Monday, March 12, 2007

Coming to Closure (Finally)

How does Friday, April 13, sound? It seems to me like a good enough day to retire. Everything finally came to a head today and although I didn’t leave the rescheduled meeting with this decision cast in concrete, it seems inevitable.

Several times the Big Boss said to me, “I can’t believe you are willing to fall on your sword over this,” to which I responded, “Believe it. I can only do my job if you give me your support and right now I don’t feel I have it. So I simply must leave.”

I felt emboldened by extra energy from friends who knew this was happening. I held my head high and never once even thought about tears. Instead I was proud that I could stand my ground, that I could clearly articulate my case, and that I could make good on my promise.

Obviously their surprise indicated they didn’t actually believe I would leave. But there were no counter-proposals, no attempts to placate me. So the writing is now on the wall and soon to be on the official documents.

I just realized today that I don’t have the slightest idea how to retire! I never went to those pre-retirement courses that most people take around the time they turn 50. I was always too busy doing my job. But tomorrow I will find out.

The nice thing about retirement is they cannot do anything to stop you. It’s not like a lateral assignment, where they don’t have to release you. This is one where the employee calls the shots.

I just sent my boss a note with the date that also said,

“I am requesting no announcement, no lunch, no open house, no cards. I will say my goodbyes to those who have supported me over my 35-year career at the _______.

This is not how I envisioned leaving, but I cannot stay in a place where I don’t sense the support and respect of those above me.”

So there you have it. A little part of me feels sad. But my overwhelming emotion is a sense of relief that this is finally coming to closure and I can move on with my life, as they say on the soaps.

As of this moment I can turn my attention to planning a party. With some advice from friends, I have a start on that. But I must now find a place in the DC area that can accommodate a party for 100 or so with yummy hors d’oeuvres-y food and drinks for all tastes. Maybe even dancing? This part is going to be fun! Let me know if you have any suggestions!


Anonymous KassyK said...

Wow, I am so excited for you. It takes a lot to really do this on your own terms after feeling so crappy in a certain job for so long (meaning without the support you deserve) and I hope your retirement works out beautifully. :)

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Bengal said...

Barbara, this is really terrific! Congratulations on taking the plunge and telling your "superiors" at the Bureau of Bureaucracy to "take this job and shove it, I ain't working here no more." As for all those "transition seminars" that you haven't taken, I took them in the last year of my active duty incarnation and can tell you what they're about: how to get a job! It sounds like time to exhale, decompress, and decide what you really want to do. You've certainly earned that right and no one is going to take it away from you now! Good luck!

10:58 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Congratulations. I know this hasn't been an easy decision and that at times it has felt pushed on you but I am so happy for you. I'm just picturing your list as I type.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Mazel tov on a graceful exit!

7:51 AM  
Blogger steve said...

Champagne...don't forget the Champagne! Cheers!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Jamy said...

Wow--what a story! I'm sorry that it's come to this, but I'm glad you feel good about it.


11:09 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks to everyone for staying with me on this saga. You're probably sick and tired of hearing about it, but it has been very cathartic to write it all down.

And yes, a champagne toast to all and to MY future!

1:48 PM  

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