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Retirement Day TOMORROW

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I remember watching Johnny Carson's last show before he retired. He came out onto the stage, sat on a bench, and said, "And so, it has come down to this." Then he gave a nice speech about his years on the Tonite Show and left, and we rarely saw him in public again. Well, I'm not going to disappear from Spark, but after nearly breaking down at my retirement luncheon yesterday, don't expect any public speeches from me--it's too embarrassing to cry in front of everyone!

But I have been very emotional the last few days. Two of my bosses who have retired were at the luncheon yesterday (it was a combined Christmas luncheon and a retirement luncheon, I didn't want a big to-do just for me!), and I knew they came just for me, which was nice. They rarely have attended the Christmas parties in the past. One of them brought me a card, and the other brought me flowers! But I missed Roy, one of my bosses who retired at the end of 2003. I assumed he was in Arizona, where he & his wife have a second home, both his boys live there and I think they have a new grandchild, so they spend a lot of time there. One of my current bosses told me later, that he had received a letter from Roy, which he gave me. It is the nicest letter I think I have ever received and I will treasure it.

Here I am at yesterday's luncheon. Next to me is one of my current profs/bosses. I look like Bucky Beaver!

I have saved a lot of things from my trip to New York and plan to make a scrapbook, when I retire. Now I may have to make another scrapbook about my retirement, I got so many nice things yesterday. Old friends came and even my middle son, daughter-in-law and adorable granddaughter Mia came for lunch. I told my family they didn't need to come, but middle son has always been the thoughtful one. I forgot my camera, so asked him to take some pictures for me on his cell phone.

When I got up this morning and went downstairs, youngest son had finally gotten home after a long railroad trip (he was gone for 45 hours), and had stopped for donuts. He said, "I got you a donut to celebrate your next-to-last day of work. I said "A glazed donut?" Sure enough, in the little white bag was a lovely fresh glazed doughnut, which I ate WITHOUT GUILT. I won't have my cereal and banana for breakfast though as I usually do about 9 a.m., and I am already missing that. A donut is a rare treat, but I had no retirement cake yesterday, so I haven't gone completely off the deep end!

BIG snow is predicted in these parts starting this afternoon. To tell the truth, I am hopeful it will be enough that they will close the University tomorrow and I won't have to come in for my last day. I plan to take everything home tonight, all that is left here is my 35-year clock (so I know what time it is), and one framed football poster, and a little tin box, in which I have kept all my passwords for all the computer accounts I have. I know you're not supposed to write them down, but who can remember a million different passwords? Not this old woman!

I have been cleaning my office and taking personal things home for over a month now. It's amazing what you can accumulate after 35 years! I have been in this same building and department here at the University the entire time. Only 3 professors in this department have been here longer than me, and I expect all 3 of them to retire soon. I have, however, been moved to 6 different offices in this building in those 35 years. In 1990, they built a huge addition to our building, tripling the size. We share our building with the Food Science Department and the new area is theirs, while we retained most of the old building. When they finished with the new building which adjoins the old one, they moved our department temporarily into it, while they completely remodeled our old building, and we moved back 6 months later. I have been in my current office for close to 20 years I think. When I started working here in July 1977, I was 5 months pregnant with my middle son (the thoughtful one). I didn't tell anyone, I was heavy and you couldn't tell I was pregnant anyway. Back then, discrimination against hiring pregnant women was rampant, and we had just moved into a new house and I needed a job. But I only needed to work part-time, so I found a job where I worked every morning, 20 hours a week. Worked beautifully when my oldest son started to school in August, since he was in school until noon. I continued working those part time hours, eventually going to 5 hours a day and taking Fridays off, until 1988, when I began working full time, 40 hours per week. I did that until three years ago when I started taking Fridays off, and cut back to a 32-hour week in preparation for my retirement. I have loved having my Fridays off, but I know I will love being home all the time even more. When I was home this summer, recovering from my hysterectomy, I never got bored and I didn't gain weight, those were my two biggest fears, along with not having enough money. We will have to wait and see how the money situation works out. You never know until the checks start coming in and you see how much you actually will get. Taxes take a chunk too, even in retirement and hubby will have to pay more for health insurance since I will no longer be working here too, and the University's contribution toward our health care will be cut in half. But I think we will muddle through, as we have always done. There's never been an abundance of money at our house, but as my husband has been fond of saying, "we've had a lot of fun."

I think I will find that, as my retired boss said in his letter to me yesterday, "Retirement will truly be one of the best times of my life!"

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
TRIANGLE-WOMAN 12/24/2012 6:22AM



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FISHINGLADY66 12/21/2012 10:11PM

    Congratulations! Job well done.

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AAEEFDCA 12/20/2012 4:47PM

    Wonderful memories, family and friends are something to treasure forever. emoticon

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JAOTAO 12/20/2012 1:49PM

    35 years in one place is a long time! I understand how emotional/attached you must feel. Give yourself time to find the rhythms of your new life. Though what I've found with retirement - there is no such thing. Life is busy as ever...

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TEMPEST272002 12/20/2012 10:39AM

    Congratulations! 35 years is a long time, but I have no doubt that you will enjoy your retirement immensely! It's so lovely to wake up in the morning and ask yourself "what shall I do with my day today?"

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KAYYVAUGHN 12/20/2012 6:01AM

    Maggie, it is a great time. You make your own schedule. Although many activities come up, it is usually flexible for you to chose what you want to do that day.

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RFJSJ50 12/19/2012 11:35PM

    Enjoy your retirement!
I'm enjoying every minute of mine!

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 12/19/2012 10:59PM

    So proud of you! And I can't believe it's here already! I'm jealous, too, but you have definitely put in your time. Enjoy your retirement! :)

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IOWAGRAMMA 12/19/2012 10:52PM

    Congratulations, Pam! Enjoy this new part of your life! Hugs, Jeannie

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MEH50BEWELL 12/19/2012 9:06PM

    So excited for you! Congrats

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CTUPTON 12/19/2012 6:41PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CARRAND 12/19/2012 6:34PM

    You will love being retired! I know I do.

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LINDAK25 12/19/2012 4:58PM

    Here's to retirement! Glad you enjoyed your luncheon. You are going to love retirement, you'll see.

Wow, a snow day for your last day! That would be so cool. I used to love snow days when I was working. One time they made us go in even though we were going to have a blizzard and the snow had already started. We all showed up in jeans and t-shirts (a big no-no). My t-shirt said cat-a-tonic. We all stood around and drank coffee until they sent us home an hour later. We had 4 1/2 feet of snow with that blizzard!

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KERRYG155 12/19/2012 3:37PM

    My brother got to go home early today due to the snow forecast-hopefully you got to, too. WooHoo for your retirement-hope you have some good plans.

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MUSOLF6 12/19/2012 3:33PM

    Happy Retirement!!!
Can't wait for mine, but I got about 12 more years to go...... emoticon

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VONBLACKBIRD 12/19/2012 2:50PM

    Good philosophy in never enough money but what fun...hubby and I were/are like that..I retired due to RA disability (hearing loss, 2knees and hips to break etc) and then hubby retired early but we had planned it this way for several years and were has been a wonderful ride being at home with him and we both have our hobbies that keep us busy..and can come and go as we want.So excited for you.

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SLENDERELLA61 12/19/2012 1:26PM

    Congratulations on your retirement!! Wishing you years of joy!!

I retired to care for my grandkids so I have never felt unemployed. I know the challenges of eating are different when you are home more. You will thoughtfully face each challenge and continue to succeed. Retirement may indeed be the happiest time of your life!! Again, congratulations!! That's great that so many good people came to celebrate with you. -Marsha

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TADTURC 12/19/2012 1:26PM

    Congrats on your retirement from working and starting a new life!

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BETH150 12/19/2012 1:23PM

    Life is like a book - one chapter moves into another. This chapter of your life will led you into the next one. What a exciting chapter in your life is about to begin!!! :)

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MARTY728 12/19/2012 12:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOTSONK 12/19/2012 12:25PM

    The cycle-of-life is pretty amazing, isn't it? And it really has not hit home for me until my fifties, when it hit me pretty hard. Just coming to the realization that "youth" is truly a thing of the past now-- never to return. Very difficult to accept that. And, then retirement. Which is a couple of years away for me. I am still turning that concept over and over in my mind. Nevertheless, there is no use in trying to fight or deny the facts. One fact being that there is still plenty of experiences ahead and enjoyment to be had. You are very blessed with a wonderful family, home, friends, good health,and tons of personal accomplishments. I wish you the best in continuing this awesome journey of life that God has so graciously given. Spark on!



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TEDDYBEARGIRL 12/19/2012 12:14PM

    Glad it has finally arrived!

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LISA01605 12/19/2012 12:10PM

    Congrats on your retirement!!

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MEXGAL1 12/19/2012 11:56AM

    Happy retirement. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Gosh, can't believe for me it's been 8 years. Time just flies so quickly.
Have a terrific day.

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WALKSINLIGHT 12/19/2012 11:45AM

    oh you brought tears to my eyes - it is so exciting and kind of scary - such a huge life change and after all those years, all those experiences, it is going to be hard to move on but oh the possibilities of doing things undone.

Enjoy every minute of this last day(s)


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