Let’s just start with the statement that the path from the decision to retire to actually doing it is a really squiggly path and hardly a straight line. Why? I’m not sure. That’s just the way the Retirement Gods plan these things…or at least how they did it for me.
When I signed away my old life six months before Retirement Day, I was so flummoxed that I actually signed the papers with the wrong year!!! Hmmmm…quite a Freudian slip for someone who prides herself on attention to detail. And further proof of my sadly erratic behavior was this visual: I literally threw the papers across someone’s desk in a rather rude manner…and I’m a pretty polite person. (I mean I’m from Rhode Island…..and New Englanders tend not to be like pushy New Yorkers.)
Going forward from there, my behavior continued to be pretty erratic, I’d say if I were watching from the outside. The best way to describe it? Classic denial. Sort of like when you see that bunion on your foot and it absolutely kills you when you put on those spikey heels and you adamantly claim that there’s no bunion and it doesn’t hurt and you come home and have to soak your feet for two hours—and they still hurt! So, I just went about my merry way at work, didn’t tell anyone or talk about my decision and just did what I always do: I continued in my goody-two-shoes behavior and was my normal good corporate-citizen self. I mean, if I behaved like I would be working forever, then perhaps I hadn’t actually made that decision, right? If I didn’t talk about it, then maybe the decision was lodged in some alternative universe (in the same galaxy as alternative facts) and not in my world? And if I behaved normally, then maybe the Gods would intervene to change things…or maybe lightening would destroy the docs and it would all be a bad dream?