June 02, 2019

Day One

Day One 
By John R. Greenwood 

Day one of “rewirement” has begun for my wife and me. I compare it to summer vacation as a child. Hopefully, it exceeds expectations. This will be the first summer in our forty-five-year marriage that we will be able to enjoy more than a long weekend free from work. The thought of it has left us feeling like a house-cat loose in the backyard—skittish of the songbirds we’ve long been salivating over from the windowsill. 

It was an emotional roller coaster of a week. We both had the good fortune and pleasure of working for long time employers who treated us with respect and generosity from beginning to end. In today’s work environment, that is rare. There are few words to express how grateful we both are for that employer/employee relationship.

The perpetual weekend is now upon us, and it will be a challenge to savor every drop of joy we can. For me it will begin with the keyboard I’m using to write this post. For my wife, it started with a bouquet of flowers from yesterday’s send-off. She has an artist’s touch and can transform a simple bouquet into a dramatic centerpiece. Seldom does a day go by that there isn’t a prize winning arrangement gracing our dining room table. 

We both have our own lists of want-to and have-to. My hope is having enough time on the laptop to be able to write without having to look at the keys. For me, it’s important to set the bar low and slow. That book of mine may take a while. 

The hardest part for us both was leaving our coworkers. These are the faces that have blessed our workday for decades. We’ve watched each other’s children grow and have been there when parents passed, or tragedy reared its ugly head. In both cases, our jobs were an integral part of who we are. Spending a lifetime solving the problems of others takes a toll on you, but it also comes full circle when you realize people were paying attention and pay you back ten-fold with their friendship. That list is long and dear to us both. It doesn’t mean staying in touch comes to an end, but realistically the opportunities shrink like the list of friends who would line up to help you move.

Sunday afternoons may seem longer now without the dreaded Monday peering in the window. Hell, I may even stay up to see the third quarter of a Monday Night Football game. Tuesday’s can become the new Friday, especially if that’s the day our now monthly paychecks arrive. We can get groceries on Wednesday mornings instead of Saturday afternoons. Those crowded aisles of stressed moms, impatient fathers, and rambunctious three-year-olds, now replaced with shuffling feet and grey perms—Booyah! I can mow the lawn on Thursday’s starting at 8am—and take all day if necessary. Friday has now lost its rank among the favorites, but knowing the joy it brings to others still shoveling the pile will take up the slack. Saturday’s will be errand-free, taste delicious, and will feel like they last all week. 

In closing, I know I also speak for Mrs. G., when I say thank you to all those people who crossed our paths in our long and blessed careers—you made it all worthwhile. 



1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! Retirement is great! But before long you'll wonder how you ever had time to go to work, your days will be so full.