I am labouring a little on this event but to be honest until your time comes - and I hope you are planning for it, no one can really understand how emotional it is to leave the safety of work. Some will find it easier as they move around in different careers and different time spans in any one place of work. For me it was harder to say goodbye as I had been in one place for the last 30 years !
In some ways I still do not feel like I am retired, I guess that comes with time.
Yesterday the 8th September 2017 was my day. I received the most wonderful send off from colleagues current and I was so pleased to see colleagues from the past, some had made considerable time and distance sacrifices to be with my family and myself.
I was selfish and asked my family to be with me, I was nervous and unsure on my reactions. I wanted to show off my wonderful, beautiful family. It is why I have been in work and it is what work has supported me in achieving. I will be eternally grateful for my luck in that respect.
Many came - some were absent by choice no doubt and that pleased me as I only wanted those who wanted to be there there. I was showered with gifts and beautiful cards with lovely words, I am not normally a keeper of cards but these marked the respect and friendships I have enjoyed over a long time.
There were some I thought about who could not be with me as they had passed, some while working which is so sad but makes the need to enjoy and feel blessed all the more important.
I received sage advice from some who had gone before, retire with pride and dignity don't focus on the bits that were not right, focus on all what has been good. My colleagues made that very easy to do.
So I am very very lucky to be free from work at the age of 55. It has come at cost - financial which is significant. However as I have said to so many this was the time in my life I had the option to buy time. Not all have such a privilege and in my thinking and planning it was not an option to pass it by.
I have changed my timer on the side bar to now count up from my last day of work, rather than what was there counting down to it. Let's see what retirement is like then !