Thursday, July 29, 2021

One month in

Today is my 73rd birthday and one month since I finally retired from paid employment. It's going well so far, but a month is a bit quick to pronounce everything all 'good.' When you have been used to people expecting you to turn up for work for the last 57 years, it comes as a bit of a shock when that is no longer the case. Even though I had prepared, by working only part-time for the last 13 years, the absence of the weekly work requirement still feels like there's something not quite right. 

Birthday lunch in Methven

A lot of things have been accomplished this last month (so there has been no laziness!) but they have been done without pressure and at a more relaxed pace. It's this ability to, largely, choose the task that I feel like doing at the moment (rather than the multiple tasks that all need doing a.s.a.p.) that makes each day so much more relaxed (at least so far). 

Lots of walking  

Weather permitting, there have been walks, photographs taken, chats over the fence with the locals and even the pleasure of watching others hard at work.

Meet one of the locals

My 'office' has already been relocated to another room, and the old PC has been replaced with a new Apple Mac - that took over a week and felt more like moving house; I still haven't 'unpacked all the boxes'. There are plans for some house alterations and a holiday booked for after the worst of winter should have passed. So, no room for boredom yet.

Watching others work, down at Mill

All in all, after the first month, I am quite upbeat about this retirement thing working out for the best. Hopefully, my optimism isn't misplaced.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Retirement; Day One

 Yesterday, I officially retired. Coincidentally, I also received an invitation for a COVID-19 jab. The two were unrelated.

For the last fifteen months (since COVID-19 - perhaps they are related, after all), I have largely been working from home with occasional trips into the office to touch base and attend meetings. 

A morning tea had been arranged, so there was no possibility of slipping quietly out the back door.  Although I had been dreading the event, it turned out to be a lovely affair and people said some very kind things.  I am getting much better at not being internally dismissive of personal compliments; it's healthy to be aware of my own weaknesses, but there are times when I need to take heed of what others have to say. I think this was such a time.

As I left with card and gift in hand, it seemed no different from any other day. The fact that I would not be returning again didn't seem to have sunk in. That all changed later that evening when my work email account was deactivated. It's weird how it's the smallest of things that sometimes speak the loudest. No more "printer busy for the next 30 minutes" messages, or "has anyone got the keys to NJL 798" pleas. I'm not a part of that anymore. Ouch!

The other "ouch!" was the COVID-19 jab. Not that I have had it yet. It was ouch when I found the booking website was broken - apparently, if there is no vaccination centre in your exact postcode, you are told there are no appointments available and you don't get to book. The rather bored lady in the call-centre had the same problem and I had to tell her some nearby towns so that she could look them up. Eventually, I got an appointment booked in Rangiora (35km away) for the 2nd August (1 month away) double-ouch! Let's hope the jab is less painful than the booking process.

There were, of course, other, more pleasurable aspects to my first day of retirement: