Scrolling through my facebook memories today were reminders that I am past my due date for retirement. Exactly two years late to be exact.
Whereas I was not ready to go on January 3rd, 2020, I know for certain today that the time has come. I feel it in my bones; it’s time to go.
I will give my four month notice at the end of February and leave by July 3rd, 2022, six months from now.
Making the decision to leave is a relief. It is paramount to taking a deep in-breath after swimming under water for a long time. It stems from a visceral need to stop and rest, for longer than a week-end or a two week vacation.
That’s not to say it isn’t scary. Apart from my maternity leave (a different kind of busy), I’ve worked since I was eleven. I don’t know how I will manage without the structure of a work-day, without a schedule.
And sad. I will miss the clients (though not all …) and my colleagues, many of whom I consider to be close friends.
I have no romantic illusions about retirement either. Shit happens. I see that in my work. I read about it on social media. I have elderly parents to care for, a teenager, and a house that’s kind of falling apart. I’m exhausted. And the only thing I can let go of is work.
I’m not sure why I’ve been hanging on for so long. Maybe it’s that I don’t know who I will be without my job description. Or maybe I hoped to accomplish a little more before I left.
It feels like I’ve lived a very small life up until now, a mundane life, an insignificant life. I mentioned this to my husband the other day and he wrote a poem about it, a perfect poem really, the way he usually does: gathering snippets of conversation, words and ideas and organizing them into stanzas.
Here it is:
A Small Life
It’s been a small life
Caught somewhere between
Monumental and mundane
Between the roaring,
boastful beacon bonfire
Feeble flame flickering
And the Kind Candle.
Trying to make
a difference to the indifferent
A dent in the surface
To give meaning to absurdity
Fighting the current,
The ebbing tide.
Not to drive, but
To finally ride
Who will be
Who will remember
Ten years hence?
If not gone,
But for today…..
These final months of work will be my reckoning. Where the needle falls in this small life will be up to me. Because somewhere between monumental and mundane is all there is, and that has to be enough going forward.