On being retired

It has been awhile since my last blog entry.  My day job interfered and I just didn’t have the time or energy.  I was in the midst of the final re-writes of CHERUBS 2 which will be out in a matter of days and writing FORGOTTEN POWs to say nothing of working 60 -80 hours per week.

On June 30th, 2015, everything changed for the better.  On that day, the ranks of the unemployed went up by one. Why? Because I retired!!! Since I am not drawing unemployment, according to the government, I am not on the unemployed roles so theoretically I am not unemployed. Go figure!

The really cool thing is that I no longer have to set an alarm clock because I HAVE to go to work.

I’ve been talking about retiring for years, but finally I pulled the trigger. It was time. The mental switch flipped from continuing working to I need to retire on a business trip to India in November of last year. My motivation to work went up in a cloud of smoke. Working went from fun and exciting to an unpleasant chore.

Like most things in life and in the business world, timing is everything. I was in the midst of several important projects and I owed it to my employer to finish them. That was one thing that drove the timing.

Greed was another. One had to be employed at the end of the fiscal year to be eligible for my full bonus. The firm’s fiscal year ended on March 31st so I waited until I had all the data in mid-April that went into my bonus calculation submitted before I pulled the trigger.

As a senior executive, two weeks notice is normally not enough time to properly transition. I had one end date in mind and my boss had another that was the end of June. Looking back, there was wisdom in his timing.

A lot of people have asked me what were the first words that came into my mind when I rolled out of bed on July 1st.

Freedom! No more early a.m. conference calls. No reason to rush to check my e-mail or texts or my phone for messages. My life was now driven by what I wanted to do, not by the agendas of others.

When I got up on the morning of July 1st, the relief was palpable. I could feel the stress evaporating from my body. A life long dream was about to be fulfilled because I was about to become a full time author.

What I didn’t realize was what the transition would be like. Work habits honed during a career are hard to break.

A PTSD type malaise set in and it was tough to concentrate on anything. I am about to turn 70 that is a milestone in itself because it comes with the depressing realization that most of my life is behind me, not in front.   That date imposes an unmovable but unknown deadline.

I found myself in an unexpected situation – in retirement of all places – I am in a hurry. It is not a business deadline, but a life one. I have more books to write and get published and time is “a wastin’…”

So I’d better get back to work!   I didn’t retire, just changed careers.


Marc Liebman

July 2015