I’ve watched a number of friends and coworkers retire, and one of the things that always seems to happen is the realization that they are doing something for the last time. Although I’m still almost a year away from that milestone moment in my career, I have just experienced my first last thing.
Every November for the past 10-plus years, I have attended a meeting, organized by the company I work for, in New York City. On many of these occasions, I’ve also attended a technical conference at the Javits Center. When time has permitted, I have also had lunch at The Molly Wee Pub.
The trip usually involves a train ride to New York, an overnight stay in the Marriott East Side hotel (complete with a view of the adjacent building), dinner at a steakhouse, lunch at an Italian restaurant, oh yeah, and a meeting. I won’t be attending that meeting next year.
I’m OK with that.
I’ll miss the people we meet with. I’ll miss the technical conferences, ‘cuz that’s my crowd, and for all it’s quirkiness, I’ll miss that hotel. I’d add the train ride and The Molly Wee to the list, except I’ll continue visiting New York, and whenever I’m in New York, I stop at The Molly Wee. You might think I’d miss those steakhouse meals, but I swear, the filet my wife made me on my birthday was better than the one I had last week – she says it’s the clarified butter. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating out, but the food is often overrated, and the wine, well, I can buy the same wine for a lot less.
You might think I’ll miss being part of the meeting, involved with the business, contributing… Not so much. The succession planning – the preemptive passing of responsibility to the next generation – that we’ve been engaged in has weaned me from all that. Several of my friends are retired or semi-retired – they don’t miss meetings. For that matter, my friends who are still employed wouldn’t miss meetings if you cancelled most of them. Meetings are near the top of the list of things I won’t miss in retirement.
That said, I will still attend some meetings. I attend four or five meetings of the AIIM New England Chapter each year in Burlington, MA. I’ll still go to some of them, but they won’t involve an overnight stay at the Burlington Marriott and I won’t be eating at Chopp’s Steakhouse – unless The Editor feels particularly generous with our retirement income – I will simply drive up and back the day of the meeting. I might attend some local meetings, too, but I’m not in any hurry to start that. There are some groups I’d like to get involved with, but I’ll take that slowly. The last time I got involved with groups here in town, I ended up on about a dozen committees – everything from strategic planning, to designing the school system’s website, to chaperoning the graduation party.
My retirement will start next November. A good time to settle back and relax for a while. Not having to travel during the winter will be a blessing, especially after the nightmare ride Thursday night getting back from that meeting. When it warms up in 2020 – that still seems like forever from now – I’ll have projects to keep me busy, a workshop and a pile of lumber to
play work with, places to visit in the local area, things to read and things to write. It’s not like I’m going to be bored.
In case you’re worried, I’m not planning a series of “the last time I’ll do this” posts. I wouldn’t do that to you.