Retirement Thoughts
June 30, 2004
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
 
Well, I am now officially retired. I announced my retirement on September 9, 2003 and June 30, 2004 seemed so far away. It is hard to believe that it is now here and, as of 3:30 p.m. today, I am retired for the second time in my life. This retirement is very different than the first because I am 57 years old and may only work part-time in the furture. The first time I knew it was just a career change.

Although I was on vacation today, I did send a lenghty email to my former boss and the DI Director concerning my recommendations for a major project that was updated recently. I did not have the opportunity to discuss my recommendations with my boss or the DI Director before I Ieft because I was totally focused on the major project I got assigned about a month before I retired.

I saw Spider-Man 2 today at the movies. I remember seeing the first teaser for this movie last Fall and thinking that June 30, the date the movie was scheduled for release, seemed so far away. It isn't far away now; the date has come and gone. The movie got over a little before 3:30 p.m., the time I would have ended my last workday if I was not on vacation. I called a good friend in work to discuss my transition into retirement. Unfortunately, I got my friend's voice mail so I left a lenghty voice mail.

After the call to my friend, I had a nice steak dinner to celebrate my retirement and then called my brother and talked for about 20 minutes.

At around 7:00 p.m, as I was sitting on a bench at Landmark Center, the fact that I was retired hit me like someone had kicked me in the groin. It was now not only past my 3:30 p.m. normal workday end, but also past the 5:00 p.m. June 30 deadline for pulling my retirement application. I was definitely retired from the MWRA. I know I made the correct decision in taking the 5 year incentive and I do not have any regrets. However, the retirement is a major change to both my life and quality of life. I still feel I have a well developed skill set to offer a new employer, part-time or full-time. I will miss the MWRA people, particularly Deer Island, and overall, I enjoyed my time with the MWRA.
 
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
 
My 13th day of retirement went well. The contractors were at the house remodeling the foyer, but I still got out at a reasonable hour. I went to a movie at the Coolidge Theater, had a nice supper in Coolidge Corner, and visited a friend on the way home.

Tomorrow, June 30, is my last day of vacation and at 3:30 pm (my normal workday end time), I will be retired. On July 1, 2004, I will start my new status as a retired employee of the MWRA, a scary thought.
 
Monday, June 28, 2004
 
Had an enjoyable 12th day of retirement. Went to a movie at the Kendall Square Cinema, did a little shopping at the MIT Coop and then visited a friend on the way home.

Before visiting a friend, I stopped at a food court to compose a work related email about my recommendation for an important project that was updated just before I retired. Because of my hectic project scheduling employees for mandatory training, I did not have the opportunity to discuss my recommendations with my boss and the DI Director before I left, I felt the project was important enough for me to take time on my "vacation before retirement" to compose a rather lenghty email recommendation about the project.
 
Sunday, June 27, 2004
 
Still enjoying my "retirement celebration". I went to a movie at the Kendall Square Cinema and then ate at the Cambridge Brewery (I had no alcohol). On the way home tonight, I will visit a friend. I don't have to be concerned with getting up at 5:00 a.m. for work tomorrow.

I was thinking a lot today about this being my last weekend as an employee of the MWRA. I have been on leave since June 17 and celebrating my retirement; however, my retirement date is actually June 30.

Starting July 1, my weekly paycheck direct deposits will be replaced by a much reduced monthly retirement direct deposit. That is a scary thought and again reminds me of my need to begin watching my spending while still enjoying myself.
 
Saturday, June 26, 2004
 
Finishing my 10th day of retirement and this will be my last weekend as an employee of the MWRA. I have been using leave since June 17 and will be officially retired at 3:30 p.m. on June 30, 2004.

Today, I went to a movie (even when I was working I went to over 200 movies a year), ate at Bertucci's, and visited a friend. As this is the last weekend before my official retirement from the MWRA, I am starting to realize that I am retired, not just on vacation.

As I have stated in previous postings, I will be more careful in my spending starting July 1 since I will then start living on a fixed income.
 
Friday, June 25, 2004
 
Enjoyed my 9th day of retirement. Surprise, surprise, I went to a movie, had a nice dinner, and did a little shopping. I could definitely get used to this "routine". The contractors are still at my house installing the doors and doing other minor repairs; however, I did get out of the house at a reasonable time.

I obviously have to watch my spending as I soon will be on a fixed income. I will continue to spend in my old way until June 30, my actual retirement date. Starting July 1, I will watch my spending; however, I will still enjoy myself.
 
Thursday, June 24, 2004
 
My 8th day of retirement was a really good day. I left the house late because new entry doors I ordered before I retired were delivered and installation started. After everything was started and was going smoothly, I left and went to lunch at the Cambridge Brewery (I had no alcohol) and then saw "Twilight Samurai" at the Kendall Square Cinema.

Afterwards, I sat out in the beautiful weather and then visited a friend. My last stop was the Prudential Center for a cold drink before going home.
 
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
 
Completed my first week of "retirement" today. It has been great, but I have been spending like a "drunken sailor". Went to a movie today and had a nice lunch at a nice restaurant near the cinema. Before I left the house, I purchased a GPS for my Palm Tungsten T3 ( I will use it in August on my trip to Montreal, Quebec City, and Lake George).

Along with my focus on weight loss, starting July 1, I will watch my spending and spend more like someone on retirement fixed income rather than the "drunken sailor" approach. Don't get me wrong, I will still go to the movies and will still enjoy myself. I will just think a little before the credit card comes out and cut back on my electronic gadgets (toys).
 
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
 
Went to the first BOSPDAUG meeting since my retirement tonight. It will be nice not having to leave early because I have to get up early the next morning for work.

I went to the Kendall Square Cinema this afternoon for a movie, ate at the Cambridge Brewery, and then walked to the meeting at MIT.

After the meeting, I will visit a friend on the way home for a short visit, something else I couldn't do when I had to get up early the next morning for work.
 
Monday, June 21, 2004
 
Enjoyed my first Monday of retirement. I got out of the house later than I wanted to because I had a minor plumbing repair done. The plumber used to work for the MWRA also. No movie today. I visited a friend, did a little shopping, and had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (usually too crowded on the weekend). Tomorrow will be the first BOSPDAUG meeting since I retired; it will be nice not leaving early because I have to get up early the next morning for work.
 
Sunday, June 20, 2004
 
Enjoyed my 4th day of retirement. I went to the movies, had a nice dinner, and visited friends in the evening.

Maybe, just maybe, I am starting to realize that I have to watch my spending now that I will soon be on a fixed income. My demo of a RSS newreader on my Mac's expired. In the past, I would have purchased two copies without even looking at the free lite version. I did look at the lite version and am trying out this free version. I think the lite version will meet my needs. If it doesn't, I will purchase the full version.
 
Saturday, June 19, 2004
 
Third day of retirement went well. I went to a movie and had a nice dinner at Pizzeria Uno. It was a nice day in Boston today, so I sat outside the Prudential Center on Boylston St. and watched the world go by after dinner. I visited a friend in Brighton during the evening. Yeah, I think I could get used to this very easily!

Even though I will not be going to work at Deer Island or any other MWRA site, I still think that I will not fully realize that I am retired until after July 1 when my vacation time is over and I am officially retired.
 
Friday, June 18, 2004
 
Completed day 2 of my retirement. I had a great day - saw two movies, ate a nice dinner and visited a friend. I enabled the "out of office" message in Exchange Server before leaving on Wednesday; however, I did not have time to change my voice mail greeting. I knew I would be able to change the greeting from my house, which I did today (yesterday was holiday, no calls). When I was recording the greeting that I was retired and to call my boss, it started to sink in that I am really retired, even though it seems like I am only on vacation. It was strange when I called my old work number to ensure the new retirement greeting was enabled and heard the voice mail greeting which stated I am retiring June 30 but will be on leave from June 17 until June 30. It is starting to "sink in" that I am retired!
 
Thursday, June 17, 2004
 
Day 1 of my retirement went very well. I really don't feel retired yet because I am on leave and would have been off today on a holiday (Bunker Hill Day). I went to two movies, had a nice dinner at Bertucci's, and visited a friend in the afternoon (friend works nights). My actual retirement date is June 30; however, I am off today for the holiday and took personal and vacation leave for the rest of the days up to and including June 30. I will not really feel retired until after July 1.

Because the last month was so hectic in work, I plan to relax for the first week or so and then I will start some projects.
 
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
 
It's over, today was my last workday with the MWRA!!!! The day was very hectic and I worked an extra 2 and a half hours. I did accomplish everything I wanted to and still managed to demonstrate the basics of the Pathlore system to one of my coworkers. I could have said - no - I am going to leave on-time and clean out my desk etc. However, that is not me. I always try to be a professional and have always had a strong work ethic. Even though it was very hectic and I got a huge project assigned when projects should have been taken away from me, I can hold my head high and know that I gave 125% until the very end.

After work, I went to Castle Island, ate at Sullivan's and just relaxed after a very hectic day. I went out to the memorial tree for our parents that my brother and I had planted at Castle Island and said a prayer for my dad; today is my dad's 19th anniversary.

Now I have to concentrate on what I will do after retirement. I definitely plan on being out every day and enjoy myself.
 
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
 
Only one workday to go. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did get a lot accomplished today with the major project I am working on. Two coworkers dropped by with a pizza and we had a nice informal lunch with great chat. My boss and the rest of the Training Dept. staff dropped by the office this afternoon with a cake and nice gift certificate to MicroCenter. A member of the Training Dept. staff who is currently on leave dropped by with her five month old baby to say hello. I really appreciated the staff member taking the time to drop by while on leave.

After work I had a 2 hour dentist appointment for a new crown. When I finished with the dentist, I went to Castle Island and dined at Sullivan's. After Sullivan's, I sat on one of benches and contemplated tomorrow being my last workday with the MWRA. I will miss the people working at the MWRA. I have met a large number of great people while working at the MWRA and I will certainly miss all of them.

On the way back to my car after my bench contemplation session, I met the Director, O & M Support from Deer Island and we had a nice chat. How approptiate to meet one of the directors from the plant after I had just finished some deep thought about my retirement.
 
Monday, June 14, 2004
 
Finished my third last workday today. It was a very hectic day trying to finish as much of the scheduling as I can before I leave. Some more coworkers, including my former boss who retired 3 years ago and the director of the plant, took me to lunch at a nice italian restaurant today. The meal was excellent and we had a lot of laughs talking about the old times. It is really hard to believe that I have only two more workdays with the MWRA.

On the way home from work, as I was entering the Ted Williams Tunnel, the song "Last Dance" came on the radio. I immediately thought that in another two days I will be having my last dance with the MWRA.
 
Sunday, June 13, 2004
 
Enjoyed my last Sunday as an employed person, at least at the MWRA. The weather was beautiful as forecast. Went to a couple of movies and had a nice dinner at Pizzeria Uno. As I was walking along Brookline Ave. from the AMC Theater to the Pizzeria Uno in Kenmore Square, I thought that I will have plenty of time to do this once I am retired next Wednesday.

Similar to yesterday, I still feel that the full impact of the retirement will not hit me until I am retired longer than a normal vacation length and I realize that the reason I am not going to work is that I am retired, not on vacation.
 
Saturday, June 12, 2004
 
My last weekend as a MWRA employee was a beautiful weather weekend. Today, I went to two movies, one in the afternnon and a sneak preview in the evening. Stopped at the Longhorn Steakhouse and had a nice meal and bought a PlayStation 2 at Best Buy. This is the first gaming console I have ever purchased and thought I may enjoy using it after I am retired next Wednesday. I normally don't play video games; however, now that I am soon to be retired, I thought I would give a gaming console a try.

I thought a lot about my upcoming retirement next Wednesday. Although I realize how drastic a change it will be, I do not think I will fully appreciate it until after I am retired for awhile and I realize that the reason I am not going to work is that I am retired, not just on vacation.
 
Friday, June 11, 2004
 
Another hectic day, only 3 more workdays to go. Even though It was very busy, I had a nice visit with some former co-workers (now work in another building) who stopped by to wish me luck and remember old times. I enjoyed the visit very much.

After work, I did my usual Friday night movie schedule. The weather today in Boston was great - sunny, cool, and hardly a cloud in the sky. The drive along Winthrop and Revere beaches was very pleasant and enjoyable. I constantly thought about this ride being my last drive along Winthrop and Revere beaches, if not forever, at least for a long while. I will not be on the North Shore of Boston often after I retire. Most of my time I will be in downtown Boston, Cambridge or the South Shore.

Well, the weather is forecast to be nice this weekend and I intend to enjoy my last weekend off as a MWRA employee.
 
Thursday, June 10, 2004
 
My fifth last workday was very hectic. I did accomplish most of what I wanted to do, even though I also completed a last minute update request for an old project. Only four more workdays to go; it is really starting to sink in that I soon will not be working for the MWRA.

I definitely will be keeping up this hectic schedule until I clock out for the last time. I do not mind being busy, in fact I enjoy it. However, I will not get a chance to finish my file clean-up and no way will I be able to develep any more tutorials. The hectic schedule will also prevent me from having the opportunity to say personal goodbyes to some coworkers who work in other buildings.

Although this is not the way I dreamed of ending my MWRA career and this last month will not be remembered with any sense of fondness, you do what you have to do and maintain your professionalism until the very end. I know when I leave that I can hold my head up high knowing that I was creative in solving work related problems and gave 125% until the last clock out at 3:30 pm on June 16, 2004.
 
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
 
Finished my 6th last workday, 5 more to go. A week from today will be my last workday with the MWRA after 10 years and 9 months. I know I am making the right decision; however, I will definitely miss the people. The MWRA employees are great. Some of the nicest people I have met in my long life work at the MWRA.

Went to lunch at the Winthrop Arms, a nice local restaurant. The meal was great, the conversation exceptional, and the company excellent. Thank you Cindy, Pat, and Rebecca.

Took some more personal items home. After work, I went to Castle Island and dined at Sullivan's. After eating, I sat at the Island and contemplated my very near retirement.
 
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
 
As I was walking the length of the MIT infinite corridor after the BOSPDAUG meeting, I kept thinking that tonight would be the last time I walk this corridor when I have to work the next day. An exciting, yet scary thought! Although I will not be officially retired when I attend the next meeting, I will be on vacation time and retiring at the end of the vacation tiime.
 
 
Finished my 7th last workday, 6 more workdays to go. It was very busy and hectic; however, I did finish everything I wanted to accomplish today. Took some more personal material home, the office is looking empty. Six days will fly by! Went to the BOSPDAUG meeting after work.
 
Monday, June 07, 2004
 
Finished my eight last workday, seven more to go. It was real busy in work; however, I did accomplish everything I wanted to and took some more personal items home. I will definitely be busy with this latest scheduling project until my last hour. Unfortunately, I will not have the time to develop any more tutorials and / or review all files. Only seven more workdays to go, that will fly by.

Worked my old 6:30 am to 2:30 pm hours today because I had my dental cleaning today. I get the last appointment with my favorite hygeniest that I have been going to for over 20 years and have permission to work my old hours for my 3 cleanings per year. It seemed funny when I was making my next appointment. Instead of scheduling my cleaning for the last appointment of the day, I made a 11:30 am appointment. It is now sinking in that I will have the whole day to do whatever I want, whenever I want.
 
Sunday, June 06, 2004
 
The end of another weekend - when I go to work tomorrow, I will have only 8 more work days. Although I am very proud of my careers with the U.S. Postal service and MWRA, I keep on reminding myself that I am more than the job I happen to have at the time. When I leave the MWRA in 8 more workdays, I will have the same skill set and creativity that worked so well for me in both careers. I am leaving the job; however, my skill set and creativity come with me, they don't stay with the job.

Although I am 57 years old, I feel about 30 and will match my proven solution development ability/creativity with anyone regardless of age. I realize that some employers will be reluctant to hire someone my age. With all due humility, that reluctance is their loss, not mine.

I will probably take about a year off after I retire and hopefully, I will relocate to Florida. After I am settled in Florida and have enjoyed some quality leasure time, I will be ready to bring my extensive proven solutions development ability and creativity to some new employer(s), perhaps on a part-time basis.

This posting about my abilities is kind of "out of character" for me. I normally downplay my accomplishments and abilities; however, I realize I have to emphasize my abilities to help overcome the potential age bias I may encounter when I go job hunting again.
 
Saturday, June 05, 2004
 
I did a lot of thinking today about my forthcoming retirement (8 more workdays). After going to a movie and a nice dinner at Bertucci's, I sat for awhile at the Prudential Center while I had a tea from the cafe.

I thought my usual thoughts about my retirement being both exciting and scary at the same time. In addition, I finally gave some hard thought to what I would have to change because my disposable income will be reduced when I retire. Although I would like to work again, it probably will not be for awhile and my income will be substantially reduced with my retirement. Please don't get me wrong, my two pensions will allow me to live a pretty good lifestyle; however, not as good a lifestyle as I have become accustomed to for quite a few years.

I definitely plan on going to Florida next winter for at least two months. I would like to spend one month in the Naples area and another in the Fort Lauderdale area. If I like my stay and decide whether I like the East or West coast better, I may even rent an apartment and live in Florida year round. I love Boston and have lived here all my life; however, I like to be outdoors and the winters here are just too cold for me now that I am older.

I also thought a lot about my mom who passed away in 1995. When I retired from the US Postal Service in 1992, I had many discussions with my mom about the pro's / con's of taking the retirement incentive. My mom was the first one I told after making my decision to retire and I really miss those discussions this time.
 
Friday, June 04, 2004
 
Completed my 9th last workday today, eight (8) more to go. When I return to work on Monday, I will have one full week and then 3 days the next week before I am done. I went to the Revere Cinema as per my normal Friday schedule. As I was driving along Winthrop Beach and then Revere Beach, I was constantly thinking that this would be my penultimate time taking this drive. After my trip to the Revere Cinema via the Winthrop and Revere beaches next Friday, I will probably never drive those roads again. I may go to Revere Beach when I am retired; however, I will probably take the T.

Work was very busy today, but I did get everything accomplished that I wanted. I will continue taking home my personal stuff and leave my office files etc. relatively clean. My goal of checking every file folder has been put aside due to the massive project I received about two weeks ago. This project wiil be ongoing until I leave and then someone else will continue it.
 
Thursday, June 03, 2004
 
Finished my 10th workday before I retire, nine more workdays to go. The proximity of my retirement is really sinking in now that the number of workdays left is a single digit number. I brought home a few more personal items from work; the office has an echo now because I have brought home so many personal items over the last two weeks. I was in the same office for almost 10 years and, of course, brought a lot of personal pictures, pda's, books etc. into work. I did not want to wait until the final days and have to take cartons of personal stuff out all at once.

Some of the other June 30 retirees and I are bonding like high school/college students who are graduating together. Although we have always been friendly, we now have the common retirement date like students have a common graduation date. I can definitely feel the change in our relationship. We are much closer now. In fact, we joke about being the class of 2004.
 
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
 
11th workday before retiring is now finished. Two weeks from today will be my last workday, amazing!
 
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
 
Another workday completed, only 11 more workdays to go. WOW!!!
 
I am 98% sure I will be retiring on June 30, 2004, the last day to qualify for the retirement incentive of an extra 5 years added to your age or years of service. Update - I did take the retirement on June 30, 2004. This will be my second retirement. I retired in November 1992, again taking advantage of a retirement incentive. This retirement will be different; I will be 57 and the do not anticipate being employed full time again.

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