You know how it feels when you go on vacation and after one day, you can’t remember your real life? Or conversely when you come back from vacation to work, that vacation seems like a year ago and that new-found relaxation mode flies out the window quicker than a bird being chased by your dog?

Well. That’s the way I feel about work. It is literally and figuratively a lifetime ago.  Before you question that and ask me why I still talk to my ex-colleagues– I’ll tell you that you are right that I do call them more than they call me.  Ah ha you say– you do miss them. But I say–they’re my friends and I like talking to them. And second, do you like walking out of a movie in the middle?  I don’t. So how can I leave the office drama in mid stream?? I mean If you’re a person like me who has been in the middle of events and happenings for years, then you just NEED to know how things are working out and who’s doing what. It’s just my nature.

The difference is that I am not invested or emotionally connected anymore.  Really… it’s true. And here’s how I know.   I had to go to my old office for a Board meeting (having nothing to do with the office…it’s just where the meetings are held). And do you know what I felt??? NOTHING. I didn’t even mind waiting downstairs in the visitors’ line. I was just detached. No nostalgia at all!  I even went after the meeting to “visit” my actual office which is still empty. The walls were the same–albeit missing all my post-its, the lovely Western Impressionist painting I adore is still on the wall, my formerly messy desk was transformed into a vast empty space, and my phone–without its prior list of dial pre-sets was lit with the call forward to my former assistant…and that’s what I saw.  I didn’t miss anything about it!

Funny thing is that a friend had a different experience. Post retirement, walking by the conference room where he previously presented monthly results to a vast Committee gave rise to the same stomach churning he had felt while working.  And then again, I would guess that he really didn’t miss that ulcer inducing behavior!

Anyway, maybe you’ll say that I am blocking out my feelings or shoving sadness under the rug. And perhaps you’re right. But I don’t think so. 

I really feel that I made the right choice. And now I will reveal something I haven’t mentioned before… as I write I made the right choice. Honestly it wasn’t ALL my choice. I had wanted to ease into retirement by signing on as a consultant for a year. Even though I thought I had senior management approval for this, someone stonewalled it. Who knows why and it doesn’t matter at all now. Because I am SO relieved that I didn’t go that route.  

First, had I done that, I don’t think I would have embarked on this blog… which I am seriously loving and loving far more than I would have enjoyed my consulting gig.  And second my Type A-ness would have reared its head and I would have been in the classic conundrum of the part timers–working too hard for too little. 

I guess what I’m saying is that I think I have embraced my new life and chapter and don’t miss the old one. I wouldn’t walk back the time line. And that is a good thing!!!


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