My Retirement Sentiments

Last day at the office-emotional farewell to work



My retirement sentiments are best expressed by describing my emotional farewell to work, and my last day at the office.  I was prompted to write this retirement story after seeing the 5 star movie for retirees...About Schmidt.




Retirement planning-thinks to do

The final few weeks before retirement are a bit surreal. I wonder if I might awaken to find that I was dreaming, and that I’m only fifty, not sixty.


I must be stoic, optimistic, and even cheerful. There are lots of practical things to attend to, interesting things to occupy my mind. So much to be grateful for, and so much to look forward to. And all the while, being the diligent person I am its business as usual,
 or is it? 

There are
 retirement letters to write, final emails to send and phone calls to make. It’s time to think about my retirement speech. Do I tell a retirement joke, or use a retirement quotation? 

I have several lunches to attend, hosted by soon to be former business contacts. Everybody congratulates me, says how great it
’s been working with me. “It won’t be the same without you Greg.” I appreciate those sentiments. They all insist I stay in touch, and some of them say they envy me. 

I have the final
 retirement financial planning meeting with our pension provider and taxation advisor. The tax free lump sum, part of the pension arrangement, represents more cash than I’ve ever had in my life! Why wouldn’t I be cheerful? 

And I have the dream holiday to look forward to. That holiday will be unique because I won
’t be checking my text messages or emails and there will be no reason to call the office. And best of all, when it over, I won’t be returning to hundreds of emails, voice mails and unopened post. Yes indeed, why wouldn’t I be cheerful, my retirement sentiments exactly! 

Last day at the office

I wonder when I’ll wear the suit again. It’s too formal for my future plans. I’ll not miss the tie. I hardly need the briefcase today, but I bring it anyway. The route to work is well established. I could almost drive it with my eyes closed, and it hasn’t changed much in 26 years. I remember the notorious Kinsale roundabout before they built the flyover, spaghetti junction we called it. I recall some days bringing my children to school, and if it rained the traffic slowed, and maybe I was under pressure to make that important 9 am meeting. I got impatient when they switched the radio from Morning Ireland to Hits and Memories. There were sunny mornings when I thought it would be nice to have the day off, and ...now I can have every day off. 

My office looks bare and already there are few traces of my presence there for 26 years. I have already removed all my photographs, certificates and testimonials. The walls will need repainting. My desk, which was always neat, is empty now.
 

I have disposed of most of my files; they would be meaningless to my successor. In fact I had kept many of them beyond their usefulness to myself. And yet they were records of my life
’s labour-trade negotiations, strategic plans, creative marketing ideas, budgets and accounts. 

I change my voicemail to announce that I am no longer with the company,
 “Please press 9 to return to the operator.” I redirect emails to my private email address or to the company address info@..., as applicable. 

Because I
’m going to lunch with some close work colleagues, and meeting a larger group after work for drinks and snacks, we can avoid the formal farewell as I leave the office. 

We’ll see you later at the pub, Greg. Be sure to send us a card and drop by after the holiday.” 

Emotional farewell to work

I switch off the lights for the last time, holding my emotions in check and I know that this is a scene I will run over in my mind in years to come.

My retirement sentiments are elaborated on in My Retirement Story which offers retirement advice and expresses my retirement wishes.


I hope you enjoyed this story. Please share your Retirement Stories and Anecdotes


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