Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect. –
Alan Cohen – Author
Well, here I am on the last day of my working life – 10 July 2015. Wow – has this been a roller coaster ride – or what!! Before we opened for business this morning I sat at my desk looking out over the waiting room and had such an overwhelming sense of excitement filter through me that I could hardly wipe the grin off my face! But immediately the smile appeared the thought occurred to me that I would never again walk into this familiar office, turn on the lights in the waiting room, start up my computer, greet patients or welcome the doctors as they come into the office, laugh with Cath – who not only worked beside me but has kept me sane all this time – and I experienced a split second of true and gripping fear!
The unknown has always been scary to me, being the creature of habit that I am, but I just didn’t have time for these feelings this morning as I had so much to do! I was nowhere near ready to hand over to Kierra, and I hadn’t told, or shown her nearly enough for her to get by. I don’t think I have ever put so much of my soul into any one day in my life, and I powered through the work. Do you know though – I’m not sure if I smiled at the patients, help them as fully as I should have or wished them well! I was so focused on the other facets of my work that I just can’t remember who came into the clinic today at all. I find that a bit sad.
There were many wonderful distractions throughout the day though: beautiful flower posies & arrangements arrived, well-wishers popped their heads through the door wishing me much happiness and voicing their envy of my leaving, chocolates and gifts were added to the counter behind me and cards with warm and fuzzy messages were handed over! I found the day embarrassing and humbling, filled to the brim with the well wishes of my friends. Funny though – over the years I have seen people cry on their last day – but not me – not a tear was shed, but it still does not seem real. What does retirement look like anyway – I have no clue.
In the end I was ushered out the door over a half hour early by these wonderful people. The days’ work had not been completed. Kierra had not been given the attention, nor the full information that I would have liked to have passed on. But my desk was cleared of my belongings, the closed drawers and filing cabinet sat tidy and surprisingly empty, and every surface was spotless. I had just a fleeting sad thought that my desk looks very bare.
As I added flowers to vases and placed arrangements around the house this evening retirement still does not seem a reality. To my utter surprise there are no tears or unhappiness to cope with, and the only true feeling, as I snuggled into my warm and comforting bed at the end of this very long day, is contentment – a quiet calm, which is ever so slightly covered by a wafer-thin layer of excitement. I am not afraid.
I think the concept of retirement hasn’t “sunk in” yet because it seems more like going on a holiday to me, but as I move forward it will be very interesting to see what emotions present themselves and what challenges lay ahead.
Rosanne Cash – Singer/Songwriter & Author