Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Comfortably numb

Today may have been my last day in the office. Ever. After 18 years with this company. After more than 40 years as a writer. After more than 45 years of full-time white collar work.

I went through my stuff and threw much of it away, which made me sad. I always figured when this time came, I'd leave my files to my successor. Since my client severed the relationship, I won't have a successor. It seems a shame that I won't be able to share what I've learned.

I also found two brand new pair of socks. One lightweight, one heavy. I hate it when my boots leak. The lightweight were to replace my wet socks when I changed from boots to shoes. The heavy ones were to get me home through the snow. I guess winter 2019/2020 -- the last before work-from-home -- must not have been that sloppy because the socks are unworn.

The socks reminded me I'm proud of how little work I've missed due to weather. I made the commute no matter what. I was ready for it. I dressed for it. I knew how to navigate it. Yes, Chicago winters (and springs) can be brutal. But I have friends and family in South Florida and I'm reminded we aren't asked to evacuate our homes annually. I'll keep the snow, thank you.

I dumped the last remaining swigs of cheap vodka but brought the bottle of whiskey home. Hell, yeah, I had booze in my desk. No, I'm not embarrassed. As with the weather, I know how to handle work stress.

Bruce came home. This Rolling Stone cover graced my every office since 1986. Bruce Willis has been smirking for me for 36 years. His all-purpose bad attitude has been as comforting as the booze. Now he's retired and I'll soon be hanging it up.

7/10 of a mile. I've worked for seven different employers between South Wacker Drive and North Michigan Avenue. Except for that year in the 1990s when I worked out by the O'Hare, my entire life has been in The Loop. Ping ponging between my comfortable little neighborhood and the exciting city has given me the best of both worlds. I love downtown. I wonder how often I'll be back.

I don't think I've absorbed all this yet. I'm so worried about the lithotripsy on Thursday that I just can't right now. Also, I'm worried about severance (management still hasn't told me when my last day will be). Then there's insurance and Medicare. I think I'll have a nice breakdown next week.


  1. It's bittersweet to wrap up a successful long-term career. I hope you enjoy the life of retirement. Any big plans?

  2. Ouch! Being made to retire before you're ready is tough, but I hope it will turn out to be a blessing in disguise and you are able to embrace this next phase of life.

  3. Oh wow. I empathize and sympathize. I hope this works out well for you. You've got great connections and can either freelance or get back into the workforce if you want - or just stay home and play with the cats. Hopefully you can take some "me" time before you decide anything. And the procedure you're having is safe. My brother had it and it brought him instant relief. I wish the same for you.

  4. I really hope you can take a break. From work, from dental, and from medical worries. Then you can figure out the next phase. I'll be cheering you on and living vicariously.

  5. I totally get how you are feeling. I was pushed out of my job. I had 36 years in, and because I was in injured employee. and retrained,they wanted me out. So, no retirement party, lots of sadness and even some anger. But, I got to take care of my grand daughter. I got be with my dad the last two years of his life. I got to be with my grandkids. I got to do things with family and friends. I learned to adjust my lack of income. But it took time. Take the time you need to adjust. Feel all the feels. Hugs and blessings.