Friday, February 8, 2008

Beth's Milestone Moment

Ouch man, today was hellacious at work! There was just so much to do, and it wasn't just one bench that was bad...every bench was busy. Usually when it's like that, I just work straight through without taking a lunch, but I had a killer headache, and I could tell that I needed to eat, and more importantly, to step away for a little bit. This only served to positively reinforce what I did today, my milestone moment: I turned in my letter of resignation. It feels extremely strange to write that.

A little background. Ken and I have had a plan since before we got married in November of 2001 that I would eventually stop working. He had assumed tens of thousands of dollars of debt in his divorce, and for the past 6 years, we've been working together to pay that off. Ken had a timetable of when things would be paid off and I would stop working, and we're finally there. (The initial date was mid-March, so with a mid-April date we missed it by about a month. <grin>)

This morning, I left a note for my manager asking to see her when she had a few minutes. When she got in, she told me anytime I was ready, so I headed in as soon as I could. I handed her my resignation letter, and she kind of smiled when she took it, and said, "I had a feeling that's what this was about." I had told her last year in my performance evaluation of our goal, just to give her fair warning, so she knew the time was getting close. She was so sweet...she said, "I'm so happy for you. We'll hate to lose you, but I think all of us get to a certain age when we realize there's more to life than work. I'm really happy for you." made me cry! I didn't burst into hysterical sobs or anything, but I definitely teared up. My manager is just such a cool person, and I could tell that she was genuinely happy for me. I asked for my last day to be in April, so I've got a couple of months to go, and she said she appreciated the lengthy notice.

We were so busy today that I didn't tell any of my coworkers yet. Everyone was having such a bad day, and while I know they'll be happy for me, hearing that they're losing another tech wouldn't have made anyone feel good today. I work this weekend, and I'll tell our weekend crew tomorrow.

I'm still working on figuring out how I feel about this. I have very mixed emotions. Shock is probably the first thing, because I can't believe we've actually reached this point! Six years ago, it seemed...well, years away! Ha! I also feel elated. Since I'm in the healthcare field, I've worked weekends and holidays for my entire career, and I feel I've missed out on so many family things. What a wonderful thing it will be to be told of a party or get-together, and to NOT have to look at the calendar and say, "Nope...I work that weekend." Birthday parties, our Apple Butter-making party, lunch with Cousin many things I'll get to do now!

But there's a certain uneasiness, too. Ever since I finished college, I've worked full time. I've always been proud of being able to support myself, and there were many years when I did so. It's an odd feeling to just...stop. I also realize that I will need to fundamentally change how I define myself. When meeting new people, one of the first questions is "What do you do?" My answer of "I'm a microbiologist" usually intrigues people, and they want to know details. How will I describe myself in the future?

I will also miss my coworkers. I've been there 10 years, and that's a long time to know people! We've all been through both good and bad times together. I've also enjoyed getting to know those who started after I did. I'll miss our fun conversations and our laughs, and I'll miss our serious conversations, too. Gosh, I might have to remember how to enjoy talking on the phone! I really don't want to lose touch with them, and I'm hopeful that there will be opportunities to get together once in a while. There's always our book club! Jillian figured out that it will take a good 10 years to read all 100 books, so I'm sure we'll keep in touch!

So as you can imagine, I'm kind of a bubbling pot of emotions at the moment! I'll sort it all out in the coming months, but I can honestly say that my main emotions are happiness, and gratitude to my wonderful husband. There's no way I'd be at this point without him, and I love him with all my heart.

I'm sure I'll find various outlets for my amusement and enrichment. I have no plans as of yet, other than tackling that pile of books in the bedroom. I will also get my butt in gear and start working out, and I fully expect to be a lean, mean, readin' machine before too long. Ha ha! I also suspect you'll see a lot of me on here, but I'll try to keep it down to a dull roar.

Thanks for listening. It helped to write this down. I hope you'll continue to stick around for this next phase of my life!


buckoclown said...

I ggguuuueeeeeessssssssssssss I'll stick around :o)

orangedoublezero said...

congrats on your retirement, beth!  i'm in shock that the time is here, too.  i can still remember when you and ken got married and you said that you would retire in about 6 years after you reached your big goal!  has that time really passed already?  wow.  i'm very happy for you, and i know you will do many things in your new free time.  i feel that the best part of your life is yet to come.  i really do!

love you!

mpnaz58 said...

Congratulation!  You are doing, at your young age, what many seniors cannot yet do...stop working!  I'm sure you'll find something to amuse yourself with.  Do you have hobbies?  At first, it'll be novelty, but eventually, you'll miss the socialization, if nothing else.  Maybe volunteer?  Not now, or even for a while.  You have many talents, and I'm sure someone, somewhere can use you...on your own time!
xoxo ~Myra

ziggy2315 said...

Oh my gosh, you had yourself quite a day. I am sure that you feel a bit nervous about the resignation but it seems to be something you needed to do. Now what on earth are you going to do with yourself. I mean, you can't just stay home and read books. You are young, extremely intelligent, gifted, talented and very knowledgeable. Maybe the world still needs a microbiologist in some way, but perhaps not as intense or as full time as your present job is. I don't know. What do you really see yourself doing? The not making your own money part sounds a bit scary to me as a woman. What about the future - will you have paid into social security or for retirement funds ( I am not American so I do not know what these things are called down there). Gee, that is a bit personal and I am being too nosey. Well, if you can afford it and will enjoy it, then your "retirement" is something to be envied. There is more to life than work for sure. I sigh and I dream, but tomorrow I will be up at 4:30 am to go to my job.
Not sure what a person should be saying when something like this happens --- good luck, congratulations, welcome to the rest of your life. It will be interesting to see what your future holds and I am sure it will be bright.

tsalagiman1 said...

Congratulations on reaching your goal!!  This is awesome!  The main thing I see is that you won't have to miss out on family anymore.  Life is so short, it's great that you're able to do this.  Other than family things, there will be things that you discover you will want to do.  You and Ken will be able to spend more time with each other too.  This is so great!


rdautumnsage said...

((Hugs)) Doing the happy dance for you.....with a calm contemplation.....

It won't be easy, trust me on this one. I pretty much got pushed into an early retirement. Like you I worked most of my life and took care of me, never wanted to let my guard down and totally trust someone else to be the main bread winner.

On the other hand to be able to sit back at our age and breathe a sigh of relief, that now the day moves at our own pace. My saving grace has been my writing and friends online and off.....Quite a few of us write personal snail letters to one another to deepen that connection between us.....

As for things to do, you could always volunteer for a few hours a week at an animal or domestic shelter (another saving grace for me) Most importantly sit back and learn to breathe (my way of saying enjoy life at your own pace).....

As for what to say to those who ask what you do....How about telling them your on a life for me. (Hugs) Indigo

deshelestraci said...

How cool for you!  It must be wonderful to be out of debt!  Whooop, whooop!

queeniemart said...

i totally understand the missing out on family events thing...GOOD FOR YOU....i am glad you are able to do this in your life and i can bet a few months after you leave your job you will be amazed at how busy you are anyway!