Friday, May 28, 2010

A new freedom

Well, the day has finally come when I am no longer officially employed.  This is my last day that I have to show up, deal with staff issues, fill out time sheets, attend department head meetings, and so on.  One of the last things I have to do is to turn in my exit checklist and sign over my equipment to others. 

I have to tell you that it feels very good.  One of my rowing friends asked me if it felt like the last day of high school.  I had to pause because high school was quite a few years ago, but I could remember that sensation of getting out for the summer after graduation and knowing that a whole other world awaited me. College was still a few months away so I was essentially free to read what I wanted, cruise in my car,  and to celebrate the rite of passage to adult hood. So yes, that is exactly how this feels.

And just like high school, there are those who have acknowledged my leaving in very meaningful ways, others who have given ritualistic and cliched acknowledgments, and others who have not acknowledged it at all.  It would be easy to build a lot of expectations around all of this.  But thankfully, my expectations are low when it comes to how people express their true feelings to others.  Some are able to do this easily and for others, avoidance is the best way.

What is really good for me is that I know after so many years of working I have a new freedom and a new happiness.  I am keeping my wonderful office that overlooks the harbor for the time being.  I will be able to continue to do science without the administrative hassles.  No one needs to hunt me down to handle this emergency or that. I can come and go as I want.  I am experiencing being a free adolescent spirit once again.  And I am celebrating the rite of passage to another stage of life.  I'm not old and don't feel old, so I'm calling this rite of passage the one to my second life.

Recovery has been instrumental in that second life since the last few years here have been those in which I have practiced the Al-Anon program. Recovery will continue to be important in my life and now I will have more time to devote to service work.  I am grateful to have these chances to do what I like to do from the standpoint of my profession and my recovery.

Thanks to all of you for your well wishes.  I am most appreciative for your kind thoughts.  I am still the same person, but simply am enjoying a new set of wings at the moment.

36 comments:

  1. Cheers to you.

    Rite of passage may be a term not strong enough for someone like you to advance into another stage of life. It just seems like a man of your life and wisdom deserves more that a right of passage.

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  2. Best of luck to you! I too am ready for a new set of wings!!
    Kristi

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  3. I am so relieved for you that this day has finally come and that you have accepted it with welcoming arms. I wish you every happiness and opportunity in this 'second stage of life'. Best wishes.

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  4. There is something both exciting and terrifying about the unknown. Your program seeps through in this post. Just close your eyes and fall in.....this is a wonderful time in your life!

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  5. congratulations..i hope you stretch those wings and fly...

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  6. and you'll have more time to blog, right? LOL

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  7. Fly around a little, let us know how it looks, congratulations.

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  8. Best wishes on your retirement. Sounds like you were ready for it, ready to move on to something new.

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  9. And I hope those wings take you soaring over clear waters.

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  10. I will be saying goodbye to a coworker in about a month. I know that I am one of those who will not handle it in the best way. I've already made plans to leave the building when she does so that I do not have to stay and look at the empty desk on Friday afternoon. I am one of the new ones here, only been here for about 5 years. I have not known her as long as some others have (she's been here 38 years). Still I will hurt when she goes, much more than she will need to know.

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  11. I am sincerely hoping that you will enjoy every minute of your new found freedom!

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  12. Congratulations on entering a new phase of your life. It's encouraging to see how you've built a network that enables you do all the things that you love and that are important to you. Surely, your program and positive outlook has worked well for you. Many happy years ahead is my prayer for you. You worked for this. Enjoy.

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  13. I think a key word in this post is "enjoy". A month ago you were a tad nervous about the unknown. You sound happy and expectant. You deserve a resounding pat on the back for the good work you have done for a long time and you also deserve a life now full of new and maybe different experiences. Much happiness to you in the next stage of your life.

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  14. gosh Syd...
    this is wonderful...
    your post has such a tone of gratitude and openness...

    best wishes to you....

    todd

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  15. May the new set of wings take you ever higher Syd.

    Congratulations on starting your life anew.

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  16. thank you for your blog wanted to share my new blog and telephone meeting schedule for alanon..
    http://teatimewithlois.blogspot.com/2010/05/alanon-telephone-meetings-schedule.html

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  17. Congratulations, you are now jubilado which is how they say retired in Spanish. It means you have attained jubilation! I am happy for you and wish you the best of luck.

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  18. I feel some winged adolescent spirit also, my son graduates high school and still needs me but only in a relationship way, not as his guardian. There is less on my shoulders.

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  19. Congratulations Syd, I am happy for your new found freedom, and the embarcation of so many new beginnings for you.

    hugs!

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  20. Wow. I remember when you first started blogging about it and it seemed like it was so far off... now here it is.

    I imagine the people who do not say anything, simply don't know what to say...

    looking forward to hearing about your new adventures.

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  21. What a healthy and happy way to start a new phase of life.

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  22. So, SYD....Fly little bird, Fly with the wind!

    Thank God we have a place where we will be understood (most of the time?) to write out our deepest feelings on the important matters of our external life.

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  23. Our MOON looked like that yesterday!

    I hear excitement in your post. You spoke of your anxiety a while back and now you are excited. Ditto to "drybottomgirl"! The program works and I am learning this from all the wonderfully healthy, honest posts of you and other bloggers. You are the first blog I found right after I came home from a Family weekend to learn about what was going on with our son in rehab, I googled F.I.N.E.! I'm glad you are here and I'm glad I found you.

    HAPPY RETIREMENT!

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  24. How exciting Syd -- I feel there are wonderful adventures in store for you. The Promises do come true...

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  25. You made it Syd. Enjoy the rest of your life with C

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  26. Your new "wings" will take you far I feel sure. I love the fact that you now have more time for service work. I find that doing service in AA is one of the most satisfying parts of my retired life...it gets me out of me and gets me "right sized".
    ENJOY !!

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  27. Syd, it sounds as if you and your wife have had rewarding work lives but have planned well for enough time to enjoy the rest of your lives. Enjoy!!

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  28. Oh, Syd, this is so wonderful! Inspirational to know that you have been given a new beginning and you are ready to accept it. I am smiling ear-to-ear for you!

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  29. Great picture!
    we are so lucky because we have very significant and meaningful 'work' available to us whether we are employed or not. we will never be at a loose end.

    I think it wil be actually quite difficult choosing where to direct your energies because you have such a wide range of ability to 'serve others'.
    environmental concerns.
    biological welfare
    al anon service
    all sorts

    wow. you have a very large capacity to serve the interests of 'others' (including marine life) plus you are intelligent and hard working. there are so many avenues which you would be uniquely positioned to be of assistance. its actually quite a moral responsibility. plus you have a duty to yourself to live a life that is satisfying and joyful.
    i think your second life will be a blessing to your community. you have a lot to give.

    With it you can avert death and misery for them.
    p124

    with your knowledge and expertise about alanon and marine welfare, you can avert death and misery for 'them'. alanons and marine critters. :)
    I find it symbolic that the oil disaster has coincided so fully and immediately with the timing of your second life. who knows? some form of engaged activism? campaigns on utube? set up a charity? another blog about it? leaflets, petitions, questions asked at a political level? could be anything.. you are the judge of what you can aim to achieve, and how you think you could bring those aims about. your unique perspective is extraordinarily useful at the moment. I have no ? clue what priority an informed mind might come up with about the oil situation. I find that there are few impartial advisors in politics. politicians are fed 'bad' info from people with an agenda. Perhaps its a lost cause? But perhaps there is an opportunity to be helpful there? I have seen how it is possible to be 'activist' without being ? 'miserable'. I have seen former monastics get involved with trying to bring about change in institutions. Acting responsibly to do what they can to bring about better alternatives for communities in whichever way seems practically best.
    But at the same time you have given so !!! much to your employment, that a rest may very well be top of the list of priorities :) I am sure you will figure it out :) All very exiting! New stuff!

    Bon voyage Syd :)

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  30. best wishes for you in your new chapter! enjoy!

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  31. Enjoy it, Syd. Many congratulations and much happiness to you!

    Love,

    SB

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