Day 6: The Last (Work) Day

Wrapped up clearing my computer, had one last meeting with an on-going project, returned my computer via FedEx, completed and sent paperwork. Signed my time sheet and approved Susan’s. Done! (delight!) I’d been worried during my trip to and from the FedEx place to return my computer that the feeling I was experiencing (mild anxiety) was what I would feel when I finished my final task and was officially retired, but that was replaced with relief as soon as I signed Susan’s time sheet and logged out of the ICF servers.

Dean and I took a 10 minute “victory lap” (as he called it — it was more like a brisk walk) around the block when I told him, at 2 pm, that I was done. It was very warm, but delightful nonetheless.

Susan (my former direct report) came over for afternoon snacks — she brought a variety of sweets. We had a nice chat. I know she’s anxious about the future without me at work, but she will be fine. We can be friends now (delight!).

Andrew (my son), Alex (his partner) and their former housemate Marissa stopped by for a retirement celebration, arms loaded with champagne (the real stuff), sweets, and gifts. We had a delightful time, masks and all. Alex and Marissa, both Montessori teachers, told us about their first week teaching virtually. I cannot imagine what it is like, especially for Marissa who teaches preschoolers.

I sent a photo of me in my new Kate Bush mask to Clare and she made an Instagram story of it. That delighted me.

Clare’s Instagram Story for this day

Day 5: The Last Thursday

The penultimate day of my working life. I have to say this week is the longest I can remember. It feels a little like purgatory or a sort of no man’s land. Every week usually introduces new projects, but not this one. I’m just wrapping up my existing projects and some and helping transition them to other people.

So many retirement related delights today:

  • Unexpected flowers from work
  • More sweet notes from workmates
  • A truly delightful virtual retirement send-off from a number of colleagues

The final delight of the day was a mushroom pasta recipe I made based on one Jeremy’s wife, Frances, makes. It was delightfully delicious (despite the fact I am not a huge mushroom fan). Frances’ recipe is purely vegetarian and I would have used vegetable stock, but had none so I used chicken stock. Also hers is much more healthy than mine, calling for whole wheat noodles and low-fat cheese, water instead of wine and hardly any oil.

Frances Burgoyne’s Mushroom Tagliatelle (the unhealthy version)

Note that I guessed at the amounts of ingredients below

  • 1 red onion (about 3 inches in diameter)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (all I had were portobello)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 2 T. olive oil or butter
  • 6 (or more) oz goat cheese (I used Humboldt Fog)
  • 6 oz stock (I used chicken made from a concentrate)
  • Fresh spinach (a couple of handsful)
  • Splash of white wine (red might be okay too)
  • 8 oz tagliatelle or other wide pasta (I made mine from scratch because I have an automatic pasta maker)
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Slowly saute onion in oil or butter until soft and nearly caramelized.
  2. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant. (be careful not to burn it)
  3. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, for a few minutes, until mushrooms are beginning to soften and stick to the pan.
  4. Throw in generous splash of wine and scrape bottom of pan until browned bits and pieces of onions, garlic and mushrooms are no longer sticking to pan
  5. Add stock and let cook for a few minutes to soften mushrooms
  6. Add half the cheese and stir, turn heat way down and cook until melted and the liquids have melted
  7. Cook pasta according to package or recipe directions
  8. Add pasta to mushroom mixture
  9. Toss in spinach, stir, and cover the pan until the spinach gets wilty
  10. Add more cheese if desired