I feel lighter, as if a weight has been lifted and I could float away. Does that sound silly? Maybe so, but it’s true. Yesterday at 3:30 p.m. I was walked out of the building in which I had worked for seven years and ended my thirty-one years as an employee of the federal government. It was a good run, with both positives and negatives, just like any job or large organization.
The fact that I worked for six different agencies in four states and two countries says more about my tendency to get bored if work becomes repetitive than it does about the actual jobs I held. For the first twenty-one years I worked in community and economic development programs that provided assistance to low-income and economically distressed areas. I had the opportunity to travel throughout the western United States while working with cities, counties, states, and Indian tribes. The last ten years I worked for one of the best law enforcement agencies in the world.
So, what did I do on the first day of the next phase of my life? I went to a casino. Yes, it’s true. Two of my fellow retirees and I started a tradition. Every April 1 and October 1 we will get together. Hopefully, the group will grow as others in our former office retire. And, incredibly, I won. Because I generally lose, I think the $239.98 payout from a penny slot machine, while not a fortune, is an omen of great things to come.
And tomorrow, what then? Does it really matter? It can be anything I want, anything I am inspired to try or to learn. Maybe I will try life.