I retired yesterday.
I drove to the office like it was any other day, AC/DC’s Highway to Hell on Apollo’s [my 2008 bright yellow Saturn Sky] stereo, caramel macchiato from Starbuck’s in the drink holder, keys clipped to the strap of my purse — a regular day. As I drove up the hill that I have driven up for 18 years it finally dawned on me — this is the last trip up this hill I will ever have to do. Wow! After 18 years you’d think that there would be something amiss with elated attitude, it almost seemed wrong to be so happy about leaving. But in the grand scheme of things someone must leave in order for the next person to promote and grow.
And besides, we have a schedule to adhere to. This is item number 2 on the “big list” of things to do before going to Italy and I’m just not sad about it. Number 1 was selling the house — downsizing, minimizing, moving to an apartment — check, done. Number 2 — Tracy retires and begins wrangling paperwork — check, done.
So yesterday morning I parked the car, grabbed my purse and my coffee and headed in to the office like any other day — except the only thing left to do was to write a farewell e-mail to my colleagues, turn in my keys, my checklist, my exit interview and meet a few friends, the husband and my boss for lunch at my favorite restaurant for what Barb (my boss of 3 years) called my “swan song.” We had a great time and laughed plenty, especially since the three friends that were there knew ALL of the stories from my 18 years at the college, every last goofy, slightly unprofessional, moronic thing I had done these three knew it all — I haven’t laughed that hard in a long, long time!
My farewell e-mail went something like:
It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to have worked with all of you during my 18 years at TMCC. I will be leaving today with great memories of such things as registering students manually for classes, the invention of the Tel-Reg system, the annual Poker Run, commencement at Rancho San Rafael, Welcome Back skits, Night of a Thousand Classes, the Tenure Celebration and much, much more.
I also want to say thanks to some of the professors I’ve had over the years — Kelsie Harder, Jim Roderick, Bill Gallegos, and my dear friend Carola Naumer — as I retire from TMCC with degrees in Art History and Fine Arts, largely due to their encouragement and teaching excellence.
Our next adventure starts January of 2013, when we move to Florence. Which is my next assignment — taking care of paperwork and all the loose ends that need to be tied prior to our departure.
It may not be La Dolce Vita but life in Italy will definitely feel like a retirement made in heaven.
Thank you and farewell.
What I didn’t expect was the 63 responses I received within a few hours of sending this message. I know most of the people at the college, but I still didn’t expect that many responses, especially since most of the faculty are away for the summer — it felt good to know I’ll be missed, you really can’t ask for more than that.
But even with such a wonderful out-pouring of support I cannot feel sad, I know that I’ll miss the people that I worked with for 18 years, there are some very nice people at TMCC and I really enjoyed working with them over the years, but I’m not sad and I won’t miss it. I had a great job, I loved what I did and I was pretty good at it [well at least people were kind and SAID I was good at it =) ] but it was just what I did during the day. It was always a job, never my life. Life was what happened between 5 pm and 8 am the rest was just work. Some days good, some not so much, but the job paid for the life and the life was at home — and that’s where I am now, home living my life and — largely due to an awesome husband, great kids and family and amazing friends — it’s a pretty good one.