Adjusting to a New Reality

by Tim C
(Orange County, CA)

Retired at the end of December after 31 years with local government. I'm 58 and wanted to stick it out to 60 but things just got too crazy.

I left some great friends but don't want to be one of those guys who keep coming back "just to say hi" and annoy my former co-workers while they're trying to get work done. I kept saying they'll forget I ever worked there three weeks after I left, but now the reality of that is setting in. My wife is four years younger and won't retire for another two or three years.

On the other hand, being retired means I'm less tied down and have a great potential opportunity out of state. Just knowing I'm being considered assured me I still have valuable skills someone could use. I haven't interviewed in ages so I'm really brushing up on my skills and learning all I can about the new organization.

In the meantime I'm doing a darn nice job keeping the house clean.

Comments for Adjusting to a New Reality

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by: Anonymous

Debbie, Sherry and PLMP
Thank you for the comments! I won't know about the out-of-state opportunity for a few weeks (the wheels of government grind slowly) but just having the ability to move is exciting!

Yes, I agree about leaving the old workplace behind, although its been tough. I've worked with the same group for most of those 31 years so some of them became like a second family. The ones I'm close to have my personal email and can get in touch as they wish.

In many ways, spending so many years at the same place provided a support structure very similar to a family. I never socialized much outside of work with my fellow employees, but spending 9+ hours a day with someone, its inevitable you create personal ties and you care about the other person's well-being. And of course the routine and daily rituals are all gone.

But I did my best to train the person who should replace me (a millennial who has a better work ethic than most boomers I know, BTW) so I think the transition is going well. That's another reason I don't want to go back or call/email. I was a senior division manager and the last thing I want is for my successor to think I'm checking up on her.

This week's plan is for me to hit the backyard for some clean-up. I enjoy cleaning the house but yard work sucks. Still, I have to do it before it gets hot. We'll have a model home by the time I'm done!

Your future looks great!
by: Debbie

You are right, it is a hard adjustment not having your friends with you every day. And maybe feeling a little unnecessary anymore. But it sounds like you have a great attitude and a great opportunity to keep contributing to the work force. Good for you! I think you have a great future ahead of you.

New is Good
by: Sherry/ NC

You have much to be proud of! Sounds like to me you are a productive person (cleaning house)! Your wife is lucky now when she comes home from work in the evening you and she can do things you enjoy together and she doesn't have to worry about cleaning!! You can spend those weekends together too! Thank you for taking care of business!

by: PLMP

You sound healthy and probably will find something else to keep you busy as you want to be. It took me awhile but I do enjoy retirement as you leave the working DRAMA behind.

Moving on Life's Highway
by: Sherry/ NC

Good for you for not going back to visit. I never went back to visit, no one cares. Yes, people are working and I didn't want to interfere.

I was a receptionist for many years and I can remember past employees coming back to visit. The visitor would say things like don't tell anyone I am here this is a surprise! This is not appropriate that they would even think they could "bust in on someone". I would say I have to announce you are here. No one ever cared if you came back. Some of your co-workers got along with you just because you were a co-worker and that is all. If they wanted to see you they would have asked you for your telephone no.

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