Friday Firesmith – 90 Days

With three months left before retirement, some Great Truths are beginning to reveal themselves. These are personal Great Truths, some might be Universal as well, but the truth can be harsh, or not, but mostly it simply is what the truth always has been. Or not. Things change faster than we do most of our lives, and we tend to go with the flow of the currents that guide our lives. Some paddle harder than others, but at the end of all things, we’re all headed in the same direction.

The First Great Truth is that no one matters. Your career, your life, your accomplishments, your failures, your many hours lying awake at night worrying about first one thing and then the others in turn, for decades, perhaps, mean nothing. The people who employed you many years ago are gone, and new people are ushering in newer people every day of the week. Someone there longer than you left already, and in time, you’ll be gone too, and it will not make an ounce of difference to the desk you once called home. I’m sorry, but this is true.

The Second Great Truth is your life will not dramatically change by retirement or getting ready for retirement, unless you make this happen. If you simply walk out of the office one day, shake hands with people you’ve known since they had dark hair and you had some hair, when you wake up you will live in the same world.

The Last Great Truth, and there are many more I don’t know about yet, and many I will never know, is You Can’t Go Back, and you should never do so. Don’t be one of those people who “visit” your former place of employment because you haven’t planned your new life out yet. Don’t be a Ghost. Don’t haunt yourself or people you once knew. Invite them over for dinner if you miss those people, but don’t miss sitting in your office. It’s like someone missing their cell in prison.

Next Tuesday, I sign the paperwork, and then the countdown to October the First begins. The next ninety days I’ll tie up loose ends, make sure I don’t leave a mess, and basically shed my skin. I’ll take more Mondays and Fridays off. I’ll stay up later. I’ll sleep in. I’ll tell people that this isn’t my problem they’ll have to speak with someone else, because I simply cannot invest in the future here anymore.

For twenty-seven years, and six months, I’ve worked the same job, moving four times, buying two houses, and losing five dogs and a cat along the way. I got married and divorced. I started writing. I voted in every election. I watched a stranger die slow and realized that yes, infrequent as it might be, that too, was my job.

We’re likely to speak more of this as the time draws nearer, yes, and I hope there’s some insight I can provide in this process that might be useful. But here we go, the last week behind my desk before the paperwork is inked, and someone gives me a hard date as to when I can get up, and start all over again.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

20 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – 90 Days”

  1. When you’re retired, suddenly there’s no hurry you’ve got all the time in the world, while simultaneously there aren’t enough hours in the day. LOL

    So you’re bailing out five weeks before your birthday, no cake and awkward office crap for you.

      • I was surprised, I bailed on march 1st even though I wasn’t turning 65 until September. But when I signed up for Social Security they said since I was turning 65 during that year they would pay me from January 1st. Sure enough, about June 1st when they got my monthly payments rolling I got 6 months back pay.

    • Bruce, you’re right, there are not enough hours in the day. or days in the week. Time keeps moving faster and faster. I liken life to a roll of toilet paper: the closer you get to the end, the faster it seems to go.

  2. Congratulations on retirement … enjoy! You have dogs who are used to getting up early, do you think they will let you sleep late? My dog has given me an extra 20 minutes. 🙂

    One big change I had at retirement was that I had to change my name. I shared my father’s first name so was always known by my middle name. Even my social security card from many years ago had only my middle and last name. When I started collect SS the government would not have anything to do with that middle name. They gave me a new card and I became my father.

  3. If you don’t already, find a reason to get up and get engaged in something each day. Throughout my career I watched too many people retire, then die within a short time because they no longer seemed to have a purpose. I retired 11 years ago, and am so busy I don’t know how I ever had time to hold a job. I volunteer, I build stuff, and I go places when I want to. Life is good.

    • Hi John,

      I was going to say the same thing. When my Mom retired, she did not do much–and is now in an assisted living place with dementia. Having lost her husband (my stepfather) I think hastened her decline as well, unfortunately.

      My stepmother just passed away–and I saw that my Dad is really close to also needing to be put in a home or have someone check on him daily or stay with him.

      The retired people I know that seem to still have their mental faculties are ones that keep busy.

      MIke: I hope you enjoy your last months’ of work and have a great retirement.

  4. Retirement is different for everyone, not one glove fits all. A lot depends on relationship status, health, immediate family needs and the availability of funds…Of course we all have those ‘When I retire’ list, usually just in our minds. I didn’t write a bucket list, but we recently went to the funeral of a friend in his mid 70’s, who did write one after seeing the 2007 movie of the same name.
    One of his sons spoke of some of the list he had crossed off. He had been a Vietnam vet, and with a group of friends visited the once war torn country, and helped with some building projects in poorer villages.
    He had walked the Kokoda Trail with two of his sons, learned to play golf and built a unique dolls house for his granddaughters, as he and his wife only had sons.
    His son continued, they were the main three, and that it was his Dad’s advice to everyone to have a bucket list, as long as you like, but aim to fulfil the top three.
    I didn’t have a list. sharing life with a life’s partner, means a lot of what one wants the other doesn’t…I am contented with what we have achieved together, but if I’d had a list then taking one of those NYE plane trips over Antarctica to see the sun rise on NYD, despite the other half’s objections could have been a definite cross off.
    Embrace it whatever your circumstances, give it your best shot, and don’t waste it, you’ve earned it.

  5. I drive for Uber and Lyft, which gets me out of the house. Otherwise I would probably sit around drinking beer and watching porn all day.

  6. I retired from my first job June, 1998. Went to work teaching high school from 1999 until 2009. I had always wanted to teach, so it was just a natural event for me. Having two pensions and Social Security is a nice perk, as well. I keep somewhat busy as a volunteer at a hospital near me. As with most retirees, I seem to be busier now then when I was officially working, but outside of health issues, it is all OK.

  7. I can’t wait. I technically have 3 years, but I’ll probably work longer than that. Mainly for the benefits and for more income per month. Our benefits package used to provide health insurance, but they took that away, and didn’t grandfather that in for those of us who were here before that change. BS if you ask me, but I’m just a peon. So I’m stuck working until Medicare or something else is available to me. Maybe I can retire to Spain or something. That would be great,

Comments are closed.