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10 Weeks and Planning How to Drop the “R” Bomb

The “R” bomb meaning retirement, resignation. Gee, those words really sound kind of depressing, like I’m resigning myself to retiring into oblivion. But that’s not how I see it. I might retreat further into my bubble when I retire, but my bubble needs some serious attention.

I read recently that people who work from home find that their homes are messier, not cleaner, because of it. Think about it. When you work from home, you use your kitchen, your bathroom, all your rooms more, creating more messes. During the work week, I might do a load or two of laundry in-between meetings but I can’t do any real housework during my work day. I also notice my home’s grittiness and dustiness more since I’m here all the time.

My first day of retirement, I will sleep because I’ll need energy for my second day of retirement when the cleaning starts. I’ve warned my husband. Then, a week later, I’ll be spending more time writing and taking photos. I want to do more of this:

Below is a different plant, but no less fascinating.

I’m still undecided about when to spill the beans, to share that I’ll be moving on soon. I’m taking it one day at a time because there’s still a lot going on in my little corner of employment. I worry about people being angry at me or disappointed in me. It’s not that I don’t care about my co-workers or the work we do. It’s because I care that I took on more responsibility back in May.

My introverted, highly sensitive self is just tired, worn out, burned out, stressed. But that’s not what I want to say when I drop the “R” bomb. No, I must be honest. I’ve been given an ultimatum.

My husband said he’d leave me for an older woman if I don’t retire.

Meanwhile, Raji seems to be adapting to his confines. I can’t quite say his home because I really don’t want him living in the garage permanently. Even if he has his own outdoor playpen.

Raji still plays approach-avoidance games with us. If he’s hungry, he’ll come as close as he needs to get food. He’ll eat dry food from my hand if that’s his only choice. I have to be careful though. A couple of times he almost bit off a chunk of my palm. When we feed him wet food, he might tolerate his forehead being stroked. But as soon as he’s done eating, he backs away (sometimes literally) and keeps his distance.

And yet …

He’s playful. He has a favorite wand toy. The wand has a long ribbon of colorful fleece attached and Raji will leap over and under boxes and buckets to get to it. I gave him one of my husband’s old socks stuffed with catnip and he rolls around with that, rubbing it over his face. He’s also taken ownership of a purple yoga towel of mine, curling up on it with the catnip sock.

He makes direct eye contact with us, and “talks” quite a bit. He seems calm and settled for the most part. Saturday I worked out in the garage for about an hour, something I hadn’t done since we brought him in. He curled up on a fluffy cat bed and watched me.

It might be the weather–it’s gotten a bit warmer the last few days–but he’s also spending more time in the pen. So we are hopeful. Next Saturday we’ll take him to our favorite vet for a physical. I expect our progress will take several steps back after that.

To all my friends in the U.S., may you have a wonderful holiday. Don’t overindulge or you might wind up like these two (ha, ha, ha).

Categories: Cats life

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Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

25 replies

  1. Good luck with dropping the R bomb. I assumed your work already knew. I guess none of them read your blog.

    That’s funny about your husband. But it’s good you have plans for post-retirement.

    I’m glad Raji is adjusting. ๐Ÿ’™

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Merril. I think one of my coworkers read my blog when I shared it on LinkedIn, but I dropped that account several months ago. I’ve never told any of them about my blog. Maybe that’s one reason I’m eager to call it quits. No one is much interested in what people do outside of work. Raji does seem to be adjusting. In the last couple of days, he’s willingly accepted some petting–as long as it’s not while he’s eating–and this morning, he actually purred a little bit ๐Ÿ™‚ Progress!

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  2. Your husband’s comment is hilarious. Like Merril, I assumed your coworkers were aware of the big “R”. No doubt, you’ll be missed, but one thing I’ve learned over my 30+ years in the workplace…everyone is replaceable. It’s kind of sad, but true.

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    1. Thanks, Jill. I love my husband’s comment. It’s so “Greg” ๐Ÿ˜‰ About being replaceable: I’ve found it interesting that, while my coworkers and I were sad when my supervisor retired, we pretty quickly moved on. In effect, we filled in the void that she left and, to my surprise, I realized that she was replaceable after all. I have staff that know way more than I do about our various projects and products, so I can leave feeling good that the staff are in good shape to carry on without me. In this case, it feels good to be replaceable ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. We’ve found that by both being home together our house is cleaner than ever. I’m just saying that you may thoroughly enjoy your newfound life as a retiree– if for no other reason than the clean house. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. Eh, eh. Yeah, I haven’t said anything at my workplace. I felt a little anxious going public about it on my blog, but I need the focus. I really believe that writing about it here is helping me to keep one foot in front of the other. And apparently no one at my work place reads my blog ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  4. Most people I worked with knew for a couple of years what my target date was, so it wasn’t a surprise to many, and they were all happy for me that I was able to leave when I wanted to.

    Good luck to you!

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    1. Thanks, Mark. I’m hoping it won’t be a surprise to many, but I actually only confided in my supervisor. Now that she’s gone and I’ve taken her place, I’ve been left with just a couple of colleagues who know what I’m planning. They’re kindly staying quiet about it. Soon enough, everyone will know ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. I retired at the end of May. There was a period of deep rest, some grieving, although I was definitely ready to stop working at that job and at my career. And I also lost one of my two 17 year old kitties 2 weeks after I retired… So more loss…
    And I’m caring for my other kitty, who now has liver cancer… It’s a matter of time.
    I’ve been doing house projects that I didn’t have time to do before.
    Working on the house feels like working on myself. I have much decluttering to do yet.
    And yet, it is a rich time…a time of redefining who I am and what my purpose now is. I will write more, I will paint again, I’m taking voice lessons…. And I’m enjoying the solitude (also HSP). I’m appreciative of each day more as I realize in a deeper way the truth of mortality. I find comfort and peace in nature. I cry more easily at things now that I don’t have to have the armor around me that I needed in order to keep working. It is a rich, deep, intense and poignant time of life. I wish you well on this next part of your life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, what a lovely comment! I’m really looking forward to enjoying the simple rewards and growing more in my writing and photography. My armor is cracking (another reason to quit) and it’ll be a relief to be able to cry without having to pretend I didn’t. Thank you again!

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      1. It’s a blessed relief to cry without having to hide it or to pretend that you didn’t cry. The fact that your armor is cracking is a message from deep inside that it’s time to stop … And time to travel …..inside yourself. Oh what treasures are there!

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  6. I told my company two years before I retired. Sure enough, when the day came you would have thought I shot the Pope. I guess folks did not think I would call the date that far in advance. The only thing holding me at work was the daughter’s attendance at a very pricy college. I timed the retirement for post-grad. She graduated and I retired. The sad thing was I had offered to help whoever my replacement was going to be. Well everyone messed around long enough and there was no replacement selected. It left my whole team in the lurch. I’m not sure what your policies are but I would give a reasonable timeframe to the bosses. Six weeks is not unreasonable, Best wishes

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    1. Thank you, John! My former supervisor gave them roughly eight weeks notice and I got her job because the managers dropped the ball and weren’t at all prepared to go through the process of advertising, interviewing and hiring. The easiest thing was to plunk me into her position so that’s what they did. In all honesty, if I had interviewed for the position, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the job. I’ll give them a few weeks’ notice and will offer to get the paperwork started so they can anticipate having someone in my position the day after I’m done. Fortunately, my section is a well-oiled machine ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  7. Iโ€™m excited for your retirement! Especially since Iโ€™m 52 and havenโ€™t even started my real career life yetโ€”haha! Iโ€™m glad Raj is settling in somewhat. I bet heโ€™ll be one of the bunch before you know it. Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. I hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving, Cheryl. Ah, 52. I loved my fifties! I really did. I’m enjoying my sixties now but it’s different. In my fifties I was still imagining myself in different careers. Now I just want to slow life down. Take photos of fungi and tiny flowers ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! I have to laugh about you and your husband having a lot of travel plans. My husband and I have a number of places we want to visit, besides my childhood home in New York and our friends and former home in California. Let’s hope next year will be safer for traveling and mingling ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. Marie, wish you well with dropping the “R” bomb! Remember when I did that. It was after a three-month sabbatical during which my husband announced I was much nicer when I didn’t spend my days with the attorneys I worked for. Therefore, he announced I should plan on retiring and soon. Nothing made me more nervous as I had worked with one attorney for some time and he relied on me a lot. But as you can tell, I’m still alive 14 years later and enjoying myself. Except for the messy, dusty house and all the chores I look at each day that I don’t want to do. Fortunately, I’ve got a husband who doesn’t complain and is quite helpful as we share our retirement years. Glad to hear the new cat is doing well. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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    1. My husband would say the same about me, Sherrey. Since I’m working from home, he often hears me when I’m in a meeting and he’s in the room next to me. He doesn’t have to hear the words, only the tone of my voice to make him worry about me. I feel very fortunate that he’s eager for me to quit ๐Ÿ™‚

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