with nothing pressing to do (not that I got it done) ever since I have been an adult. I think I have earned it in my 67+ years.
It’s already my bedtime. One thing I’ll feel like doing is rest a lot. Anything that takes a lot of effort can wait until the next week. I’m retired.