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The Last Office Christmas Party
Old 12-08-2017, 05:50 AM   #1
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The Last Office Christmas Party

I went for a haircut in anticipation of what I expect to be my last office christmas party today. No I didn稚 give notice yet - I知 inclined to wait until after the bonus season. I知 not even sure of the exact date but it will certainly be before the next holiday season. Im not at all misty about it. I am more smiling inside as I know a secret.

I had an experience yesterday that I thought was the 的t is time Ray message. Now don稚 laugh- I don稚 for a one moment think the almighty sent me a personal message. I think it was my internal voice talking. The voice that has guided me through the last 50 years.
That same voice that made me never cut a class, choose the right gal and always try to do the right thing. The cutter made small talk and told about her mothers recent knee operation and how she was having a slow recuperation. She said her mother was 66 - 3 years older than me. After I was all cleaned up I paid the $10 and a $3 tip (Trust me this is the cheapest cut around). As I stepped into the waiting room I noticed an older, frail gent with a cane struggling to get up. I asked if he would like help and he offered his hand. After I pulled him up he was very unsteady on his feet. That痴 when he said 的致e had 4 knee replacements. It was like a little bolt of lightning. I heard that internal voice -典he clocks ticking Ray time to relax and have some fun.

Anyone else have a bolt of lightning? A slow burn? Perhaps have that job go away?
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:16 AM   #2
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I've often mentioned here the story of an older man I chatted with at a bar.
He said "How old are you?"
I said "Sixty"
He said "I hope you realize that even if you live to be 90, you only have 15 good summers left; 18 or 19 at the most. After that you just slow down and don't want to do as much"

I was already RE'd but it made a strong impression on me. I viewed him as one of those 'angels' (or like Ray's internal voice) who send you messages sometimes.

My brother's devastating stroke last year (3 months before his retirement) is another cautionary tale.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:09 AM   #3
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Anyone else have a bolt of lightning? A slow burn? Perhaps have that job go away?
I've had the slow burn. That's what brought me to this site and that's what is moving me down the path to retire early. I'm 57 and I'm pretty sure this is the year (well - 2018) but my absolute hard stop is 60. I've seen too many people not make it much past 60, especially if "not make it" means they're in terrible health, to not want to get away from the daily grind sooner than later.

marko - I love that story and that perspective. 15 to 20 summers is not much at all.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:17 AM   #4
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marko - I love that story and that perspective. 15 to 20 summers is not much at all.
Now that I'm 65 it's even more in perspective! Never worried about birthdays, but the idea of being 80 in 15 years has me spooked completely freaked out.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:28 AM   #5
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These are all great stories, and I can relate to all of them. I have a grandmother who is 83, lives on her own, still works and is barely showing signs of slowing down.
My father on the other hand, is 66, overweight and diabetic and can’t get around too well. This wasn’t a lightning bolt moment, rather then a slow, searing burn.
It doesn’t matter how much money you have, if you don’t have your health, you have nothing at all. I’ve done a pretty good job on the financial side of things, now I’m realizing it’s paramount to focus on the health side with just as much if not more effort.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:30 AM   #6
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Now that I'm 65 it's even more in perspective! Never worried about birthdays, but the idea of being 80 in 15 years has me spooked completely freaked out.
Do not be freaked out. Maintain a positive attitude. I will be 80 next May, at which time I will Join the United Flying Octogenarians.
I have been blessed with good genes, and good health.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:40 AM   #7
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Slow burn: watching our older folks struggle to walk from the parking lot to the church pew.

Fast burn: being asked to work on Thanksgiving day when I don't have a critical-to-society or customer facing job.

Skipping this year's party. The bosses usually just want to talk shop problems anyway. No fun. Nothing to get a haircut for.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:40 AM   #8
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Slow burn: A very nice older couple in the early 70's I met while in Turkey. Their plan was to travel as much as possible in their 70's because they noticed that their older friends and relatives slowed down quite a bit in their 80's.

Fast burn: relatives and friends, some younger than I, who passed away in their mid 50's to mid 60's.

So for me it's enjoy life now, and in the winter use the local gym to try and slow things down.

I have learned there are only two Fountains of Youth:
1.) Exercise
2.) Rock and Roll from the 60's and early 70's.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:47 AM   #9
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We had planned to RE anyway, but the last six months before our planned ER date, we had several friends/acquaintances pass away or be diagnosed with serious illnesses prematurely. Our friend who was a role model for a healthy lifestyle got esophageal cancer at 72 and was gone in 10 weeks. Three friends in their 50's died (brain cancer, car accident, sudden heart attack) and two others got bad diagnoses (early onset ALZ, cancer).

Perhaps we were looking for confirmation that our timing was right, but these events made it easy to resist pressure from my boss to work beyond my contractually required 30-day notice period. I had originally planned to give 90-120 days notice, but thought about what was more important - giving another 3-4 months to my employer, or spending the time with DH, other family and friends. NO-BRAINER for me when thought about in that context.

The good people on this forum helped too. When someone asked when the bronze statue outside my corporate office would be built to honor my contributions, I had to laugh. It's easy to overestimate one's importance. Even in a C-level role, one will be replaced and the organization will mostly forget about whatever you accomplished for them pretty quickly.
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:16 AM   #10
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For the newbies here, there is this well known cartoon:
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:34 AM   #11
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Thanks for the toon Chuckanut - very apt.

OP - mine started at a slow burn. But the last 18-24 months was a raging inferno. As communicated by others, be very aware that you are trading your free time remaining on this rock for some more money. If you are FI, get the hell out of there ASAP. You'll thank yourself later.
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:43 AM   #12
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Time left to do the things we want, to travel where we want, how we want, while we have the health is exactly why I retired at 59.

Now 65 and never regretted early retirement for a moment. Did a last minute AI last month, leaving for another on Boxing day, mid Jan to mid March will be two months in SE Asia. May is a 10 day to China. Nothing yet in Sept/Oct. but we are thinking about it.

Who knows, maybe in two years all we will want do or are able to do is take cruises on HAL or sit on the porch. Or we could be pushing up the daisies.

It is not longevity that is our biggest concern, rather how much time we have left in good health, in good spirits, and with each other.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:02 PM   #13
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Similar to some other comments, what freaks me out every so often is seeing celebrities I grew up with make the news with health issues or pass away.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:42 PM   #14
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I made a move after many years, left development and support for a traditional systems role. I hated it with a passion, hated the team I was on. Finally 18 months into it I became done.

A good friend said he thought my transfer had the desired effect. I was on my second OMY and it was time to go.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:36 PM   #15
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Do not be freaked out. Maintain a positive attitude. I will be 80 next May, at which time I will Join the United Flying Octogenarians.
I have been blessed with good genes, and good health.
Thanks. Genes are somewhat on my side.
Although I take more after my Dad who died at age 57, my mom is now 88 and is as sharp as she was at 48. Still drives--but not at night, lives alone, has a martini every night and fully independent.
The only help she needs is minor "step stool" work around the house and going through airports. I'll call her at 8AM and it's "oh...I just changed my bed and did the ironing, now I'm going to vacuum...call me back later after I've gone food shopping".
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:45 PM   #16
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No "burns" for me. Gave notice for 2 years and quit 6 months early.
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Old 12-09-2017, 07:23 AM   #17
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Love all the visualizations! Mine is not burning fires, but the steady razing of my "rangeland." I've had a lot of autonomy at mega-non-profit, but new corporate-inspired models are eating away at it. In the past, the management chaos has been such that I've been able to hide out in tall grass and escape notice while the predators consumed one another. My job description has been rewritten by management several times (make-work for our HR department) without my job activities changing one iota. However, in the past year I've been moved from a big building where I was completely left alone to a markedly smaller space - but I am still left alone. I was just informed recently that I would now be moved to a small windowless office the size of two cubicles, and there would be "hall monitors" (as I call them - a new level of supervision) roaming around applying "policy." But!!! it's been warded off until perhaps May or June of next year. And I'm leaving August 1, or perhaps July 1 if I get any hassles (end of FY). So, they are cutting down my grass, but I'm bolting out the fence before they get to me.
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:55 AM   #18
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My recent lightning-bolt moment: I looked at myself in the mirror and decided, "That's the last time I'm going to the cheap-haircut place."
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:24 AM   #19
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Love all the visualizations! Mine is not burning fires, but the steady razing of my "rangeland." I've had a lot of autonomy at mega-non-profit, but new corporate-inspired models are eating away at it. In the past, the management chaos has been such that I've been able to hide out in tall grass and escape notice while the predators consumed one another. My job description has been rewritten by management several times (make-work for our HR department) without my job activities changing one iota. However, in the past year I've been moved from a big building where I was completely left alone to a markedly smaller space - but I am still left alone. I was just informed recently that I would now be moved to a small windowless office the size of two cubicles, and there would be "hall monitors" (as I call them - a new level of supervision) roaming around applying "policy." But!!! it's been warded off until perhaps May or June of next year. And I'm leaving August 1, or perhaps July 1 if I get any hassles (end of FY). So, they are cutting down my grass, but I'm bolting out the fence before they get to me.
Join the club and ER with me. You may not get any sympathy from many.

Here's my workspace (not this company, but the same exact layout). People up to managers of managers live in this space (yeah, $200k+ wage earners). Welcome to engineering open space! Enjoy the coughs and farts of your co-workers.

Another FAST burn ER incentive.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:17 AM   #20
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Join the club and ER with me. You may not get any sympathy from many.

Here's my workspace (not this company, but the same exact layout). People up to managers of managers live in this space (yeah, $200k+ wage earners). Welcome to engineering open space! Enjoy the coughs and farts of your co-workers.

Another FAST burn ER incentive.
Gosh, Joe, I think I would go mad. There is a galley slave look to it (well, exaggerating, I hope). Yes, will be ER'ing with you next year. Just calculated up my remaining days I have to roll on over to w*rk: 112. Even fewer for you. Can you imagine celebrating Christmas next year in a relaxed and imaginative way?
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