I pulled out of my office onto Sand Hill Road for the last time last night. The send-off was delightful with wine and cheese and beautiful company. I will truly miss those people. I drove toward the hills and the sky put on a "happy retirement" performance just for me. What an incredibly beautiful evening with pink and orange clouds against the blue sky. Welcome to the rest of your life!
After being overcome (temporarily) by exhilaration (and shouting "oh my god!" out of the open top of my convertible), I began to feel the hole in my heart. I am very excited for my retirement, but will miss the gang I am leaving behind. They have been like family for nearly 18 years. One of my two best friends in the whole world works there, and I will especially miss seeing her every day. I know; it won't be the same.
I drove into my driveway and crossed what turned out to be an actual finish line. My husband had hung a racing flag over the garage door, and I had to literally cross the finish line to get into the garage. This made me laugh and cry at the same time.
These last few weeks, I've been feeling nothing, impatience and excitement for many months, and then just nothing for several weeks. No excitement, no sadness. But yesterday morning, my former boss (who retired several months ago) called me to take me to lunch on my last day, and the memory of my first day and my many happy years at this job jumped to the forefront of my thoughts.
This morning I woke up with a cold, which is exactly what used to happen to me after finals in college. I guess my body is just one step ahead of my heart and my brain, but I'm hoping this suggests I will now start feeling all the emotions, mixed as they may be, as I start down the path toward what my new life has in store for me.