Yesterday was my last day working for the yankee government; I am now officially retired.
I confess to a feeling of loss, as I will miss my colleagues - particularly my staff, all of whom are smarter than I. Hardworking and honest, they are fine people whom I came to consider as friends. I do indeed wish them well.
The ramifications - the actual fact - of retirement have not entirely sunk in. I think, subconsciously, I am letting the reality seep in slowly in order to control a mounting feeling of ecstasy that might otherwise induce me to turning cartwheels - a dangerous proposition for a fellow of my advanced years and mediocre physical condition. First and foremost is a feeling of release, of freedom, such as I have not experienced in decades, a long time ago when I was a young man for whom life seemed to be a collection of endless possibilities, just spread out for the choosing. That collection of possibilities shrinks considerably when you take on the responsibilities of raising a family, and the working years become an occasionally grinding and inescapable routine.
And now that stretch is done. To borrow from Wodehouse, who used the metaphor from time to time to describe a character who had been spared some odious fate, a courier has galloped up to the gallows on a foaming steed, a parchment in his hand. The long hoped-for pardon. I am as free as any human being can hope to be, and I thank God for it.