Wednesday, March 13, 2013

fragile but strong

last week, the announcement was made at work that i am retiring after 34 years.
the place that i grew up, the co-workers who became friends and family, the hard lessons learned, the many gifts received...
i was walking away, but leaving behind a lot of my life, my identity, my world.
but when it's not easy to go but even harder to stay, you know it's time.
as word got out, and it became more real,
i could feel the weight lifting off my shoulders.
my smile felt more sincere, my voice was sounding happier. i could hear it :)
then, on monday, joey's job unexpectedly came to an end.
he had been there 15 years and this was a way of life, an identity, for him too.
omg OMFG.
every plan that we had painstakingly put in place fell apart.
it was funny at first - how weird that the timing happened this way, chuckle chuckle
then we started envisioning how april -may, june, july etc- would go,
and we both got really scared. and really sad.
this truly was not our plan.
how could we do this? 
this meant we'd have to get health insurance?
we'd be selling the condo and moving to the cape?
what would we do together all day?
should i pull back the retirement, stay where there's security, an income, health insurance, a continuity of our current lifestyle, a daily routine...?
i think we both aged in the 24 hours that followed the announcement that his place of business was closing. 
he has a month from today until d-day.
i have until march 30. it is crazy.
we talked and we hugged. and slept. and thought.
and we cried a lot.  
and ultimately we made a new decision.
we are going to embrace this new world we've found ourselves in as a gift.
for the first time in the 33 yrs that we've lived together,
we will be unbound to 9-5 commitments.
we will need to find new routines. that's a good thing.
we may have less money to spend, but that too can be a good thing.
we never thought we'd be lucky enough to get to retire together.
many people don't get that option in life.
the plan we put together so meticulously didnt hold up long enough for me to even get to the first day of retirement. 
so, there's no plan this go-round.
this time, we just hold hands, and step off the edge, together.
but strong.

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