My husband retired on Thursday. He says it hasn`t hit him until he left work at lunch time to pick me up and then drove back to work for one last time. And then it hit him a bit more on Friday morning when he wasn`t just having another long weekend, but he hasn`t got a job any more.
He was never the kind of man who dreaded his retirement. He`s got a very rich life and loads of plans. Since legislation in the UK changed a few years ago, you no longer automatically retire at age 65 – you have to resign, which caused some people to delay retirement. They are scared of proactively letting go of a job they may like and that makes them good money. This bit was never in question for J (retiring on his 65. birthday was always a goal), but when he told a friend (who turned 65 a few months before and had not stopped working) this friend felt an intense pinch of jealousy, and he subsequently handed in his notice as well.
Anyway – Thursday. It was very, very special. We went into his office, which is a glass house in the middle of a production factory, and eventually, we could see everyone stopping their machines and walk away into the same direction, to where the presentations (double retirement, and my husband did the speech for the other guy, as he was his supervisor) were going to be held. This was a bit eery.
My husband managed to pass my camera to someone else, and then I was asked to stand at the front with him. Didn`t expect that, but knowing that he was nervous, I was grateful to be allowed at his side. The speeches were lovely, and since we met though work, they all had me and our relationship in them. I found this bit very humorous and loving and not embarrassing at all. We were still standing there talking to a decreasing group of people when it started to get noisy around us, as people resumed their work at the machines. There was something quite touching about that bit which I can`t quite point my finger to. Life and diary making goes on, but he`s got nothing else to do with it.
I wonder whether he`ll miss it after all, just sometimes, a wee bit.