Friday, December 21, 2007
That's All Folks!!!!!!
Friday, December 21st dawned clear and cold. I had actually been awake for some time, contemplating the rest of my life, as the sun crept over the horizon. You see, this was the very last day of my chosen (well, stumbled upon might be a better description) profession for the past 35 years.
I got up, showered, dressed, had breakfast and was on my way to the office somewhere about 8 am. The ride to the office wasn't any different than usual, except I had a warm happy feeling that threatened to manifest itself in smiles and raucous laughter if I didn't carefully hold it in check.
This was a far different feeling than at other watershed events in my life. When I graduated from high school I was happy but also a bit concerned. I had no idea if I could succeed with the strict demands of a military college. It was a bit scary.
When I graduated from college I was happy that I had successfully navigated a harsh and demanding four years. I was eagerly looking forward to a life of military service but I was afraid as well because I was a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Vietnam was a certainty for me and surviving this initial challenge was a crap shoot.
When I left the Army three years later, I was happy that I done relatively well and survived to boot. Civilian life however, was not something I had ever thought about growing up, and I felt woefully unprepared to make my way in this alien environment.
I found employment with an international company, in a "quirky" part of the construction industry. No one ever starts out to be in this profession. It doesn't happen that way. I just happened to be in the particular place at the particular time that "dumped" me into it and I survived. Not only did I survive in this industry but I prospered and did well. I did it for 35 years. That's unheard of today. Some of the young people who come to this company now have already had three or four other jobs. I am...was.. a dinosaur.
In spite of all of that, I don't feel any sadness today. I don't think, even after 35 years, I have a real deep emotional attachment to the business. It was good to me but it was a hard taskmaster. It used me and I used it....nothing personal, just business.
The real difference today is that unlike the other watershed events I just described, I don't feel any concern or trepidation about the future. I've survived the worst life could throw my way up to this point and from now on things are pretty simple. Oh, there will be challenges and there will be good times and bad times but I now have a PhD in life. I'll be able to handle it.
I AM RETIRED!
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