prescribed feelings

I retired today, after 32 years with the same organization. It will be good to move on to things I really want to do, like write & make more music, but it also made me think about some more basic things, like feelings.

There are certain events that are supposed to come with pre-determined sets of feelings. Weddings, funerals, births, moments of success and failure all presume either joy or grief.

Why, then, did I feel absolutely nothing today? Apart from slight embarrassment when my colleagues gathered to wish me well, I really didn't feel any different from any other day.

It can't be shock -- I've been planning this day for more than a year. Perhaps I'll just have to wait a bit to see if something emerges. It just goes to show that you can't judge how you'll feel by how convention believes you should feel.


murphy is my neighbour

All winter, all around me, people have been sneezing, sniffling, hacking & generally spreading germs in my path. I have managed to resist them all, until now.

Wouldn't you just know that in my last week of work I'd catch a cold? A miserable, cotton wool in the head, sneezling, drippy thing. To quote Terry Pratchett, Aaaaaaaargh.

We've got beautiful sunshine outside, and I actually had taken today off as vacation, hoping to do a few things. Not to be. Instead, I'm hugging a bowl of chicken soup and a box of kleenex, and whining into my blog.

Some days are just like that.


slight thaw

It's one of those sunny, warm(-ish) February days that gives the illusion that spring might be just around the corner. Whereas we know it's not even going to be here on March 21st, but will be dragging it's heels well into April.

All is not doom & gloom, however. A day like this is a good opportunity to get most of the snow and ice off the vulnerable parts of the roof. We've already had one small leak from an ice dam, but it seems under control now. If I was to count the number of leaks we've had in this dang roof over the past 20 years it'd come to quite a few. Ah, the joys of winter.

I find it remarkable what a difference a sunny day can make in everyone's mood. No wonder people speak of a sunny temperament! Now if we could only bottle and export it to the misery centres of the world...but, wait...aren't a lot of those already in sunny climates? Maybe they'd like a little snow, instead! I'd be happy to oblige.


financial adjustments

It seems everyone is going through some kind of budgetary process these days. Everyone from kids with a pared down allowance to big corporations where the poor CEOs are having to tolerate a salary cap. (I'm surprised anyone would pay them even $500K for the abysmal job most of them have been doing.)

Our household is not exempt, but for reasons other than the global recession. In a few short weeks we'll both be retired. We've had some time to practise, since my partner retired over 4 years ago, and now it's my turn. Obviously, we will be netting less income, so will have to make some adjustments.

I'm hoping that our savings plan over the past years, plus our pensions, which are unusual these days in being relatively stable so far, will allow us to keep doing things we want including travel for the foreseeable future. Yes, we've taken a hit in our investments, like everyone else, but it looks like we've managed to keep our heads above water. We were never far out there in the high risk to idiotic risk end of the market. Thank goodness!

It's already noticeable that our expenses will decrease. The commute to work every day is the first thing I won't miss, and one that costs quite a bit. Less wear & tear on the vehicle too. Not buying lunch-size items will also reduce the grocery budget. Won't need a whole new wardrobe as often, either. It won't hurt us at all to buy fewer books, CDs & DVDs, although we won't stop altogether.

Travel, now, there's something we want to increase, rather than decrease. Off-season or shoulder season should work nicely for most of that. And we'll make better use of local resources too. There are so many museums & public facilities in Ottawa we'd be foolish not to.

Retirement is going to be good, financial adjustments notwithstanding!