So now I’m retired; it’s been long anticipated¹ but when it finally comes, it comes quickly. A last minute flurry of activity, then a pub lunch, hugs and handshakes and promises to keep in touch. A momento, thoughtfully chosen, reminds me that ‘Work’ is not simply a place – it’s also people.
My desk is finally cleared and my email account closed. As far as ‘the system’ is concerned, from Friday 31st August 2012, I no longer exist.
Annie also retires on this day and, like me, has mixed emotions. Work has been a stable part of both our lives for a long time – whatever else we’ve had to contend with, it has always been there. To be sure – it’s changed out of all recognition from when we both started, but it’s clothed and fed us and defined, to a large extent, who we are. We’re on shifting sands now – and that’s both exciting and scary at the same time.
We begin our new life with a holiday as a means of drawing a line under the past, to stop once and for all, questions like ‘will we manage without work?’ – or rather – ‘will work manage without us?’
As we start to sort out suitcases and maps, any doubts I might have had are dispelled by one of those spooky moments in life when you think that someone or something has stuck their screwdriver in the cosmos and given it a little tweak; I open the The Guardian Weekend on Saturday September 1st to find this:
The Awful Truth, Stephen Collins
Enjoy it! I haven’t known any of my friends who have retired who a) didn’t look ten years younger three months after going and b) who could work out how they had ever time to fit work in to thei schedule!
Cheers and all the best,