Don’t Judge Me!

I realize it’s been a long time, but seriously, don’t judge me. I can’t take your dirty looks or evil eye. I only have myself to blame for not coming here sooner. But things happen. Life, the universe and pandemics.

A lot has happened since you last saw me. For starters, there’s been a virus going around. I don’t need to explain that, do I? Well, I’ll be honest: I’m not a fan of the mask. Makes us all look like we’re robbing a bank, a bank that’s been robbed many times over by now. So we wear a mask, we keep our distance, and we wait for better times to come. I’ll tell you: in my many years on earth, I never thought the day would come that I’d be living in a science fiction movie.

How did we get here? Don’t ask. Thankfully, we have a new president, one who promises not to cause an insurrection. That’s something, eh?

I’ll tell you, I’ve never spent so much time at home. It’s not easy. For starters, I began this pandemic by eating like crazy. Remember the shortages in the beginning? Well, while you were looking for hand sanitizer and toilet paper, I was buying Pepperidge Farm cookies by the crate. I figured if the flu is going to kill me, they’ll find me dead in my home, clutching a handful of Mint Milano’s. Oh, boy.

And then, there’s Zoom. Never heard of it before the pandemic. Next thing I know, I’m on Zoom everyday, attending all sorts of meetings. I’m also learning to use Slack. And that’s when it hits me. Looking at my reflection in the Zoom camera I see how old I’ve become. Yikes. Too old to work around these young yahoos. So yada, yada, yada, I announce my retirement.

But guess what? I don’t like that word. RETIREMENT. Too fancy, too formal, too final. Can only mean one thing. I’m approaching my last resting place. So do me a favor, if you know a better word to describe “retirement,” could you let me know–please?

I decided to post here a photo of me in the early days of my career. I’m here with my General Manager. The head honcho or the big cheese, as my boss, Jeff, would call him. He was a great guy. I liked him because he was also from New York and had the same New York sensibilities I had. We were fast talkers and always antsy. Looking for the next big thing. I also liked him because he gave me a chance. Started promoting me when I was barely six months into my job. Those were the days, before faxes and computers, when everyone was isolated and dependent on TV for everything. I have great memories of working with him in Seattle. This photo was taken in New York, by the way. We were visiting the station there and having a grand time. Made me sad when one day he resigned and took a job in Texas. Texas? Who goes there?

So what have I been doing since retirement? Well, at first all I did was visit the garbage dump every week. Actually it was a recycling center and I loved it. So fast pace and frenzied. Cars pulling up, people sorting bottles and cans, grabbing flattened boxes from the trunk of their cars and tossing them into the “cardboard only” bins. And everyone’s rushing through. If not for the frenetic energy, I could stay there all day. Felt like home. At least felt like where I grew up.

I guess I need to come up with other things to do in retirement. Stay tuned.

16 thoughts on “Don’t Judge Me!

  1. I love the “moving on” description, that’s the best I’ve heard. It says it all.
    Welcome back, Monica. It seems really strange with so many of the people I knew so well at KPBS now having moved on. But that’s what I did, too. The first year I wasn’t sure i liked it but as things go, there’s now no turning back. Look at it this way, you’re now writing your own music, leading your own band, dancing your own ballet, it’s up to you.

  2. Well hello Monica. Welcome back! Glad you’re well and what did you just say? Retired? What??? Noooo! I’d call is ‘being on va-ca’ I mean, why not? I never thought to go to the recycling centre to hang out in. Our recycling centres are monitored at the gate with a charge waiting for you. So, yeah, nah.
    I’m also, sort of retired, but not really. I mean, I haven’t had a job since September 2020 and the pandemic hasn’t helped things in this way. But, I think it is high time I found something soon. I mean, I don’t mind retirement (va-ca) but I run out of things to do! Arrghh.. Never happy hey?

    • Hey G! So good to hear from you. I can’t believe you’re retired, too! Well I look forward to hearing about your adventures in, ahem, vacation, as I figure out mine. We’ll get there together! Yes, that’s the ticket. 🙂

  3. Welcome back Monica. Retirement? How can you possibly be old enough to be “moving on” – my choice instead of retirement. I have beeb moving on for so many years it now seems a normal life

    • Ah, Moving on. I like it. Doesn’t give anything away and yet it has a certain connotation that implies moving up, advancing, improving. Thanks for the recommendation. Best alternative I’ve heard yet! As for not appearing old enough. I’m like a gallon of milk that hasn’t yet expired but expiration date is close in sight and giving me away. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m still, ahem, coloring my hair that makes me look younger than my actual years. Talk to my knees. They’ll tell you about the aches and pains they’re experiencing. Ah, youth! Wasted on the young!!

  4. “Financially independent” perhaps?

    Whatever you want to call it, one certainly is independent and can make ones own daily big and little choices, which is the nicest part. You can focus on your interests and things that are most important to you.

    So glad you’re back blogging! Good to hear from you.

    • Financially Independent would be lovely. I’d definitely use it, if not for the fact that I’m living on a modest pension and by that I mean, tiny. Borderline teensy. So something more creative and something the fully employed would envy. That’s what I’m looking for. The envy of others. Other terms welcome for consideration. Thank you very much!

  5. “Financially independent” perhaps?

    Whatever you call it, you certainly are independent and making your own choices, which is so nice.

    Glad to have you back blogging – it’s great to hear from you.

  6. restructured living, The pandemic is giving you a head start, the new challenge, where is there to go after this life passes. imagine preparing for a new world,as when The Spirit from above comes to dwell on earth and imagine the inner feeling, it may have been a struggle, but you made it to the other side, so much for retirement, amen

  7. Lovely to see you posting again Monica. Quite made my evening to see your post.

    As for a better word then retirement how about “A pause for thought?” Or perhaps “A jobs reward?”

    Changes here as well I am stopping my mid life tales blog and have deleted my blog as well. I now do an official blog for the heritage railway I volunteer on. All great fun.

    • Robert, wouldn’t be the same without you here. How sad about your mid life tales, but how fun that you’re doing the blog for the railways. You’ve come up in the world. Be sure to send the link! You know our new president is king of the rails. At least in this country. Specifically, Delaware and nowhere else. Sigh. Welcome back, friend.

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