Landmarking the 60 Blog

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When someone treats you like an option, help them narrow their choices by removing yourself from the equation.  It’s that simple.

It’s been a year since I officially bid farewell to my prior employer.  I’d been there fourteen years and had no reason to assume I wouldn’t retire from there.  The managing partner and I started working together over 30 years ago.  I was a new legal secretary in California and he was a second-year associate.  We worked at several law firms together until he opened his own practice in 2002.  I was the go-to person.  I was employee number two.  (Employee number one had a last name starting with “V” and, therefore, beat me!)  As the saying goes, “I knew where the bodies were buried.”  The history, the people, the good, the bad, the stuff that mattered.

Then one day last June, I realized I had had enough.  I just couldn’t work there any more.  I took a stress leave of absence, went through group and individual counseling, increased my medication dosage, and learned useful meditation and mindfulness techniques.

Last September, at the end of my leave, I officially gave notice to my boss in-person and we parted ways.  It was bittersweet and I went through a period of grieving.  My ex-coworkers and ex-bosses perhaps also felt a sense of loss, making the same mental gear-shifts they needed to in order to reconcile not seeing me every day.

A big change for me meant a big change for them too.  After all, I was practically a part of the furniture.  Maybe they missed me and maybe they didn’t.  I’ll never know.

Perhaps no one reached out because they were feeling anxious and awkward.  Here I am, working on Friday afternoon, and not returning on Monday morning.  So no one really knew what was happening, nor did I wish to tell them anything.  Maybe we’d keep in touch via email or social networks, but that didn’t happen to me.

I know it’s normal to feel a bit of sadness when you leave colleagues and friends behind.  Maybe they were pissed that I left.  Or they were happy and proud of my change.  Advice columns state:  “Just do what you can to keep in contact.  If you want to.  Things will never be the same.  That’s life.”

Indeed.  Over the past year, I periodically would wonder about those ex-coworkers.  And maybe they wondered about me too.  But no more.  As the year moved on, I thought about them less and less.  And I’m sure they did the same.

I’ve made new acquaintances at this current job, and I’ve come to realize that working at age 60 is different than it was at 30.  Remember when work was your main source of a social life?  And now, while I’m friendly with folks at work, my social life and my work life don’t intersect.  That’s just the way it is.



5 thoughts on “Landmarking the 60 Blog

  1. It is always traumatic to leave a job where you had made friends and try some thing new. You always think that you will never lose touch as you had such a great relationship with these people…but time changes that and soon, you no longer are in touch with them. New people take their place and you move on. I gues this is life!!

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  2. It is life indeed. I’ve had two traumatic job losses, both law firms. One from Brobeck after 10 1/2 years. That is the place where I met you Caryn. You and Joe left way before BP&H blew up, but it was horrible for most involved. And then when I was terminated from Snell & Wilmer, due to a reduction in force. I would like to think I made a difference there, and I know I’m missed. I miss people there, and will remain good friends with a lot of them for the rest of my life. But you’re right. Working at 30 and working at 60+ is way different. While working in my 60’s, I never let people bother me with things they might say. I wouldn’t allow my attorney to speak nasty to me, and in fact on several occasions he would apologize. Almost unheard of for an attorney! And we have talked on the phone a few times since I left, the longest time being for an hour. I will always miss him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never missed working for S&W or R&S since I retired in 2006! I do, however, miss seeing Nan and Becky just about every day. Looking back, it was just so stressful and I never realized it until being out of that environment for several years. I have enjoyed all my part time jobs since leaving the legal circus – cruise ship check in person, sandwich shop, home décor/decorating, Pier 1 and, now, Target. The people that I was close to, I still am. It is a choice I guess. Nan is like my sister and our relationship will continue to the end of our days. Good luck to you Caryn…keep doing what makes you feel worthwhile and valued.

    Liked by 1 person

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