Friday, October 16, 2015

‘Retirement’ – Week 1

Early this summer when my bosses announced their retirement and intention to scale back their business, I had mixed feelings.

My chronic Bag Lady Fear about finances immediately kicked in. I have never felt secure about finances. Any time I’ve been laid off during my 40-plus year career, panic had set in.

I’ve never had this much notice before, which made this an interesting proposition. The aforementioned Bag Lady Fear has driven me to maintain freelance contacts over the years, including a nice steady gig with a local online newspaper.

Really, I was tired. Despite the congenial, office-politics-free atmosphere, I was tired of the daily grind, getting up before my body felt ready, missing my cats during the day. At my age, would anyone even hire me? Corporate BS, no. Long commute, no.

I applied for Social Security, which will kick in in February, at full retirement age, and a small pension that required jumping through hoops to secure. Both are now in place. I received a nice bonus at the day job and have hoarded a bunch of freelance checks.

I was almost excited in the weeks leading up to “retirement,” even though I have trouble letting go of my responsibilities. The bosses and I are keeping in touch, however.

Unlike my 2008 layoff, I promised myself I was going to relax and hang out. That was not to be.

Cable TV problems occupied a couple of mornings. I started excavating my office preparing for my new work arrangement. Breaking news and a submitted article kept me glued to the computer and on the phone. There were errands and a little time for coloring, some housework, a chicken seasoned and put into the oven in the middle of one afternoon…

So, it’s Friday afternoon. I called a contact and got a deadline-intensive assignment for several small stories that were part of a larger project I had worked on.

I thought that since the day job was gone, I’d have evenings and weekends free, or at least free to work on some creative things. Umm. Nope.

We’ll see what next week brings.

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