My husband doesn’t like my math. He’s argued that, with respect to a countdown, this should be week 1, not week 0. But it is the week in which I become untethered, set adrift. To me, it’s a 0.
In a perfect world, it would be a relaxing week, the last three-and-a-half days of employment spent tidying up my desk (or my desktop as it is), having casual chats with coworkers over Microsoft Teams, skipping down memory lane during a phone call or two. But we all know it’s not a perfect world.
I will spend most of my remaining days in meetings, either assisting in kickstarting new assignments or transitioning old assignments to new people. I will likely put in a bit more than my regular hours, but will stop on Thursday shortly after my surprise retirement party.
By the way, if you want to surprise someone with a retirement party, do not display “Marie’s Retirement Party” on your Outlook calendar, especially since Marie is often responsible for setting up meetings and, thus, is likely to see it.
About noon, I will shutdown my laptop, gather it and all its necessary peripherals and make the commute that I haven’t had to make in almost a year.
With any luck, the only person I will see at the office will be D. to whom I’ll hand over the state government property and engage in a brief exit interview. Then, weather permitting, I plan to take a walk around the ponds and see if there is any trash to pick up.
After that, who knows?
Well, I do know that I’ll be studying iPhone photography again, tending to my plants, and taking walks in my neighborhood and beyond. For now, there’s plenty catching my eye around my hood, starting with my front yard which hasn’t been mowed in months. (Greg wants to sweep for insects before he mows.)
Some might call this delicate flower a weed but I call it … a delicate flower.
Our azaleas are starting to bloom but in fits and starts. We’ve never taken the time to shape our azalea bushes as some do. They’re a bit scraggly right now but only for now.
A nearby neighbor’s Dogwood is in partial bloom. Years ago I was driving along a road lined with Dogwoods in full flower, all snowy white and surreal. This Dogwood has a ways to go, but it’s early yet.
Now, if anyone knows what the bush below is, please tell me in the comments! I think it’s gorgeous but I don’t know what it is.
I suppose since it’s on the street side of the fence, I could steal a snip and take it to my local nursery for ID. But I’d rather not. Usually there’s two yappy dogs in that yard. They put up a ruckus even when I’m way over on the other side of the street. I hate to think what noise they’d make if they saw me so close to their fence.
The next few days will be an emotional roller-coaster. We weren’t able to hire a replacement for me so I’ll be feeling some guilt at leaving my staff with no buffer between them and “the boss.” I know that guilt will leave me as soon as I leave the office building for the last time, but I have to get there first.
My staff are a tight team, dedicated, creative, and industrious. They will be fine. And I will miss them. These last few months as their section administrator was the first time in a very long time that I felt part of something, that I felt I was really making a difference, maybe not so much in the world of public health, but at least in the work lives of these truly wonderful people.
So I do feel some sadness at leaving and a part of me is wishing I wouldn’t leave, that I could stay and shepherd them a while longer. But I’d be breaking my commitment to my husband if I did that. What makes me truly sad is the knowledge that no matter how much my staff feel they need me (maybe not me personally, but the constancy, the continuity of my presence), I just don’t have the mental and emotional will to carry these responsibilities much longer. I’m not a weak person. I’ve proven that.
I just don’t like my job. It’s nothing personal, nothing to do with my staff as I obviously think the world of them. It hit home a few days ago when I was revising the job announcement for my position. I realized that I never would have applied for such a job and yet here I was, doing exactly what I had intended not to do.
And then there’s my husband who’s willing to live as simply as we need to in order for me to retire. Gotta love that guy. And this guy:
That’s right, folks! Time for a Raji update. As you can see, he’s become rather relaxed around us. He drives our other cats crazy during feeding time because he paces and rubs against each of them! He has no fear. Whenever Maxine or Wendy slap at him, he looks at them like, “What? Don’t you find me cute and adorable?”
Raji and Junior are now pals, chasing each other up and down the hallways. At some point over the past week, Junior’s bullying turned into playing. I believe Raji has helped Junior to discover his inner kitten.
My dear friends, thank you for reading. Thank you for still visiting me although I haven’t been visiting you. I might be soon set adrift (in a good way) from my job, but you all keep me moored. Love you to the moon and back. Stay safe, well, and embrace happiness.
Marie A Bailey
Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.