Thursday, January 1, 2009
The Year in Review
And so we have ended a year that, for me, will be unforgettable (except of course when I start forgetting just about everything). I would like to write today about some of the top things that happened to me in 2008. By tomorrow, I suppose I need to rustle up a resolution or two. Otherwise I won't know why I'm feeling guilty when I begin to ignore them the day after tomorrow.
#1 Life Changes
My new motto: Work to live, don't live to work. Or better still, don't work.
Retiring was the big change in my life this year. And after three months of it, I cannot say how much I am enjoying the time to do things that have nothing to do with spreadsheets, budgets and presentations.
One of the happiest realizations I had when I left the company was that I would never again have to wake up knowing that I was going to tell someone I liked that they didn't have a job anymore. It was by far the worst thing about my job. With what is going on in the economy and the industry right now, there is no way we could have protected all the jobs in the company. So good riddance to that, and condolences to those who still have to deal with it.
#2 Family and Old Friends
Should auld acquaintance be forgot? I don't think so!
This was a year when Linda and I were able to spend more time than usual with family and friends. Lots of great moments - a fantastic 60th birthday in Rutland with so many people stopping by; a special week in Disneyland with Lily who got to meet for the first time her great grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousin; a wonderful visit to Andy and Doni at their beautiful home just a few (hundred) miles outside Toronto; a chance to spend time with our oldest friends on the planet, Walt and Terri, and pick up right where we left off; a great tribute to me and two other retirees at the dinner for the company's European meeting, where I also got to see so many of my international friends; and a lovely farewell party here with the people with whom I had worked so many years.
If nothing else happened, just being able to spend time with these people would have made 2008 a wonderful year.
#3 New Friends
It is especially encouraging to learn that there are still friendships to be discovered and built upon. I've written elsewhere about meeting Jaki and Robert. Against all odds, we remain in touch and will no doubt do so for a very long time. Tomorrow I will share Robert's latest suggestions for my diving suit. You will see why I like him. You will also see why it's probably going to take a while before I get to go diving.
I'll say it first. We overdid it. But in our last year of company-paid trips it just seemed daft not to add on a side trip here or there. Let's just say that my frequent flyer points are close to being able to charter my own jet after a year in which we were in Prague, Bangkok, Phuket, Honolulu, New York City, Boston, Rutland, Helsinki, Anaheim, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Toronto, Lisbon, Milan, Verona, Venice, Dubrovnik, Corfu, the Amalfi Coast and lots of other Italian ports, Monaco, Majorca, and Barcelona plus all those places in Alaska with such charming names as Skagway.
I find that I really don't miss my old job. I think travelling to all those international meetings, though, will be the exception.
So, 2008 is gone. We put it to bed last night with Lily, Matt, Rachael, Jason, Lora and Shirley. It was a very pleasant night. LK did up an American-style picnic and barbecue, and we were lucky enough to be able to watch the fireworks from our backyard.
Good luck in 2009 to all our family and friends, old and new.