End of a Chapter

It’s over, it’s here, the curtain has now closed on this chapter in my life.  A decision that was made months ago is now implemented and done.  There’s no turning back only looking forward.  It was a nice day, went better than I thought as I actually made it to 1:30 before I lost my control and the tears started. When you really think about this, it’s quite silly as this was my choice, so why so emotional?  That’s me!   I spent the day cleaning my desk for my replacement, having my exit interview and saying good bye to people I have known for 3-1/2 years.  In the course of a life span that really isn’t a long time, but when you spend the majority of your time with these people day in and day out, whether you like each other or not, you develop an understanding of each other, and good or bad you accept it, because you need to so you can perform the job you were hired to do.  I hope I have made some friends along the way and the “let’s stay in contact” was not just a line, but sincere.  I received some lovely cards and gifts and if these people read this blog, thank you again.  I’ll certainly enjoy the candy (just a slight delay to the start of the diet) and Starbucks is always good.  The cards are something I will keep, yes I am truly a softie on the inside.

So now I sit here thinking I have a lot to get done tonight and tomorrow as we hit the road on Sunday.  So I have no time to wallow in my tears, it’s get my ass in gear and don’t let the grass grow under my feet.  Get up, get busy and get going, that has been my creed and I better remember it.  So the next post will be from the road as our adventure begins.

Well, maybe I’ll give myself a few more hours to wallow, then onwards to traveling down my new road.

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And Now it’s One!

Back in June when I gave my notice my last day, August 31st,  seemed like forever.  Actually I gave notice on my birthday, I thought that would be memorable.  So when my next birthday comes around I’ll be looking back over the past year and either be excited and satisfied on all that I did and all that was accomplished, or I could look back and say what the hell did I do.  If it happens to be the second option, believe me by my next birthday I’ll be back working becuase that means retiring is just not for me, but at least I will be able to say I tried it, and won’t ever have to wonder what I was missing as I will know.  But on the other hand if the first option is the one that happens then I will probably say it’s been the best thing I ever did, and figure out how it can be guaranteed to be continued.

Had a nice luncheon at work today, really enjoyed the time and it was nice that almost everyone showed up, sadly some could not make it.  I know some will be very happy that I’m leaving, even some in my own department, but I certainly won’t be loosing sleep over it.  And I sure hope for some I’ll be missed.  I’ve worked hard, and probably along the way I pissed somebody off, but it was never intentional and it was only my drive and work ethics to get the job done and meet the commitments I was obligated to meet.  Problem is not everyone is on the same page at the same time and everyone can’t agree with each other all the time so at  some time I have either hurt or upset someone, and believe me it’s been the other way too, for those times I’m truely sorry.  There have been some real challenges, but also some fun.  We have had some good laughs but most have been offset with extreme demands and tight deadlines.  And yes we have had drama, oh the drama.  When in an office envirnoment is there not drama, and believe me we have had our share.  I know I have grown with this position, or it’s just old age, but either way I feel I can and will be ready to take on more, if I had to.  One thing I know I’m tired of is the long hours, tired of having so much work that it requires working nights and weekends, after 34 years in the profession I’m truely burned out.  I was in the Purchasing field and I’m really tired of having to take care of everybody.  If it wasn’t a part shortage, it was too high of  a price, or the parts weren’t there on time or the quality wasn’t good enough, and on and on and on.  So what the quoted delivery time was 6 weeks, we need it in 3, push the supplier, come on we can’t plan better than that!

Well, after tomorrow, that will be my past life.  It was a good career, and although I’ve had enough I must have enjoyed it otherwise I wouldn’t have done it for as long as I did.  I guess the only regret I have looking back at my work years is that I didn’t have the confidence in myself sooner to take the step into Management.   I was a “doer” for so long that by the time I took the step it was very hard.  But for all of those years being the employee, when I became a Manager I tried very hard to honor all those things I liked and didn’t like in my bosses and I tried to use that experience to the best of my abilities.  I hope the employees I had feel they could have done worse.   I want to thank my husband Fred and my last boss, Mike, who saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself and was willing to give me the chance to move up and try, I will always be grateful.

So the curtain comes down on this portion of my life and I’m waiting in the wings for the next set of curtains to open, so  I see the new road I’ll be  traveling down.  The next post will be from the road and hopefully I’ll throw in some photos.  Until the next time………

3 Days Remaining………

It’s August 28th, and there are 3 days remaining.

3 days remaining to:

  • Set the alarm
  • Be on a schedule
  • Have to go to bed by 10:30 PM so I can get up at 6:00 AM
  • Frozen meals at my desk for lunch
  • Dealing with rush hour traffic!

This brings back memories of summer vacations when you couldn’t wait for school to be out so you could do anything you wanted to do.  That’s where I’m at right now, waiting for work to be out, so I can do whatever I want to do, when I want to it.  Sleep in, stay up late, not eat frozen meals, and not deal with rush hour traffic.  I can make my doctor appointments in the middle of the day and not rush in late to work, or try to leave early.  I can join the ladies for shopping excursions or luncheons, and I can go wander the store aisles at my leisure.  I will start exercising (I promise), I will start preparing more dinners, and I will take some study courses on topics of interest, as I have no more excuses and ample time to do these things.

What I didn’t like about summer vacation when in school is that by the time you got to mid Summer all of a sudden you were looking for things to do, you were bored, and you started looking forward to going back to school.  I sit here now wondering if and when that will happen to me regarding work.  Will I jam-pack so much in the first few months that I’ll be sitting here early next year wondering what to do with myself, or will I pace myself and not run thru things faster than you can enjoy them just to get them done and checked off.  This will be interesting.

Had a great day today!  I talked with people and had the most pleasant conversations with them that I have had in 3-1/2 years that I have been employed at my company, isn’t that ironic?   As I sat there talking with them I was thinking if only it had been like this all the time.  Why is it that the grass starts greening up on the other side fence, when you’re ready to step onto the other side, that’s life?

I have said some goodbyes already as some people will be out of the office the rest of this week and did it all with no tears, hope I can continue this way for the next 3 days, will let you know.

Since there is only 3 days left to work that means I’m 3 days closer to leaving on our first trip.  As we get nearer I’ll give you our destinations, but ultimately we’re heading to the Chicago area to visit with family, friends and previous co-workers.  Keep you posted as I head down the new road I’m traveling.

Not a very excitng day.

Not a very exciting day, but then not all days can be exciting.  Sometimes it’s just a good day when the sun is shining, when you don’t argue with your spouse, when you’re just feeling good, or in my case, starting to get organized for our upcoming trip.  Only once or twice in my life have I taken this long of a trip.  Typically it’s the usual week’s vacation, because of the limited vacation time, or that most companies really didn’t like you taking off more than a week at a time.   Most of my career has been working for small to medium size companies, and most privately held companies.  I have not come from the large Corporate world, or the Government sector, so possibly people working in those careers are sitting there thinking I’m crazy.  I have never been lucky enough to get more than 3 weeks vacation per year.  I know some have weeks and weeks, but it just didn’t work out that way for me, so the idea of an endless vacation is mind boggling.

You would think the way I’m gathering food and supplies that there are no stores in route, like you won’t find a CVS or Walgreens on every corner, or a grocery store in every town, but that’s me, planning and organizing.  I fear that will never change and I’m stuck with that for the rest of my life.

So to conclude the uneventful day, I’m going to make a bowl of popcorn and sit down with a good movie with the guy that I’m going to spend the rest of my days with.  Hope you’re evening is as exciting.

Let’s enjoy this new road.

One Week!

It’s Friday and there are 5 work days left.  Mainly I’m euphoric, but there is a little part that is still worried.  I think I’m holding in my excitement not wanting to jinx anything, yes I’m superstitious.  I’m waiting for something to come up that’s going to put a wrench in everything, so if I’m quiet maybe whatever  “it is”, will just pass me by.    On Wednesday I was feeling left out, and rather down in the dumps for the day.  But today I know I’m being left out and I’m OK with that.    My husband is wondering why though I’m the one still there at 5PM when all others have left early.  It’s my own fault, I admit it!  So there is no one to get mad at but myself.  One more week……..

So in one more week there will be no more work tales, but what I will be sharing are the wonderful trips we will be taking.  I don’t let grass grow under me!  We’re off on vacation 2 days after I quit.  We will be taking a driving trip and although Interstate travel will be necessary we will be taking as many back roads as we can, and stop off in as many little towns as we can.  We do enjoy visiting the old town squares and courthouses and shopping in the quaint old downtown novelty stores.  Its fun talking with the shop owners and experiencing the laid back feel of the towns.  We have had some good food at some of these old family style restaurants that are on or near a town square.  We have some planned destinations, but mostly if we see something we will stop.

When younger, although we traveled a lot, the thrill was not in the journey, but in the “I’m there”, and getting to the next place as fast as we could.  One thing I have learned getting older is that life is not a race to the end, but it’s the life experiences, friendships, and enjoying every phase of the journey, hoping you never get to the end, because there is always something left that you should want to do or see.  I look back and think how many years I have wasted stressing about situations on my job, missing out on life experiences because of a work commitment, or personal situations that I  “thought I would just die”, guess what I didn’t.  I certainly won’t have a chance to go back and do it over, but I realize that whatever I encounter for the rest of my living days I need to stop being the worrier that I have been, and put me and my family first.  Worrying doesn’t stop the outcome from happening, but can impact the outcome in a negative way.  I’m going to make myself and my husband priority, and then if I choose to go back to work, at some time, I will be a good employee during work hours, but that’s it, no late hours, no weekends, and no way of contacting me 24/7, they can keep their phone.  You miss out on too much of life that should be more important to you.

So soon I hope to post some great photos of the places we will be seeing, and write about the sights and the exciting things we have seen and the wonderful experiences we encounter along the road.  For this trip our destination is to visit family, which is a great way to start off on my new road that I’m traveling.

Change

We deal with change every day.   We are adapting constantly to change, whether at work or at home.  Most change just happens and we go on and never think about it.  It’s the large changes in our life that take time for adjustment; getting married, birth of a child, family death, moving and retiring.   I’m finding myself straddling the “in between” right now.  I haven’t moved onto my next chapter in my life outside of work, yet I’m being left out of the current chapter at work.

I am a workaholic and have made work a major portion of my life.  I am never the first to leave and have worked from home many weekends.  My replacement has been hired and I am training him.  There is no going back.  I am still participating in all meetings, which is very nice of my boss, as current discussions are now for things that will happen after I am gone.  I hear of things to come and why now do they sound exciting and interesting, when a month ago it would have seemed frustrating and boring.  I really don’t like traveling for business, but when I hear of planned trips I’m going to miss this.  Why was the supplier that was a pain in the ass last month, is now not so bad?  Why does it seem that all the employees are getting along when all there has been for the last 2 years is employee issues.

All I feel now is the walking away from a major portion of my life, but I haven’t yet filled it with the new.   All I’m seeing is what I’m going to be missing as I haven’t found what to replace it with yet.   I think what is also concerning is what will be the “new”.  I have ideas of things I want to do, but am concerned about my ability to go out there and do them.  Even now I get to Sunday and think I should have done this, or that, and I think why didn’t I just do these things, but no, I sat on my butt all weekend and watched TV, or read a book.  Now, there is nothing wrong with either, but I certainly hope there is more than this.

I think today I’m not the giddy child and excited about this forthcoming change, but the depressed older adult who is second guessing a decision, but knows there is no turning back.  The sky is blue and the sun it out, it’s a good day!

Starting down the new road

I’ve started and stopped this first post so many times, I can’t keep count anymore.  At the most inopportune times I have come up with what I think is a classic beginning, something that will stick in people’s minds, something that will bring people back to this site, and yet when I’m ready to start typing, poof, it’s nowhere to be found.

I labored over my site name for a month, but I think that was just an excuse to prevent me from starting.  I started typing this without a name for my site, but  as I wrote it became clear to me ” A new Road to Travel”.  I was at first thinking this would be more like a travel log of the places and sites that my husband and I will be seeing, but the more that I have thought about this, I want this to be more.  So let me step back, explain why I have started this site and what I hope to share with others, and others share with me.

I’m in my mid-fifties and am embarking on a new direction in life.  I am married to a wonderful man and he has been retired now for 8 years.  I am quite a few years younger than he is so I continued to work, basically for the same reason most people work, because of finances.  Of course it would have been nice to stay home and enjoy the last 8 years with him, but life doesn’t work that way.  But we have worked hard, were diligent in saving and we have decided that now is the time for us to take that leap of faith.  I will be quitting my job on 8/31.  I will be leaving the workforce after 34 years.  Of those 34 years, I have been off only 3 months of my adult life, so as 8/31 approaches I’m not sure what to expect.  My husband and I have been planning this for some months, and only until this week has it finally hit me that I will be unemployed in 2 weeks, and I did this by choice.  Am I nuts!  There are days I’m scared to death.  What am I doing, why am I doing this, and what was I thinking.  I basically don’t know any other way of life then work, and although this is all I have dreamed of for the last 10 years, as it fast approaches my knees are getting weak.

Thank God I have a husband that accepts me for the way I am, because I will tell you one day I’m so excited, I feel like a little kid again.  Then the other days I’m moody because I’m scared.  What is scary is the lack of a regular paycheck that is deposited into your account every week or other week.  Wondering, will we really be financially OK, because all I have seen is the black and white paper copy.  Anyone can do a spreadsheet or put something down in writing but to make it real is another.  How will we get along with each other?  From being with each other a few hours each night and the weekends to 24/7 is a drastic change.  He has an 8 year routine that I’m going to be intruding on.  And the thoughts just keep coming…….

So one of the reasons I’m writing this is to talk with you about this life transition, a change most of us only get to experience once.  I want to do it right and I want to thoroughly enjoy the transition, and the new experiences I have to look forward to.  We’re all getting older so it’s not like I’m going to experience this again as we really retire once in our life.   Sometime we take on part time jobs, or go back to work in a different field, but the actual retiring from a life career is a once in a lifetime situation.  So I want to worry less, have fun, laugh a lot and be happy.  This is not an experience only I will be going thru.  This has been happening a very long time and will continue to happen for a very long time, so I am guessing that for some people it was the best thing they ever did and for others it has been the worst.

I am interested in what worked in your life when you transitioned to retirement and what didn’t work for you.  Everyone’s life is different and we really can’t compare as we are all individuals and we each look at and tackle life in our own way, but we all have to admit although different we have been to that place a few times in our life,  “if only I had known this”, of “if only someone told me”.  I can’t wait to hear and share those stories.

The other side of this is that we have chosen this time in our life as we are both still healthy and want to travel.  I really don’t like the term “bucket list”, but I guess that is what we have.  We will be making some road trips in the U.S. and see the country not in the standard hurried 1 or 2 week vacation, driving on Interstates to get somewhere as fast you can, and taking at least half the trip to relax, but instead taking the back roads.  We aren’t in a hurry, we have no time limit on our trips, I don’t have a specific time to be back, so who knows, maybe we’ll see the biggest ball of yarn or the biggest totem pole, don’t know, but what I do know, is that if you take the time and talk with people and stop and really look at the sights it’s a big beautiful country and we plan on trying to experience as much of it as we can.  So I also hope to provide updates on our travel along with a photo journal as we proceed in whatever direction the roads take us.

Well, this was my first attempt.  I promise to get better.  I am looking forward to the adventure and hope you will come along with me on my new road I am traveling.