I look around my office at work, and all that’s left is an umbrella and a Bible.
Today is my last day of work at the day job. It’s a strange feeling to be looking straight in the face of retirement.
We’ve been planning this for more than a year. It takes a lot of work to retire – all of the things that have to be lined up, including at least some thoughts as to what I’ll be doing after tomorrow. Retirement is a cultural concept, not a biblical one. Abraham tended flocks until he couldn’t tend them any more.
I will continue to work. It will just be different. Less structured. Less routine. Less hectic. Less crazy. Less crisis-ridden. The article I wrote for The High Calling this week summed up what my working life has been like.
I told the company last June. I nailed down the date in January. The planning and work have been intense at times. This is where my ask-every-question-and-then-some wife steps to the fore. We’re able to take this major step in our lives because she is a wise, capable woman who planned for our future. My wisdom came solely in heeding what she said.
I had planned to work longer, but a number of different things happened, and by last March, the path forwarded became a lot clearer than it had been.
My office has slowly been stripped rather bare. It helped that our offices were reconstructed, and I moved from an office to a half-office and then to a cubicle. Files have been sorted. The computer has been largely emptied. Documents have been transferred. I have two messages left in my email inbox, both reminders to do something. Personal items have been taken home.
Left on the walls are two posters for Tweetspeak Poetry’s Poetry-at-Work Day (one for 2014 and one for 2015) and a poster for National Poetry Month. I’ve turned in my iPad, stripped back to factory standards, with my phone and computer to follow shortly.
I will miss the people. I work with good people on our Digital Team. I have two good people reporting to me. I’m leaving our social media channels in good, competent hands. I’ve also arranged for ongoing management of the corporate archives – a small part of my job but one that’s interesting and often important. (I’ve often joked about being responsible for the “alpha and omega” of the company – the social media channels and the archives.)
Do I have plans? Yes, absolutely. It will be a different life, but it will still be a full one. I’ll continue to work with The High Calling and Tweetspeak Poetry. I will likely find myself doing some babysitting with the grandsons. I will continue to write fiction and poetry, and I want to do some volunteer work. I may even do some freelancing.
So it’s not exactly retirement as commonly perceived. (And I don’t play golf.)
So today I will attend a few scheduled meetings and have lunch with the digital team. At some point in the afternoon, I will get my Bible and my umbrella, and walk to my car.
It will be good.