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Old 01-22-2018, 12:36 AM
 
13,321 posts, read 25,569,771 times
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So four more nights, and a half of this one. I was thinking last night, I've been working for 49 years. Started at 16 at Howard Johnson's, ending now at this acclaimed hospital (where I've come and gone four times). In between were restaurants (RIP, Olga's Diner) factories (my worst job ever- the onion ring room at a frozen food factory), groom at the racetrack, retail clerk (at least at the fruit stand I spent my shift eating expensive Bing cherries) several excellent years in public television and then more years editing PBS scripts from home, AIDS hospice, Army Medical Reserves, Peace Corps (big belly flop there) apprentice in the carpenters' union (a passion for which I had less than no ability or aptitude. Two dreadful years in technical writing. I worked through four different rounds of post-high school education.

I have tried mightily to make work a calling. I have failed honorably and accept my pension and retirement breakfast (Jan. 23) with a steady mind.

It struck me the other night, it's not just about ending the job I've held the most or longest. It's that I've had making a living at my center for 49 years, and for 45 of them, no parents/backup/husband or anyone to share or lean on. I identify strongly with making a living while trying to make it meaningful.

Forty-five years where how to make a living has been foremost in my mind. Except for editing jobs, I have had to push myself out the door to make that living. I have never not worked. In the case of a few jobs, I have had to dropkick myself out the door and dread the end of the day because that meant I only had some 12 hours until I'd wake up and have to do it again. (See Under: Technical Writing)

And now, as of Saturday, it's history. It's not my motivator anymore. It doesn't even exist. It's over. I didn't realize until I thought about it how much working/making a living/not liking it has been foremost in my mind. I mean, you do what you have to do. Most adults have to make a living if they are not taking care of dependents. It's a blue-collar attitude, I suppose, although I think it's true for most strata of people- you have to work and make a living.

Now it's over. I am thinking I will not only be relieved, I am stunned. Disoriented, even, without this huge weight that I didn't really know I was carrying, this motivator, these honorable failures. I'm glad I'm taking three months to just veg and be stunned before making my new life in Colorado. It's like slamming on the brakes after speeding down the road. While I am quite pleased with my plans for my retirement, I am stunned that the huge amount of mental real estate occupied by making a living is suddenly free.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:41 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
478 posts, read 300,862 times
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Congrats on your new found freedom!
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,357 posts, read 10,346,234 times
Reputation: 28522
It'll probably take you a while to shift gears. From over-drive to neutral.


To realize your time is, finally, yours. At the risk of sounding like that old TV show (Outer Limits) you control you time. You can eat when you want. You can sleep when you want. You will actually discover a new you.


Enjoy.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:28 AM
 
Location: In my head
295 posts, read 316,011 times
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Congratulations. I am close to hanging it up soon, too. Not sure exactly when, but within 5 years. Happy for you. Do something every day that brings happiness to yourself. You deserve it after working all those years.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:58 AM
 
16,019 posts, read 19,693,299 times
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Congrats. It sounds like you have had some interesting jobs and you've certainly not been afraid of hard work.

You also write very well, and I hope that you'll give some thought to using your writing skills as you have more time.

I hope you enjoy your new location and that you enjoy your new phase of life. You really deserve the freedom and peace of mind that retirement may bring.

Keep us posted.
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Old 01-22-2018, 03:50 AM
 
13,321 posts, read 25,569,771 times
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Thanks so much for the kind response. And JanND, thank you for mentioning my writing. I do have some hope of doing copyediting from home although it is hard to find the right situation. For me, editing and proofing is like breathing well. I love it.
I've been ruined by working on PBS news programs. I don't want to work on technical or business stuff, which is the bulk of available work. I do hope to look around and see if I can find some kind of editing from home that would be of interest. I won't be able to edit my coworkers college papers anymore (I work with a lot of people for whom English is a second language and they will ask me to go over their work. I love editing).
Back to employment. Shift almost over.
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:08 AM
 
2,462 posts, read 2,103,785 times
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As much as we think about it and plan and think about it and research and think about it---- I suspect that waking up and realizing you don't have to go to work (today tomorrow the next day EVER again) is going to be more major than anticipated.
I think you are right to say it feels disorienting. I am a few months behind you and as much as I plan and think I still think it's going to be even more different.
It's really good that you are going to have a few months to decompress...I will be taking notes.
Good luck and enjoy!!!
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Old 01-22-2018, 04:17 AM
 
13,321 posts, read 25,569,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayvenne View Post
...
It's really good that you are going to have a few months to decompress...I will be taking notes.
Good luck and enjoy!!!
If you'll be taking notes, I'll be happy to post my observations. Certainly didn't plan to vanish from the forum just when I reach the top of the mountain! I would mind if anyone I've followed here on the run-up to retirement posted, "OK, I'm done, see ya around."
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:13 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,845 posts, read 4,959,765 times
Reputation: 17327
When I first retired I felt a huge relief. I'll bet you'll feel the same.

It was really weird to suddenly receive SS and Medicare benefits. Although, like you, I had been "contributing" to those systems for my entire working life, 51 years for me, I didn't get that they were real until I actually started receiving the benefit.

The result was an immediate stress reduction. Suddenly, my time was my time. The burden of having to work each day was gone. I could loaf and still get paid.

Congratulations! You've earned it.
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:06 AM
 
6,267 posts, read 4,737,090 times
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Maybe you just think you are used to it. Maybe you are used to it, but I think working nights takes a big toll. I did it for limited periods of time when I was younger and it was hard then. I believe and hope you will recover quickly when you re-establish a more normal sleep cycle.
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