The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

pineapple beside pink flower

The server came to our table, and in the perky manner that must nowadays be a server’s job requirement (“My qualifications are; extensive knowledge of fine dining, friendly, attentive, hard worker and I have a saccharine, perky voice that’s guaranteed to either warm your heart or kill your appetite.”), introduced herself and chirped, “I’ll be taking care of you today.”

“Taking care?” Were we in a restaurant or a nursing facility?

Lunch at Sailor Jack’s Restaurant in Benicia, a seafood joint named after Jack London who lived in the area during the early 1890’s. He was in his mid-twenties when he plied the local bay waters hunting “poachers.” During his off hours London hung out at The Jurgensen Old Corner Saloon, where he gathered material for his novel, John Barleycorn.

I was meeting a former coworker, only the second lunch that I’d had with a coworker since my retirement. Many had been planned with various former colleagues and all but two were canceled for one reason or another. I was always the bride left at the altar. I’m retired, I usually don’t have cause to cancel much of anything.

Over the years, those canceled lunches always left me with the feeling that I was no longer welcome to the party; old news. They, on the other hand, were still important people, busy doing important things, contributing to the economy. Me? Retired; a lotus eater.

Or maybe they all secretly hate me and never want to see me again, especially from across a table of food.

Coincidentally, on the day before my lunch date I decided to revisit LinkedIn, just to see what was going on. It had been at least a year, probably more, since I’d last logged on. After you’ve retired does LinkedIn really matter?

When I retired I didn’t even bother updating my profile. No clever new job title like, “Working at retired,” or “Gone fishing.”

I didn’t put up a cover photo flaunting the leisure life of the retiree. No photo of a Technicolor tropical sunset backlighting one of those umbrella drinks that contains vodka, three kinds of rum, a splash of brandy, a sweet liqueur and three different fruit juices. You know those drinks? They’re the ones that taste like a popsicle and then cause the ground to smack you in the face when you try to stand up.

The first thing I noticed when I reopened LinkedIn were the notifications – 192 of them to be exact. Maybe I was loved after all.

There were a few birthday greetings, congratulations for work anniversaries that never were and recruiters doing some fishing.

I caught up, virtually, on the lives of some of my contacts, many of them former colleagues from past jobs. Some had moved on to other companies and many had moved up their respective ladders.

A young woman who had been a clerk in the quality department is now manager of quality control. Buyers had become purchasing managers at other companies and accounting clerks had moved on to become controllers. A few of my contacts are now “working at retired.”

When I first retired, I was confident that if I wanted to go back to work I would have no problem finding a job. Was that the deep seated reason for not updating my profile? For all the rest of the working world knew, I was still happily employed and, just maybe, looking for a new job.

There were times when I entertained the idea of being a consultant, commanding a high six figure salary for ripping corporate org charts and time-tested procedures down to the studs and then offering to rebuild it all on a foundation of hocus-pocus. After all, what is a consultant but a guy who repurposes the ill-fated plans that got him fired from previous jobs, only to flim flam desperate CEOs into implementing them for his own company.

It happened at my last job. A team of consultants conned management into implementing a plan that was equal parts bullshit and horsefeathers.

The plan, and I use that term liberally, created pods made up of purchasers and salespeople and had purchasing managers directing salespeople and sales managers overseeing buyers. Sales managers had to grasp purchasing on the fly and purchasing managers had to learn the nuances of sales. These well intentioned and now flummoxed pod managers didn’t know whether to shit or go blind. The whole folly, mothballed after a few months, began with a blitzkrieg of staff purges that in the end, turned out to be needless.

I guess, my conscience got the better of me and I decided against consulting.

As I scrolled through LinkedIn and let the changes I was seeing soak in, I came to the depressing realization that working life wasn’t passing me by, it had flat left me behind.

During lunch my lost connection to the working world was made crystalline. My friend still talked in work-speak, a version of English that’s tortured with buzzwords, acronyms and made up titles; a dialect that was now only vaguely familiar. Like the Spanish phrases learned in high school that fell through the deep cracks of disuse and long forgotten by my third year of college, I’d lost my fluency in ERP.

I was like the distance runner who had fallen off the back of the pack, out of gas and out of gears, watching the race get further and further away with each step and not being able to do a damn thing about it.

I was feeling, as Joe Walsh put it so succinctly in song,
“Out to pasture
Think it’s safe to say”

Here I was, just over three years into retirement and I was bothered by the realization that I’d lost my identity.

Everyone else on LinkedIn had an identity, be it forklift driver, school teacher or director.

“To be or not to be?” said Hamlet, as he mulled over the idea of checking out.

There’s some real life relevancy to that line. If you aren’t being something, are you actually being?

What do you do–that is the question. A question that’s often irritated me.

Maybe it was because what I did just sounded uninspiring. I wasn’t a third baseman for the Yankees, or a professional surfer, or a Michelin starred chef. Hell, I wasn’t even a fry cook. People should marvel at the skills of fry cooks. I know I do. I think it’s amazing that one human can manage five different egg orders, a BLT, three burgers and a chicken fried steak all at once.

My answer? “Buyer.”

“Oh, that’s nice.”

Cue the yawn.

Maybe the question was off putting because I realized that in the end, what you do determines who you are. And once that’s happened, you’ve been defined. Until (or if) someone gets to know you better, most everything else is secondary.

I was recently talking to a friend about this very subject and she made the point, the rather obvious one, that one’s identity is often joined at the hip to the workplace.

And why not? Eight hours a day, forty hours a week, fifty two weeks out of a year? You spend more waking hours with coworkers at the office than you do at home with family. Your colleagues are often your friends – or more. I once had a coworker who called me her “work husband” though the “bond” was never, you know, consummated.

“What do you do?”

I’ve always wanted to answer that question with Henry Fonda’s line in the movie Sometimes A Great Notion, “Work, sleep, eat, screw, drink and keep on going; and that’s all there is.”

Now retired, I could take out the “work” part. And the remainder? Well, sometimes there’s too much of some and not enough of the others.

For the longest time, I never had planned on “working at retired.” I figured that at 95 or some other doddering age I would face plant into my keyboard at work. “Somebody get HR on the phone – stat. We need a new buyer. The old one just broke and is beyond repair.”

It was January of 2018 and the company had just named a new purchasing manager. She wasn’t a new hire. She was one of the ayatollahs of sales and she was offered the double duty of purchasing manager.

What an opportunity. She, a poo-bah in sales, wouldn’t just have a finger in the purchasing pie, she would have her whole hand and arm, right up to the elbow in there. It was the sales manager’s wet dream; until it turned into the nightmare of being too much for one person.

Shortly after the coronation, she had one on one sit downs with members of the department and during my interview I stressed that I had no intention of retiring, a true story at the time.

Two months later my wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was her fourth bout with cancer and it made me consider that maybe the idea of croaking on the job was a bit selfish.

On the day of surgery my daughter Jessica and I brought Cora to the hospital. After Cora was wheeled off to the operating room, Jessica and I went to the cafeteria, found a corner table and plugged in our computers so that we could work remotely.

Jessica got right to work while my computer wouldn’t connect to the company’s VPN. Frustrated, I decided that since my workplace was only twenty minutes away I would go in and have one of the IT boys fix the problem.

As I was driving down the floors of the parking structure I became increasingly troubled by what I was doing. My wife of nearly forty years was undergoing major surgery and there I was pissed off at my work computer and leaving the hospital to go get it fixed. By the time I reached the ground floor I mumbled a “fuck this,” turned the car around, parked and went back to the cafeteria. I’d gotten my head right and my priorities back in proper order.

The surgery was successful and after a few months of chemo all was well again. For me, the immediate aftermath was the realization that work had insinuated itself too deeply into my life. Work was becoming too much of who I was, or I was becoming work. Either way, the identities were fusing.

It wasn’t always like that.

Mike Curtis was the best man or woman I ever worked for. Must’ve been twenty years ago. He made it clear that work was work and life was life and never, ever, would those twain ever fucking meet. 

Mike was a decent man who looked after his staff. Do your job and he’d go to the wall for you. The owner of the company was a bigoted old skinflint but Mike had no qualms about going toe to toe with the old bastard when it came to matters of integrity.

One day I told him that I’d been given the opportunity to coach high school cross country and I asked him if I could adjust my hours to accommodate it.

Without hesitation he told me that I could adjust them anyway I saw fit. “That’s what defines you,” he said with an intensity that I’ll never forget. “This bullshit here isn’t who you are. Get your stuff done and do whatever you have to.”

Just yesterday I looked for Mike on LinkedIn. He left the job 11 years ago. I don’t even know if he’s still around, and, sadly, I mean that in the most important sense. A few years older than me, Mike smoked far too much and drank enough coffee to float an aircraft carrier.

I wonder if the Mikes of the world still have a spot in the workplace.

A few days after Cora’s surgery, I was in the boss’ office.
“Do you have a couple minutes?” I asked.
As soon as I sat down, she beat me to the punch, “You’re going to retire.”

My last day was September 14th, 2018.

Back at lunch, our sprightly server placed a platter of fish and chips in front of me and skipped away as my former coworker caught me up on the news, well, dirt, from work.

She told me about employees who had moved up, moved sideways or moved on, some by choice and others summarily escorted out the door.

She didn’t have to recite chapter and verse about the office culture. Just hearing her voice it was all coming back to me, the recurring bad dream, complete with the cold shivers and gut pain. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” wrote the French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in 1849. Yes, “the more things change, the more they remain the same.”

Work indeed had passed me by, and as I dipped bits of fried cod into a little cup of tartar sauce, I realized that this was a good thing.

During breaks in the conversation as we ate our meals, I recalled what I’d left behind.

The endless strings of meetings, carrying my laptop from one conference room to the next, meeting upon meeting upon meeting. We stared blankly at self-important people who surely were secretly having orgasms listening to the sounds of their own voice. They would blather incessantly while I glanced at my watch and realized the lost hours I would never get back.

I was reminded of the ass covering, finger pointing threads of emails investigating a mishap. It could have been a shipment of wine bottles arriving at the customer’s warehouse an hour late. Maybe it was an incorrect delivery or damaged goods arriving at our own warehouse.

Misfortune was escalated to global proportions with all the hoo hah that would make a senate investigation pale by comparison. With each email, a new manager was added to the conversation, fresh accusations arose and it seemed as if civilization itself was on the very brink.

In the end everyone involved was instructed to write a detailed history of his or her understanding of how the felony came to be. Hours and hours of pouring through old emails, copying, pasting and composing a narrative that would keep one’s head from the guillotine. Try to point the bony figure at John or Jane without really pointing the finger.

There were the cost cutting cullings of the herd when long time friends and coworkers skulked out the door, carrying Bankers Boxes filled with their personal items; photos, a coffee mug, and various other gimcracks that once adorned now empty desks. Awkward goodbyes and then a sigh of relief that I’d survived the cut.

As my coworker went on it occurred to me that work hadn’t left me behind so much as I’d let work pass me by. During my waning work years, disillusion had turned to disgust as I realized that work was becoming ceaseless. The line that once existed at 5 o’clock on Friday afternoon was being erased.

If something came up at 8 in the evening on a Saturday night, you were expected to turn off the basketball game and address the problem. Coworkers brought computers on vacation or interrupted dinner out with the family to respond to an email. It was a new normal that I chose not to accept.

If the forty hour work week was becoming a dinosaur I was bound and determined to head off to extinction along with it.

I held on firmly to the adage that my dad oft repeated, “I work to live, I don’t live to work.”

Still, more and more I was watching people living to work, whether they realized it or not, whether they wanted to or not. I marveled at the emails I received that were time stamped, two in the morning. Who does that? And why? That shit used to wait until the workday actually began. Now it was never ending.

Ah, here’s a disgruntled employee if there ever was one, you might be thinking. You might be right. I spent seven years with that company. When I started it was, how should I put it, eccentric. But with all the quirkiness it was still a good place to be. There was a camaraderie, strained at times, but still a camaraderie. When a private equity firm bought the company, the joy and personality of the place was sucked right out.

My friend and former coworker headed back to her home office.

Before heading home from lunch I stopped by the old Benicia cemetery to take photos of crumbling grave sites that date back to the mid-nineteenth century. I don’t know that I was really interested in the cemetery itself. I have hundreds of photos taken at cemeteries, much older than the graveyard in Benicia. I think maybe I just stopped and strolled the old grounds because I could, because I didn’t have to go back to an office. I wanted to make that point to myself.

Funny thing, even though I’m now “working at retired,” I still find myself fielding the same question, “What do you do?”

Well, I sleep, eat, screw, drink and keep on going. Oh and I write, I take photographs, set my own schedule, and don’t answer to anyone except the tax man, the wife and my dog, not necessarily in that order. I also take six week road trips to wherever I want to go and whenever it suits me.

When I got back home from lunch I updated my LinkedIn profile.

No longer a buyer, I’m now a writer. A hack maybe, but still a writer.

38 thoughts on “Working at Retired

  1. mistermuse says:

    I confess that I often stop reading long posts at various points because I don’t find them compelling (for want of a better word) enough to invest further time in them. It may be that the subject matter simply doesn’t interest me, or some other reason….but this post held my interest all the way through (perhaps because I’m also retired, although for much longer than you). In any case, by the time I took advantage of a one-time early retirement opportunity, I had ‘had it’….and I’ve never looked back — although I did GO back for a few months shortly thereafter when the company found itself in a bind because too many of us retired early. The difference was that this time I was a ‘contract’ worker rather than an employee, so I could walk out the door anytime with no repercussions….and WHAT A DIFFERENCE it was, working under those conditions!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you for hanging in there.

      I’ve been told by an author friend of mine that my posts are long.

      I guess I can’t help myself. I actually pared this thing down and during editing, stacked it right back up again.

      Maybe I should go into politics.

      I know that I’d never go back to an office job again, unless I was working for an organization that actually does something beyond feathering the nests of executives and investors. My daughter is on the board of a nonprofit that helps the homeless and as soon as COVID calms down they’re going to need people on the streets doing the grunt work. Maybe that’s next up.

      I’d thought about working for the Democratic Party but I’m trying to cut down on my drinking.

      Thank you again,
      Paul

      1. mistermuse says:

        You’re a good writer, so that meant more as far as “hanging in there” than being able to relate to your retirement (sorry I didn’t say so in my first comment).

        1. Paul says:

          Thank you Mr. Muse. Much appreciated.

    2. Brenda says:

      The whole time you were asking yourself what you were without a job I kept thinking, you’re a writer. And a good one.

      1. Paul says:

        Thank you so much for the kind words Brenda. And thank you for visiting and commenting.

        Paul

  2. nesfelicio says:

    This is an engaging post. Thanks for sharing. The world got a writer for a buyer and came out the better for it.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      I don’t know if the world is better for it, but I do know I’m better for it.

      Thank you again,
      Paul

  3. You live life on your own terms- that is what I would say you do. Retirement is still unforunately a while decades off for me but I am already trying to dissociate my identity from my work. I don’t want it to be my identity. My time outside of work is much more enjoyable and fruitful to who I want to be and what I want to do. Maybe I need to start answering with adventure and life seeker next time someone asks me what I do!

    1. Paul says:

      “You live life on your own terms- that is what I would say you do.”
      Well, I certainly try. My wife might have something to say about this. Certainly my dog when she knows I’m about to get up in the morning and she’s ready for a walk and breakfast.

      The piece I wrote was, obviously, about my own experience, and likely many or most people who work in a day to day office environment.

      I recognize that many people do work that allows them to meld identity and what they do for a living; those lucky enough to make their living in the arts, a chef, a journalist, a scientist or a doctor. I suppose even long haul truck drivers who want to experience the freedom of being on their own on an open road.

      “Maybe I need to start answering with adventure and life seeker next time someone asks me what I do!”
      Of course you should. You can tell them what you do for a living as something you do on the side.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting,
      Paul

  4. Jane Fritz says:

    Great post, Paul. And there’s no doubt you made the right decision, for so many reasons. I’ve often thought that there is far too little talk about preparing for retirement. All that’s discussed is having enough money. Of course that’s important, but, boy, that’s just the starting point. There’s a whole new identity and paths of self-fulfillment to be found. It takes a while, but it’s so worth it. And you are most decidedly a writer … and a photographer.

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Jane,

      I couldn’t imagine in my wildest nightmares going back to an office job. It became so intrusive with the advent of cell phones, laptop computers and VPN.

      I had good times at almost all my jobs but most of those revolved around the people.

      I can’t imagine how it must be with constant remote working. My god, how do they get by without gathering around the coffee machine on Monday mornings, gobbling donuts and bagels and sharing weekend adventures.

      My most enjoyable job was working at almost minimum wage at a retail hardware store. Couldn’t take the work home unless you were shoplifting.

      Thank you for visiting, for the super kind words and for commenting. Be well.
      Paul

      1. Jane Fritz says:

        I agree. I loved working, and it took me a few years to really adjust to retirement, but it was the sense of community that I really loved. I think this pandemic has to have been terribly challenging in that regard, and nearly impossible for entry-level people working remotely, with no face-to-face mentoring, etc.

        1. Paul says:

          Hello Jane,
          I think that the retirement routine was something that allowed my wife and I to weather the pandemic restrictions better than many. No problem for me to stay home and write. When I did go out I packed up my camera and went to the beach which was relatively empty and safe.
          Paul

  5. Scott Blake says:

    The comment about one’s identity often being joined at the hip to the workplace is problematic. The differentiation has to be a distinction between who you are and what you do. Mike Curtis (I assume he wasn’t the former Colts’ linebacker who famously tackled a fan who ran onto the field) had it right; work isn’t what you are, it’s what you do.

    You have the right concept, work didn’t pass you by but you passed it by. That is the essence of retirement by choice. You are fortunate to be able to have done it. Without it, you couldn’t have done that 1 ½ month road trip. I would love to do that on a regular basis. That’s what life is, not working because you have to. Working because you can’t think of anything better to do is the definition of hell. Work to live instead of living to work is the definition of proper prioritizing.

    Your question of “what do I do?” has the greatest possible answer, “I’m retired and do whatever the flock I want to do”. Remember the line from early in “Easy Rider”, where Wyatt says “You do your own thing in your own time, you should be proud”. I like that you’ve updated your LinkedIn profile to reflect that. Long may you run.

    1. Paul says:

      Scott,
      “You have the right concept, work didn’t pass you by but you passed it by.”
      Actually both can be true. When I was employed, work was in some respects passing me by.
      The culture was changing, it was expected that you would be available nearly 24/7, you would be willing to work from home or answer your phone when on vacation. That was something I wasn’t willing to do.
      I would say that I decided to “pass on work.”
      When I first retired, I’m sure you recall how I used to complain about boredom. I thought at the time that I could easily get another job and maybe I could have during those early retirement days. By then though, the work culture had left me behind.
      Paul

  6. Toonsarah says:

    I so know that feeling of talking to a former co-worker and realising they’re speaking a language that’s now foreign to you! I retired almost two years ago now and I have an ex colleague who became a good friend but when she ‘talks shop’ increasingly I wonder why the things that occupy her mind used to matter so badly to me too!

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Sarah,
      “I have an ex colleague who became a good friend but when she ‘talks shop’ increasingly I wonder why the things that occupy her mind used to matter so badly to me too!”
      I could not stand work-speak. The acronyms and the buzzwords and the appropriation of words that at one time had a reasonable meaning.
      “Sarah, I think you have the “bandwidth” to take on another 10 hours of work a week.” “Bandwidth”; that one drove me nuts.
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      Paul

  7. My husband retired about three years ago. I still work (26 years at the same place), but I have a pretty awesome job I love, and 6 weeks of vacation each year (yip, I hung in there during the tough years). My point? My husband is more relaxed, he golfs twice a week, and we can take a two week vacation and no one will bother us (my organization is real big on work/life balance). Does he miss his job? Not one iota, and that goes double for me! This guy is much more fun on vacations! I enjoyed reading your post, Paul!

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Lisa,
      Your story reminds me of my wife’s.
      She managed to join a very progressive energy bar company here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The founder had recently moved his operation out of the garage kitchen and was beginning to take off.
      The perks and the culture were a dream and I envied her.
      Over the years the company grew and with success, became more and more “corporate.” The culture changed but it was still better than most.
      My wife did retire, not because she didn’t like her workplace but because she wanted to be able to set her own life schedule and do the things she wanted.
      You’re one of the lucky ones. Most people I know are like me and like your husband – they want out.
      It seems that you and your husband have a great arrangement going.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting,
      Paul

      1. Thanks Paul, yes, we do! I’m not quite retirement age yet, so it is a great deal! No matter what though, we need to always try and find the positives of where we are right now 😊

  8. Well done and well written. You sell it well, the retirement.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      Retirement sells itself!

      Paul

  9. alison41 says:

    Perspective – everybody needs it. Work is over-rated – yes I know we have to pay the bills, put food on the table etc. etc but routine, dead end jobs are soul destroying. I spent many years doing “just a job”. Retirement is heaven.

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Alison and thank you for reading and commenting. I have to admit that when I first retired, I was at loose ends. In short order I got comfortable with it and then, bang, COVID struck. I think that the routine that I’d established of not being tied/accustomed to a schedule helped me to weather the lockdowns and rules better than many.
      While my job was a drudge, I did enjoy the people. They are what I miss most.
      And I’ll be the first to admit that some people in some fields become their jobs. Those people are usually doing a calling or are in the arts. They are the fortunate ones.
      Thank you again.
      Paul

  10. Anonymous says:

    While a writer I am not!
    Excellent read! Your perspective is spot on!
    Enjoy life that defines you dear friend!
    I’m in complete awe of who you are and clearly defines you as a person and friend!!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you so much. Thank you for reading and commenting. Hang in there. You’re time is on the near horizon.

      Paul

  11. eden baylee says:

    Hi Paul,

    Great long blog!
    I know we spoke about some of this, but it was a really good read in its entirety. You should be very proud of yourself for making the decision to retire, and more importantly — doing so for the right reasons. If you’d stayed and retired when it was “your time”, who knows how that would’ve affected your psyche? Staying in a job that’s no longer satisfying robs one’s creativity, and worse yet, drains one mentally.

    As for the word ‘retirement’ I think it needs to be replaced with a better one – because retirement from a job that earned you a living, is by no means retirement from living. If anything, it resets your priorities so you can do all the things you’d always wanted to do were it not for the damn job that got in the way.

    I’m happy to see you on LinkedIn as a writer and photographer. It’s important to make that declaration publicly. The world believes it because you believe it. Now you can focus your energy on doing the work. And by the way, you’re no hack – just modest. You write and take pictures, and you do both extremely well.

    Yours is a success story of reinvention, of turning your talents into something you can share with the world. You left a job and you found more of you.

    eden

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Eden,
      Had my reason to retire not arisen, I can’t imagine that I would have been able to stay.
      The office was getting increasingly toxic. More importantly, as I’d mentioned in the blog, I was becoming obsolete in the sense that I wasn’t going to conform to the idea that the office could intrude on time off and vacations.
      I don’t know that I’m proud per se about my retirement decision. To say that it seemed like the right thing to do is to understate it.
      As I write this reply it occurs to me what I would have missed had I not retired. What a succession of events, COVID, an argument that led to wanting to get away, the first road trip and then the second.
      “You left a job and you found more of you.”
      Your encouragement has def helped in the search.
      Paul

  12. Isn’t it interesting how one door closes and another opens? I’m delighted you found my blog and chose to follow it because I’m thrilled to have found yours and shall follow you to see what you get up to. Enjoy each day.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you so much for commenting and for following my blog and I’m glad that I found yours.
      To be honest, I skipped straight to your “politics” section after I’d found your site. That’s often my “test” to determine whether or not I’m going to follow a blog.
      Stay well.
      Paul

  13. robinwinter says:

    What a wonderful reflection. I have long admired your voice, your humor and your sharply evocative prose. Time and again you share insights, questions, concerns, and you bring us right in so we feel like we’re sitting across the table from you. I could wish that you would publish a volume of your blog posts– I’d like to have it on my shelf…but am sad to say there seem to be too few publishers interested in bringing out that kind of work these days. My husband just retired and it is interesting to see what the adjustment is like. I will never retire, but that’s because I have the sort of jobs that never end– painting, and, like you, writing. Thank you for these posts, they are full of so much life.

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Robin,
      I’m overwhelmed by your kind words.

      I’m starting to entertain the notion of having some of my posts published into a book. You’re the second person who has suggested that to me and I know another blogger who’s posts were actually published.

      You are one of those fortunate ones whose passion is her job (although job hardly seems a fitting word). I visited the Sight Lines Exhibition page on the Sullivan Goss website. Beautiful work.

      Your comment has given me a new view of my present stage of life. I’m not retired, I just changed jobs.

      Thank you so much for visiting and commenting.

      Paul

  14. Hettie D. says:

    When I read posts like this, I feel embarrassed to admit that my life and work I tightly integrated, and that’s the best thing about my life. The only thing that’s better is the fact that my husband has the same attitude and we share both our life’s and work. But it’s so not fashionable that I feel very uneasy to mention that 🙂

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Hettie,
      For you, integrating work and life suits you. We’re all different and we all have different takes on our jobs. I know of former coworkers from my last workplace who loved the work and the company. They dedicated themselves to it and that was fine for them. I suppose that where they went wrong was to assume that everyone would or should feel the same way.

      If you are able to enjoy where you spend many of your waking hours, then you are indeed fortunate.

      There are some aspects about my former job that I sometimes miss. In the end those things could not outweigh the downsides.
      Thank you for reading and commenting,
      Paul

      1. Hettie D. says:

        The important thing you mentioned is that we spend a significant portion of our time working, and I can’t imagine how somebody would spend that much time doing something they would rather not do:). Just to be clear- I strongly believe that shorter workdays/week are long overdue. And also, unlike my husband, I plan to retire at my retirement age 🙂

  15. I really enjoyed reading this and can relate to so much of what you’re saying.

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Ellen,
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      To use an old saying, “They couldn’t pay me” to go back to work. Well, I guess they’d have to wouldn’t they. But, you get what I’m saying.
      Paul

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