If you happen to be in the underground Rockefeller Center walkways any weekday between 12 and 2, you’ll see a long line of people snaking down the corridor waiting patiently to snag their healthy, fresh and tasty lunch from JUST SALAD.  Furthermore, you’ll see about half the people with their pre-purchased bright orange, green or white heavy plastic bowls which both help the environment (because you don’t use a new one every time) and make your salad tastier and bigger (because you get not one, but TWO free ingredients in your salad.)

While working, I go to JUST SALAD about three times a week and truly look forward to my “Thai Chicken Crunch with no wontons  and apples instead of wontons, please and chop it into the orange bowl.”  As I am writing this, I know that JUST SALAD withdrawal symptoms are going to set in EIGHT DAYS FROM NOW when I join the ranks of the not-working class and can’t walk downstairs to get my delectable lunch.  

And that thought lead me to think about all the other similarly “not-life-altering-things” that will change on Retirement Day—


  •  I will never again answer the phone saying “Susan Leader” in that monotone professional voice.  I get to say..Hello..or Hi fill-in-the-blank

  •  I won’t have business cards to introduce myself and make people remember me.  Thank heavens we now have smart phones to exchange contact information without that piece of paper.

  •  Those key cards that get me into the building?  GONE.  If I come to visit friends, I’ll have to get registered with security and then suffer the indignity of waiting in that endless line downstairs in the building I once called home.

  • I won’t have to wear all those business suits any more…and guess what’s even better–someone else who needs them is more than welcome to them.   Hello Dress for Success–a truck load of 20 years of suits and blazers is coming your way!!  I wish the new recipient as much success in them as I had.

  • Anyone who emails me at my prior business address will assume that I have disappeared off the face of the earth…along with that email address which will cease to exist.

  • To add insult to injury, my W-2 information will be lost to me forever.  It stays here, while I go elsewhere.

  • My iphone will be considerably easier to operate when I get rid of that Compliance-mandated MobileIron security app with the 6 digit password and other complications.

  • If I haven’t collected all my flex spend dollars, they too will go up in smoke.  (Stop writing and submit those forms NOW)

  • I’ll have to give up my beloved Outlook and use not-so-user friendly GMAIL instead.   Seriously, Google, can’t you figure out how to create archives????

  • I WILL have time to clean out my closets and drawers…which frankly look like they haven’t been cleaned in five years.  (Oh wait… it’s actually more like 7 years)  Who had the time or inclination to do that?

  • I WILL save so much money in airplane and train tickets because I’ll be able to plan personal travel at the “cheap times”.  And then of course, I will eat up those savings in scheduling more flights and trains..so it will be a wash.

  • I WILL and have planned a lot of trips.  Admittedly, paying for them is another matter, but I will deal with that question later

  • Etc…etc…Etc….


The very very excellent news for me, personally, is that I am TOTALLY and FULLY OK with all of this.  You remember the denial period that I talked about, which was followed by the acceptance mode.  (With apologies to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross because this is clearly not death-like).  But her stages of grief do provide a good construct.  Anyway, with those 8 days to go, I am so ready to go over to the Dark side.  It’s sort of like the days before your first child goes away to college—by the time the day comes, you’ve been so busy obsessing about it that you’re just ready to give up the obsession and the fact of your child leaving home is sort of secondary.  

So the final item on that list is: I WILL SAY YES.  With full acceptance of the plagiarism involved, I’m calling my new mind set the “Year(s) of Saying YES”. Ok I realize that Shonda Rhymes already claimed that title and wrote a fabulous book about her transition to that time.  But I’m not Shonda and no one would read my book on the subject anyway.  But I can certainly take my marching orders from her and I have.  I’m just looking forward to saying yes whenever anyone asks me to do something fun or interesting.

I’ve spent so  many years Just Saying No..or Just Saying that I have to cancel because a business trip came up.  (Now I grant you, that sometimes I did hide behind work to avoid doing things I didn’t want to do…but not that often).  But now there’s no excuse and no hiding and that’s going to be just amazing.  I’ve already said YES to being on an investment committee, taking a trip to Japan, traveling to South Africa, going skiing with my family and have ordered the New Yorker, looked through course catalogues…and that doesn’t even include the massive blog that I’m going to be writing.

Yup..I’m over the denial and depression front and have moved solidly into the “I think I am excited front.”  Watch this space to see how I feel in a couple of months when reality sets in.


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