After spending last week at work, this feels like a new retirement, almost better than the first, because there are no more obligations hanging over my head. It’s not easy to orient your replacement to your job, not easy at all. Ego comes too much into play.
Merriam-Webster on-line defines ego as “the self, especially as contrasted with another self or the world.” Trust me. Spending a week working with someone who is taking over your job after you’ve been doing it for 25 years is a week of contrasting self with another self. Not every minute, but enough to make it difficult. I’m not sure I believe it’s ever possible to avoid it, at least when your replacement is a stranger about whom you know next to nothing.
This week marks a small transition from heavy social agenda to moderately heavy social agenda, which means a little more solitude. I’m glad it’s coming gradually, since I am so accustomed to being surrounded by people, dozens of people, during the work week and I’m not sure I’ll know how to handle it when the time comes that everyone is back in school and mostly busy.
In Get a Life, author Ralph Warner advises, “In my observation, most people — especially those who have been busy earlier in life — make a successful transition to a reasonably fulfilling retirement, if, and only if, they stay busy doing things that reinforce their sense of self-worth. Usually this means being involved with others in activities they feel are meaningful.” I’m looking forward to the time when I have to face the challenge of figuring out what all these activities are, but also glad I have a bit more time to transition.