Saturday 1 December 2018

Many pleasant surprises

What a week!  I knew it was going to busy and it certainly turned out that way.  There were the last minute things to take care of at work, which I managed mostly to handle by the end of day Wednesday.  That gave me an opportunity to wander about with my coffee cup (my trademark) and reminisce and say goodbye to my co-workers.  What surprised me were the number of individuals who came to see me.  It was surprising because, at least with a few of these I hadn't spoken to them in two years or more.  They work on different floors so our paths rarely cross. It was fun, and there only a few tears. 

Retirement cards from my co-workers
I should note that I expressly asked for no gifts or a card to be circulated throughout the office.  Some individuals decided to ignore my request. I'm okay with that because I know they were sincere in their best wishes.  One of my current staff gave me a pair of cozy slippers, another a photo album (for my upcoming trip), and two others gave me gift cards that I'll be able to use on my travels.  It was very thoughtful of them and very unexpected.

At about 1 p.m. my boss and I met, gathered up the items I needed to return (including my building pass), and made our way downstairs.  She didn't kick me out of the building but she did come to the door to see me out.  I thought I might feel tearful then but no, it was simply a sense of relief.  I have no regrets about my decision to leave, it was time.  

Later that evening, my younger brother R popped by for a short visit. He brought with him, these lovely flowers. I think he's as excited for my retirement as I am.  Now if I could just convince him to put in his paperwork.  He's been eligible for retirement for a couple of years now, but has chosen to stay on.  I know he wants to continue working - my thought is take the pension and find another job.  

I also heard from several friends including an e-mail from J in England and a phone call from my travel agent L. One of my readers also sent an e-mail the day prior which was so sweet.  I told L, my nail lady on Friday that I think of myself as a bit of loner and to experience that others would be so considerate and thoughtful is a bit overwhelming.  It certainly makes me think I need to be more caring of others as well.. 

Friday was an incredibly busy day.  I met with former co-workers for breakfast (all retired) and had a wonderful visit.  I did ask if there were any surprises to retirement.  They all agreed that the to do list was never finished.  Someone explained because there isn't the same urgency to get things done when one has to fit work in as well. Seems reasonable to me though with everything that I have coming up I'm not sure I'll experience those feelings just yet.

I had a couple more gifts to pick up this weekend.  I headed to the south end of the city to Chapters to pick up a gift card for my niece, and of course, a couple of books for myself.  I spent far too much time wandering the aisles looking at all the Christmas items and checking out books for Eli - goodness children's books are very expensive!  Then it was off to the liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine for my friends C and N.  I know nothing about wine - so after wandering the aisles aimlessly one of the employees helped a Canadian white wine, medium dry.  I hope they like it!

By this point it was time to head for my nail appointment.  I headed over towards Ring Road (it circles most of the city and is the fastest way to get from one end to the other).  Well, not Friday!  We had heavy, dense fog in the area and apparently the sensors that change the lights weren't acknowledging all of the traffic.  We sat through four series of lights before someone on our side got out of her vehicle and pushed the walk light.  I called the city and was informed they were aware and had a crew on its way.  (Yes, I called from my vehicle...I figured I'd risk getting a ticket since I was virtually parked anyway.)  

When I arrived a the nail salon, L surprised me with a small bouquet of tulips - purple of course.  I didn't know that tulips were available at this time of the year.  We had a great visit while she worked on my nails.  At point she asked about my plans to move to the island and I mentioned that when my son C moves out I'm going to convince him to get a two bedroom place so I have somewhere to stay.  She told me, I was always welcome to stay with her, especially in the summer because her husband is at the lake house since he works at the golf course there.  Wow!  This is when our conversation about my tendency to be a loner arose.  I am blessed to have so many caring people in my life.

Then it off to the gas station to fill my tank and pick up a gift card for my nephew.  Guess what I forgot?  Yes, the gift card which means another trip.    I realized it after I arrived home and was putting finishing touches on my wrapping.  Sigh...are memory lapses a sign of old age or was I trying to do too much?  I took the opportunity to sit and relax for a bit.  Later I met the Friday night crew for dinner where the conversations ranged from the earthquake in Alaska (so scary though thankfully it seems no one was seriously injured) and other current affairs, to plans for travel, and the happenings in everyone's lives.  

I left early, as I had plans to attend a performance of the Regina Lyric Music Theatre.  My former co-worker D who retired at the end of October had travelled from Saskatoon as her daughter M is one of the soloist.  It was an incredible performance of various musical themes from movies and Broadway shows.  M did an impressive job with her solo "Touch the Sky" from the movie Brave.  All the more so because according to her mom no one their family is the least bit musically talented except M.  D and I did manage a quick visit before the show and during the intermission and it was lovely to see her.   

While I was reading the list of performers I recognized the name of a girl I knew 40 years ago and when they came on stage...there she was!  After the show was over I was able to catch up with her and have a short conversation.  Her two children as young adults now, both very talented violists, one is studying musical theatre in New York, and the other was part of the band that evening.  AND she hasn't aged at all since she was a teenager, I swear.  (She told I haven't either and recognized me immediately but the mirror and my scale tell me different.)  There was one more surprise as one of my former co-workers I had breakfast with was also in attendance as a spectator.  

This post is getting incredibly long and since it's is only mid-Saturday and I know the weekend holds more, I'll post it and do another likely on Tuesday before I get away.

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. Congratulations on your retirement, Eileen! I hope it's the start of exciting new adventures for you.

    My goodness, you had a busy week, right into the weekend! I AM a loner, very much so (though more than I would want if circumstances were different), and sometimes it's hard to remember that we touch lives, even when we think we don't. As you obviously have, with so many.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  2. Sounds like a fun filled week - lots going on! The earthquake in Alaska scared me a little....I looked up where to go in your house if there is an earthquake after seeing the footage. Not in doorways (that is an old wives tale from when people lived in adobe houses) but under the table and hang on to the legs. And don't try and run outside as you might get hurt from things falling from the ceiling. Stuff happens everywhere I guess, good to be prepared and to know what to do.

  3. Eileen, love reading what is going on with you after retirement. In a way, most of it happened for me as well. I write about it I think and may do so again in my own blog. Not hers! :-) By the way,Kea is right. We touch people's lives and hearts too as we go through our lives both at work and in an every day walk through the 24 hours we get each time. And many times we feel like loners- but we really aren't any more We change and sometimes we don't let the reality of how we are now, into our minds too as o change the old ways of thinking.


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