Sunday, March 20, 2011
Well, the deed has been done.
I've notified my boss that I am retiring. I called and delivered the news within one hour of having received my 2010 bonus amount, and four hours prior to departing on a much-anticipated two week vacation. I wanted to get it over with before leaving on vacation because I was absolutely dreading the conversation - I felt like I was firing someone for goodness sake, even though the person being released was me! Timing it this way, though possibly abrupt, also allowed me to provide my boss with a total of six weeks notice, helping to ensure a replacement could be found and trained prior to my departure.
Why so much notice? Because my boss gave me a boatload of consideration last year when I approached him about taking my job from full time to 80%, freeing up my Fridays for personal growth and development, a toe-in-first approach to retirement if you will, and I wanted to leave everything buttoned up behind me as much as possible in appreciation.
As I hung up the phone, I felt an immediate sense of joy. I woke up at the next morning still giddy that I was on the brink of beginning a new chapter in my life. My husband and I left the house, boarded our ship and set off to cruise the Panama Canal.
The first day at sea, and a bit more grounded, I wandered into the ship's library to look for a book that would help me begin to create structure in my post-paycheck life. I picked up Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and was introduced to his seven step approach to developing a balanced life that includes short and long term goal planning and continued personal development time, all three very much applicable to my post-paycheck life.
Finding this book my first day out was perfect, perfect timing. I spent every sea day curled up with the book, soaking up the warm weather and beautiful views, while I walked through Dr. Covey's detailed plan on how to incorporate priorities, commitments and personal enrichment into manageable chunks via detailed weekly worksheets. I was able to visualize how my new life could be organized in a manner that emulated the structure I was used to at work, but unlike work, made up solely of activities that were deeply meaningful to me.
Will I stay with this approach in the long run? I think it's too soon to tell. But in the meantime, thank you Dr. Covey for showing me a way to begin.