Friday, October 28, 2011

Anyone Interested in a Follow Up?

This is the email I sent back to my friend the evening of the first email, retirement day @ 10:30pm.
"This is the first moment I've had to sit for a second and let you know how the day went.  Once I got it out of my system to you I prayed every moment before leaving the house that I would not cry.  I prayed once I got to work.  I dropped a couple of little gifts and some cards off to my friends before 8am so they would be at their desks when they arrived at work.  Then I didn't cry anymore.  I spend an hour or so getting some old adoption stuff, addresses of families, names, photos etc off my computer.  I heard from two of the adoptive families I still keep in touch with...sweet sweet emails.  Had a big lunch with friends from work, they invited me; my boss treated me.  I went down at the appointed hour with my best work friend to the party.  Several were there but many more showed up.  We kept waiting on my sister, who was about 15 minutes late.  All the sudden she walks in the door.  I hug her and sit back down.  She acts a little funny, then comes to sit down.  I look around and my fantasy comes true.  Little Hays comes toddling thru the door!  and J (my daughter) and J (X husband) follow.  It was truly wonderful.  I felt so blessed.  We spend the evening together and they are leaving after breakfast in the morning.  Overall, its' been a great day  Them being there kept me focused off the actual leaving the office for the last time...shutting down my computer...leaving a forwarded voice mail.  John stayed til I left and walked out with me .  In my apartment later I hugged him and thanked him for coming and he told me he knew it was where he was suppose to be today!  So, there it is
A good day after all.  I have a downstairs full of sweet gifts and cards and saw a room full of people who wished me well me well and my condo filled with people I love, my family.
God is good."
So there you go.  The day could not have been much more perfect unless my bnl had been able to be there too.  He was out of town.  I am blessed though and the day was too.
We all had breakfast together day one of retirement then my family went back south.  It was wintery outside went to feed my pony (not nice enough to ride) and then I lit my fireplace and unpacked boxes the rest of the day.  My sister invited me for chicken and dumplings and the World Series that evening.  Another good day.
More about retirement in the days to come.

Encourage one anohter

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Retirement Ain't for Sissies

Here is how I woke up feeling this last day at work in my 2 weeks short of 26 year career...
This is an email to a friend.

"I'm waking up on my last day of work before 5am and not feeling so great.  I'm hoping you'll just listen to me vent/rant or get my feelings out so i don't have to carry these to work today.  I'm feeling very sorry for myself and maybe I'll delete this before sending it.
this is not the way I wanted to wake up on my day of retirement...alone.  Alone is not how I saw any of my life.  I saw it being happily married to someone I loved and someone who loved me...fairy tale.  I did not follow in my parents footsteps.  I did not follow the role models that lead my life.  I screwed it all up.  I screwed it up with two marriages that ended and left me alone.  I'm waking up alone with my dog in my bed, who I love dearly, however, he is not able to show me human love, human touch.  
This job has been a huge part of my life.  It actually lasted a year longer than my marriage.  I was married one month short of 25 years.  I am leaving my job 2 weeks short of 26 years.  I devoted much of my life to my job, and unfortunately had to do my job above my family on many occasions.  My husband told me once that I was "used up" because of my job...that I had nothing left to give.  I'll never forget that.  I know my job had a lot to do with the failure of my relationship with my husband.  It was just fuel to an ever  burning fire.  I never got from him what I needed to keep doing this job...understanding, appreciation for working hard, for holding our family together financially and keeping a job that kept us in insurance and other benefits (that ultimately would have benefited him).  He just wasn't capable or willing to help me thru i used riding, friends, and other things to help me we are at the end of it.  
I have been very emotional about my retirement since deciding to do so.  I am leaving some really important projects behind.  There have been many rewarding aspects to my job, helping kids find homes being the most important.  They probably would have found them without me, but somehow maybe I helped facilitate a few.  The last four years in this particular job helped me make it to 26 years with very little was the perfect job to finish out my career and get me to retirement for which I am grateful.  I am grateful to this job for it's benefits, it helping me get my child thru college, for my 401k and my retirement annuity.  I am grateful....and I'm sad.  
I did NOT want to have a retirement party and my supervisor insisted.  While I think she has some guilty feelings still about my retirement and how this all came down, I wish she had just appreciated my request and left it alone.  I have now to make it until 2pm and what ever happens inside that room, whether 2 people show up or 20. I have to wait to see if people say anything nice or say nothing at all.   I have to make it thru that party without my husband (as I no longer have one) and my daughter who lives too far away.  I have to make it thru that party knowing my daughter is glad it's over.  I have to make it thru that party without my long time working friends who are still in Gonzales.  I have to make it thru the day with an empty office to sit in for hours and a house full of boxes of shit that was in my office that I don't need in my home...that I don't need period, but wasn't ready to send it to resale yet.  Pens, and pencils, and pictures, and do dads, and just crap.  I have to make it through one more meeting in my office with a board member about our Christmas project that I have handed off the torch to.  I have to act normal all day and stuff my feelings just to make it through, like I did for years in order to endure the tragedy and trauma of abuse to children on a daily basis.  Sort of ironic to going back to denial and stuffing feelings on my last day of work.
I have to admit too I've had this little fantasy in my head that my X, my daughter and my grandson would show up for this stupid party...end of my career...that they would somehow talk to me on the phone during the morning while they were secretly driving up in the car...and when I walked in the door to the party there they would be...unlikely and doubtful...
On the other side, I know my sister will be there (my bnl's in Houston this week).  Four of my best friends at work in Midland and  two of my board member chair/presidents from out of town have said they will be there and my boss.  So that's 8 people and other staff will show up to eat cake.  Oh, my volunteer from downstairs will be there too.  I just hope they all keep their mouths shut and we just eat cake and go home.  I thought about saying something too but I hope I just keep my mouth shut too.  I hope it's all over before we know it.  I don't want to cry.
On the other side, I am free to do what ever I can afford to do.  I am free to ride my horse daily, walk daily, spend time with my sister, visit my daughter and grandson and whatever else God leads me to do.  I suspect I'll have to or want to go back to work eventually, however I hope God leads me to the next great thing in my life.  I just bought some new riding shoes and pants to ride in this I"m set for that.  I've tried to stock up on a few things I always need so when my income goes backwards I'll be a little ready for that.  We have our plans for Thanksgiving sister, bnl and I have rented a house in Austin and will be going there to try to work in TG with our three kids.  We are headed back to Wimberly but a different house for Christmas to again try to accomodate them and be closer so they don't have to travel...they have less time off with their jobs.  My sister will be retired then too.  

Anyway, I'm praying God gives me what i need for today to make it thru here, be grateful, see the cup full, see the future in a positive light.  A world wide open, opportunities abound...freedom to do His work, whether volunteering or in another type of job.  Something fun, something I've always wanted to do but maybe didn't know it or didn't think I could.  I guess it's ok to feel a little sad...I mean I just do.
Thanks for letting me vent and feel sorry for myself (without feeling you will judge me) and just get this out of my system.  I feel better.  Maybe I'll put this on my blog one reads it anyway!  It's called "Meanderings of a Happy Girl", who just today, isn't so happy.

Encourage One Another

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Got Three Days

Three days is a Pat Green song I love.  The lyrics don't match my situation...but the truth is "I got three days!" left of work.  There is some uneasiness I have to admit...some "what am I gonna do" thoughts going through my head.  I hope I remain calm.  Three days, I got three days.

Encourage one another

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Closer It Gets

The closer retirement gets, the more surreal it becomes.  I mean, is it really going to happen?  I've had some thoughts about saying..."oh, no, never mind, I don't think I want to retire after all".  But then what would my boss do...she's counting on having my job to have her no, that won't work.  I just have to trust that God is still leading, still listen for Him and move forward.  I think just sitting quietly and listening instead of talking and moving all the time is the way to hear the answer.  So come October 37th R, just sit still.

Love One Another

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I've Still Got It

Three days ago I was innocently eating at Mr. Gattis alone.  We had just finished our Sunday's Child shoot and I was partaking of a "comped" lunch by MG.  The bus boy/man came be and said "Hi, my name is Luis.  Yesterday was my birthday.  My boss lady made me some brownies, I was wondering if you wanted one"?  I said "uh well, I'm having a late lunch (it was 2pm already) and I'm having an early dinner (meeting a friend for Chinese at 5:45p) so I better not.  How old were you though" I asked..."68" he said!  He said "Have you ever heard of the Texas Roadhouse?"  I said "yes, they have really good bread".  He said "They have really good steak and shrimp too and that butter".  We agreed they were good.  Then he said "if you'd like to go sometime to eat there we could or are you married?"  I quickly said "well uh, I'm in a relationship"...agh!  I mean really ya'll, I've never been asked out by an employee of a restaurant where I was eating.  Isn't that a bit, well, I'm not sure what to call it, but I wondered if his "boss lady" knows he asks out the clients?  We/he chatted a few more minutes and he left wishing me a good day and said "well if you ever want to go to Texas Roadhouse give me a call".  Thankfully he did not offer his number.

Encourage One Another

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Skip in My Step

OK, have I told you I'm retiring!   The struggle to get to the retirement decision was a difficult one.  It created lots of stress and heartache during the process.  However, coming out on the other side has been a blessing.  While I still have some sadness that comes over me in leaving the projects that I love, like Sunday's Child with my partner Tatum from CBS7, the whole idea of retirement is starting to sink in.  The idea of not getting up to an alarm, not wearing make up every single day, not rushing home to lunch and then back to work, not having the weight of work on my shoulders four or five days a week…those are good ideas.  The idea of riding my horse any time I day I want to, walking (finally) daily again, having lunch with friends, hanging out with my sister, my daughter, my grandchild, spending time with my family…those are good ideas, blessings in fact.  They are creating a noticeable skip in my step. I mean literally, I feel lighter.  Could that possibly be?  Maybe I should check the scale.  And in looking at me, I wonder if anyone else has noticed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Remember Pen Pals

I purchased my condo about 4 years ago.  When I moved out of the big house I left many things behind.  It was really time to start new, leaving the old life behind.  And actually, the "old life" or life from a much more simple time is a design theme I love.  I talking about a much more simple time, the 50s and 60s.  My condo was built in the 60s, perfect.  It has not really been updated a whole lot.  So I decided to continue that theme.  Anyway, I went to the "trade days" in Fredericksburg in August 2007.  It's a great event, sort of like a big antique/flea market with lots of cool stuff.  I was specifically looking for a chandelier to go above my dining table.  I had seen one in a condo that was for sale but the light fixture was not.  I told the realtor that day I was interested in that chandelier if the new buyers wanted to sell it.  I wanted one similar to that one.  At the market in one booth, I found one I liked a lot, along with a very nice lady.  She and I struck up a conversation.  I told her about the one I had seen and what I was looking for.  Talking between us just came easily and we had much in common with our love for old things and our talents for sort of making something from nothing.  I have no idea how long we talked but I finally told her I wanted to look a little more.  In the trip I didn't find anything else I like better, however, hers was a little smaller than I had planned for.  I told her how much I liked it however, it was not exactly what I was looking for.  I got her email address and phone numbers.  We visited a while longer.  There was just something about this instant relationship but I could not put my finger on it but I could feel it in my bones.    
Months went by, probably three.  I got a call from that realtor, the new buyers in fact did not want that chandelier and wanted to "give" it to me.  Wow, what I gift.  I had it installed above my dining room.  It looked fabulous!  I email my new friend to tell her this story. Some time went by.  I can't say how much.  I emailed her again.  She was no longer employed at the same place but someone there had seen the email and forwarded it to her.  She and I began emailing each other regularly.  We became "pen pals" of sorts, like in the days I was a child.  In school we wrote some letters to kids overseas.  I don't even remember if they ever wrote back.  But my friend did.  We began to share intimate details of our lives.  We shared out faith.  We shared our thoughts and our suggestions.  We became incredible friends.  While she is not old enough to be my mother, she is a bit older, and wiser by far.  She always had just the right thing to say.  We shared information about our children, our spouses, our families.  To date we have been friends over 4 years.  We have only talked on the phone once (when I was nervous about applying for a new job that would have created a move for me) and seen each other twice…  The second time only recently when we went to Roundtop/Warrenton Antique Weekend.  We met there, shopped, and then I went to her house and spent the night.  We visited like old friends.  We shared some ideas and dreams.  Then we slept.  We traveled back to Warrenton the next day for more shopping and sharing.  Our lives finally included talking sharing in person, meeting some of her family (she had met my daughter when she was attending A & M in College Station ), hugging each other hello and goodbye and talking into the night like best friends.  She gave me a book about blessing others.  She is truly a blessing to me.  Although we do not see each other often, our relationship is something special.  It is a gift.  I thank God for her.  Our friendship will last for a lifetime.  I can feel it in my bones. 

Encourage One Another

Friday, October 7, 2011

Plop Plop Fizz Fizz, Oh What a Relief It Is

OK, earlier this week I spoke of missing then relocating my watch...much relief there.
Well, there's been a concern hanging over my head for about 6-7 months now.  In April, the owner of the property and barn where I keep my horse told me he was selling his property.  He and his wife were tired of the country and were going to sell their home and move to town.  I immediately became concerned about losing the place where I board my horse.  Months went by but about a month ago I received the dreaded phone call that he had sold it.  He said he had told the new owner about me and my horse and I'd have to talk to her about what was going to happen.  I asked him to give her my name and call me as soon as possible so I could see what was going to happen.  I never heard from anyone.  This week I had decided to ask for her number and had planned to call her.  On Wednesday I went to ride in the evening after work.     As it turned out, she was at the property when I drove up.  I introduced myself and told her I had been wanting to talk to her.  She said he never gave her the number.  But what she also said was "nothing had to change...he is fine where he is".  She mentioned some things they were going to do to the property, but that he was fine right where he was.  I was so relieved tears came to my eyes.  I told her I was fixing to retire and looking forward to riding more often and hoping I would not lose my place to keep him.  She was really nice and very close to my age.  Once again this week my concern has been relieved.  Another prayer answered.

Encourage one another!

Monday, October 3, 2011 the corners of my mind....NOT

OK, what do you do when you remember something a certain way and evidence proves your memory is totally wrong.  It's scary really.  Here's the deal.  I was going out of town to see my grandson...he loves this rubber Timex watch that I have.  I decided to wear that watch to go visit instead of my gold watch...and to leave my gold watch at home.  I didn't want to take them both.  Well, when I got back from the visit the gold watch was not here in my house.  I could not find it anywhere.  I was thinking it had been taken.  When I finally called my friend to say it was missing, they went to look in their bathroom where I had stayed.  Guess what...the watch was there.  NO WAY!!!  I did not take it.  No really, I did not take it, I left it here on purpose.  I have NO IDEA how that watch got there.  I have NO MEMORY of taking there, taking it off, putting in that spot...NONE.  So while I am very relieved to have found it (as I was sick all day at the thought of no longer having it) not remembering anything about it...That's scary.  So ok, if I'm going to lose my memory, I hope I lose it all and soon so I won't remember when I forget or forgot something.

Encourage one another (especially those with fading memories).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Babysitting Plus One

My daughter asked if I could babysit on Thursday.  She was going one direction and my son in law another.  My boy needed his Annie!  So off I went.  He and I rolled balls, went swinging, played with the train, he crawled, oooched, walked, sang and danced for an hour or so.  I got a text that "dad's" plans got canceled and he was on the way home??  "Oh my" I thought as it is always a bit different when caring for him when one of them is home too.  Dad arrived about the time I was feeding my boy.  For some reason he wasn't too hungry and didn't eat a whole lot.  Usually he eats you out of house and he just wasn't into it.  I pulled off his high chair tray and picked him up to clean him up.  Dad (who I love DEARLY) took him from me and said "I'll give him a bath".  I said "you'll give him a bath"? and he said yes.  (Oh no I thought to myself).  He swooped him off to the bathroom.  Next thing I know he's reading to him, turning on his nightlight and white noise, putting him into bed, and closing the door.  "Good law" I'm thinking, I said "I didn't get to tell him good night".  I rushed in, picked him up, gave him a kiss and laid him back down.  He was out like a light.  I have to admit, while loving my snl, I was very disappointed I did not get to finish my love of bathing my boy and putting him in bed.  Sometimes when he is really tired he lets my rock him a few minutes before putting him down.  I love that, it's just the sweetest thing.  It all works best when I am there alone with him.  Oh well, I know there will be another opportunity...I am his Annie after all!

Encourage one another

End of an Era

On Thursday, one of my dad's best friends passed away.  Gil and my dad had been friends for years.  Their wives, Marie and my mom were best friends.  They loved each other like sisters.  My mom passed away first and several years later Marie joined her in heaven.  Gil and my dad talked a lot about their wives, their lives, and the feelings about life.  They were both lonely without their true loves.  They shared many things with each other that they never shared with anyone else.  My mom and Marie did the same.  They also prayed together and they loved each other's  When my dad passed away a little over a year ago, Gil was very sad being the last one left behind.  He grieved for all of them.  Thursday he joined them.  There is no doubt a big domino game with their original partners was being played when Gil went home!  We will miss you all!

Encourage one another