The Last Day Before Retirement

Retirement Road

Retirement…

What came to mind as I drove home today, was the last scene in Terminator 2 where the road stretches out towards an unknown future. Okay, that’s kind of weird. But, it did feel weird. Knowing that I wasn’t going to be driving downtown everyday, I wanted to appreciate the moment.

Retirement…

The last few months, I’ve been paying attention to the lasts.

The last off-duty job when I worked traffic control for the Turkey Trot; the last day in uniform; the last shoot qualification; the last training course; the last…the last…the last.

Retirement…

I suppose it isn’t really the last day, since I have some administrative details to clean up and I’m officially on vacation, but it sure felt like it as I left my empty office behind and loaded up all my boxes, calendars and the coffee cup that has seen me through my last few assignments. Thirty two years wrapped up in six boxes and three thumb drives. Saying goodbye has never been easy, so the small informal potluck was perfect.

Retirement…

Some people have large recognition events and some just leave one day and everyone is surprised when they find out they’re gone. My goodbye was in the form of an email with all my personal contact information, including links to my social media accounts.

A lot has happened in 32 years. These people have worked beside me in the most strange and sometimes tragic circumstances. They have supported me and kept me safe.

Retirement…

Hopefully, my co-workers, both civilian and sworn, will call me and we can meet to tell war stories over coffee. If life gets busy, as it often does, I may not see some of them again. But I’ll never forget what an honor it has been to work beside them.

Retirement…

I unloaded my boxes when I got home and was greeted by my very enthusiastic dog, Olive. To her, this was just another day. Little does she know that she has a lot more walks in her future.

Retirement…

During the evening as I thought about the day, I came to the conclusion that over time the weirdness will wear off and my new life will become the norm. Until then…I plan to embrace the weird and to turn off my alarm clock.

 

Tom Witowski

Well Friend, you made it!!☺️ Congratulations!
Some thoughts for post-retirement:
1. Get up every morning
2. Have a plan for the day (every day)
3. Plans can change (you have no deadlines except to pay bills on time)
4. Do something totally different than you have been doing (stretch your safe zone
5. Give “thanks” to God for giving you another day to enjoy life

Tom

jasteck

Thanks for the great advice, Tom. I need to print that out and hang it on my wall. I especially love number 4. I just started my screen printing class a few weeks ago and am having a blast. I’m not sure what new thing I’ll try next, but there will be many of them. You are one of my treasured former co-workers and good friends. Thank you for all the laughter and hard work. We done good!!

jasteck

Thanks Chris. It’s been an amazing ride and I’m truly blessed to have been part of it. Now I have time to hang out more with my blogging tribe. 🙂

Joe Tennant

Congratulations Jennifer! Sorry I missed your retirement party! It has been great meeting you, knowing you, and working with you! I loved your post and can relate to it very well! I have had the same experiences with those “last time” thoughts, due to the fact that I am leaving in 9 months. It has gone quickly and time seems to pass by faster each year. I know you will enjoy retirement because you have a lot of interests in many fun things. Enjoy the ride! God bless you friend!

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