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Reflection
Old 09-18-2009, 07:45 AM   #1
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Reflection

I had a few odd feelings yesterday. My rep from my parent company came by yesterday to have me sign the dealer transfer agreement. Although I had already signed an intent to sell agreement with the buyer, this felt a bit different... more final.

As he took care of the routine sales reports first, I didn't really pay much attention, what difference did it make after all? In a little over a week I will no longer be affiliated with them. I suppose it felt a little like signing divorce papers. A mixture of relief, a tinge of sadness and apprehension. Saying goodbye to the devil you know and exchanging them for the devil you don't. I don't wish to make this sound overly dramatic. Rationally I know I'm lucky being able to do this, especially this quickly in the current economy. I suppose it's just looking at the future and having not really developed a real plan yet. Being somewhat overly analytical, it's feels odd to just let go and walk away without knowing which way I'm heading. Retirement still doesn't sound like a destination to me.

We get into a routines in life, whether it's personal or business. Each day for thirty plus years, I have unlocked the same front door, turned off the alarm and proceeded to open the business. I am just wondering what the first day will feel like, when I don't have to do that. This seems to be common for people, it just takes a bit of time to find a direction.

Maybe I feel different with that check in my hand.
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:18 AM   #2
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This sort of reflection is good. Thanks very much for sharing your mixed feelings. Go thoughtfully through that next door. I think for young dreamers like me, all we can think about is getting to the other side, but your post made me really stop and think about the transition.
I've enjoyed Want2Retire's posts about her last days on the job as well, and it serves to remind us that we should be "in the moment" as Good Sense muses in one thread.
Thanks for giving us more than just the numbers part of your life change.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:25 AM   #3
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Samtex, I really can relate to what you are saying. Even though there is no question in my mind that I want to retire (I mean really, look at my username! ), and need to retire, big changes like that are so unsettling to me. I know that my last week, and especially my last day, are going to be an emotional minefield for me. It sounds to me like you are doing pretty well under the circumstances and I can only hope to do as well! Here are my thoughts about these issues.

I am trying to prepare as much as possible and to take care of the physical things (like going through my files at work) early so that I don't have to deal with that once the emotional component kicks in fully. I am also taking all of my vacation time, as two weeks off and one week on from now on. So, actually I only have 12.5 more work days scheduled and hopefully this tactic will allow me to more or less slide into retirement gradually. But I don't know if any of this will help.

Retirement is such a huge transition. Not only do we leave behind our co-workers and what has been our daily routine for years, and in fact an entire career and in some sense one's identity, but also I have noticed that for me at age 61, it triggers a lot of "I am getting old and will die one day" feelings and fears. I am starting to notice friends and colleagues dying and that isn't helping much. How did they all get so old, so fast? How did the same happen to me while I wasn't looking? Also, I feel like I am mentally wrapping up my career and tying the package with a bow - - and labeling it "What I accomplished in my life, and what influence I had on the world". That may or may not be the case but I do feel like retirement is a defining moment.

I have put off reading Zelinski's How to Retire Wild, Happy, and Free but I know that it will help if I have a hard time adjusting to retirement. Somehow I suspect that once I finally AM retired, I will take to it like a duck to water. It's the transition period that usually triggers an emotional response and is more difficult, for me. I don't take to change well, and like security and predictability in my life. Government work has provided that.

I re-joined the gym, and I plan to regard going to the gym as my "new job" of sorts. That will give me some reason to get up (eventually), get dressed, and get out of the house. I did go during my last staycation from work but found that every day is too much when I don't have work as an excuse to skip a day now and then. Hopefully I will develop a routine which could be every other day, or maybe I can do cardio and weights on alternate days.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:41 AM   #4
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Welcome , Retirement is a big adjustment and do not think it will be quick . Life changes take time so let that time evolve . The hardest thing for me was to come to terms with the fact that I did not need to accomplish something all the time just some of the time .The easiest transition was getting rid of the alarm clock and letting my body set the time . Good Luck on this transition . After all that is what life is all about transitions.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:10 AM   #5
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Sam,
Congratulations and good luck on your FIRE. For people like me, that place a high value on stability, your post is a good reminder of the importance of praparing to cope with such significant changes, even when they are positive changes. After a lifetime of w*rk ina in a cube farm, I am looking forward to experienceing the day you described. But I admit it will be stressful, never the less.
Reading your post, and others here are encouraging. They help us all to plan for theses milestone moments and to cope.
Thanks for sharing.
Regards,
WB
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Old 09-18-2009, 03:17 PM   #6
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Samtex,

Contgratulations and thanks for your heartfelf post. When I FIRE'd, I had thought I'd wouldn't feel much emotion as I was pretty much mentally ready to call it a career. But when the final days approached and it hit me most when I emailed my "thank you, been nice working with you" to my co-workers. I guess that was when the reality finality hit. When I left the office for the final time, I did take a moment to reflect, that after over 20 years, this was the final time. On one hand, the sense of change and end was there, but then that was replaced with a sense of elation and joy -- knowing that I gave it my all to the Megacorp and now was time to walk away and turn the page to the future of the rest of my life.
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Old 09-19-2009, 06:41 AM   #7
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Retirement was a much bigger adjustment than I thought it would be. First was the elation of not having to earn a living. All I have to do is keep breathing and they send me money every month. Is that great or what!

But it also meant letting go of a role, identity, and responsibilities that I'd held for a bit over 29 years. We moved from the DC area and that traffic insanity to WV, where one does not have to plan one's life around the flow of Beltway traffic. So we moved away from what we didn't like, but I really didn't know what I was moving to. DW adjusted better than I did, but she's more laid-back about such things.

I retired from a law enforcement career and I still feel lucky that I can walk across the room and get a glass of water without being in pain. I know a bunch of people who can't. And I went to eight funerals for those who were even less lucky.

For the first time in my life I didn't have a clear direction or plan, no target, no goal, and it took a few years for the question to come to mind - "Why do I need one?" I did what I said I was going to do when I was 18. I made a (positive, I hope) difference in my little corner of the world. I learned to fly an airplane. I rode a motorcycle at 100 mph. And a bunch of other stuff.

So for now I have a job that pays an absurd amount of money for doing very little, but they're willing to pay for my past experience and the hopefully good judgment that comes with it. However, it is not a "second career" and I'm not tied to it in any way. If I went in tomorrow and found that the position had been eliminated I'd just go home, and then have to decide whether to take out the boat or the motorcycle, or take DW to dinner.

Tough life, huh?
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:29 AM   #8
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Walt, when DH retires in a few years, can I send him up there for you to train him? That would be perfect, and he'd come back home with his head on right from the start!

I want him to turn out just like you.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Walt, when DH retires in a few years, can I send him up there for you to train him? That would be perfect, and he'd come back home with his head on right from the start!

I want him to turn out just like you.
Thank you! It took a while to figure it out.
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