Resignation describes the noun resignation as –

  • the act of resigning.
  • a formal statement, document, etc., stating that one gives up an office, position, etc.
  • an accepting, unresisting attitude, state, etc.; submission; acquiescence: to meet one’s fate with resignation.

Last week, after 7 years of working for Destination Management Companies, I resigned from the two companies that employed me most frequently.  There was almost no work during the Pandemic and I enjoyed not working.  It was well paid work that was mostly simple but on occasion stressful.  The expression ‘herding cats’ comes to mind.  Most of my colleagues thoroughly enjoy the work but my brain filled the quiet periods (waiting for clients) with anxiety about every possible scenario that could go wrong.  My favorite role was facilitating in conferences but that rarely happened.  Facilitation was part of my original skill set that I brought from Scotland.

I have an undiagnosed neuropathic condition for which I have been seeking treatment for years.  Finally, a very good neurologist, who was a Professor at Baylor University, sat me down and said honestly, “I think it is a combination of an existing cervical problem and anxiety.”  On the last day of working, my fingers were involuntarily moving as though they had been electrically shocked, I couldn’t feel the bottom of my feet and my neck was spasming.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, I got the tummy bug that is going around the USA.  Thank goodness it was an immaculately clean hotel bathroom that I was unwell in.  My OCD was lighting up like a Neon Sign. My head was screaming ‘GERMS, GERMS, GERMS’ but they were all mine!!  I did make sure I left the bathroom clean.

There is a sense of relief but also guilt and failure.  I have left many jobs over the years and almost always because my anxiety was overwhelming.  Despite my age and wisdom, I just can’t seem to accept that I am not a useful part of society, in a conventional sense.  Then I get irritated at myself because I know I am unwell with a debilitating but invisible illness.  Medication only works so far, in my case.  I feel guilt because I can no longer contribute to the household monetarily and also because I didn’t fully explain my resignation to my bosses.  I can sense that one feels disappointment and the other could care less.  In my leaving letter, I used the phrase, “we are embracing retirement”.  Not true.

This is probably my final failure, in the work world, and now I have to adapt to retirement.  I will receive my UK pension in 5 years.  That will be a good moment, to be rewarded for all those painful years of work.  I often wonder how I would have managed in the world if not for the support of my husband.  One of my cousins in the US, who had a lifelong mental illness, told me how lucky I was to have such an understanding partner.  That’s a familiar refrain from family and friends – it makes me feel more guilty not lucky.  Teddy insists that I have been his backbone and support for the whole of his career.  We are a bonded pair and I am grateful for that.

In time, I will adapt and perhaps acquiesce. To the outside world, I may live a pampered life but I would like them to spend one day in my head and one night in my disturbing dreams.  At the moment, I am in limbo.  Relieved not to be anxious at work but trepidatious about the future.  I have some vague goals about writing and increasing my stamina.  Eventually I will find a new rhythm and may even feel grateful for all that I have.  One bright morning, I took great pleasure in removing my work clothes from my closet to donate to charity.  Then I color coordinated the closets and hangers – a pleasant OCD task that felt wrapping myself in a fluffy blanket.  I have put myself out to pasture but might enjoy the frolic, sniffing the flowers and watching the sunset. 


62 thoughts on “Resignation

  1. Think of it as less of a retirement, and more of a time for you to nurture yourself and what you enjoy. I am loving early retirement and having time for growing, cooking and reading. I’m two years in and not missing work at all. Enjoy!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I took to retirement like a duck to water. I do a lot of activities and don’t have enough time to fit in everything I want to do. These include a small amount of basic housework a day. My decluttering efforts continue to be rather pathetic. Schedule fun activities into every single day.

    Liked by 3 people

      • You don’t have the idea yet Kerry! I ignored the mashed in cat food on the kitchen floor today and played on my VR obeying Italian household commands, playing tennis, visiting Arches National Park and I’m now doing a walking workout in front of a Lighthouse in Maine. One of my pals got a Skye terrier puppy and I had fun walking with it and feeding carrots to the pigs in a park on Saturday. There is a shortage of vegetables in the supermarket but since I don’t like eating them much, it is no great loss. I suspect most Scots feel the same.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. OK….you had me sucked in at the coo photo. I was “put out to pasture” coming up to seven years now and haven’t been happier, OK the last few haven’t been all that flash but generally.
    You and Teddy will be OK just have to get used to the being around each other more often than before.
    Overall have fun 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Kerry. As one who has spent my entire life working, it’s not all that. I am truly looking forward to doing nothing.
    Look upon it as time for you. To do what you want to do. To look after and be kind to yourself. Good luck with the decluttering. It’ll take me a few years of retirement to clear out wardrobes and a garage filled with useless rubbish.
    Do something fun every day. Life is short. Enjoy chilling. The only person you need to please is yourself.
    Lots of love.
    Anne x

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You and Teddy are a bonded pair. That’s abundantly clear to anyone who has followed your blog.
    I hope you can find a way to enjoy/appreciate/cope with retirement. It really can be quite rewarding. And there are lots of ways to contribute to a household without money.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. if you were out to pasture….and looked like the Highland cow in the photo, well, i’d say you still had a future…maybe working in food management. as it is, think of it now as a prelude to an adventure, which does not have to the same as anyone else’s adventure, because it is yours. a simple walk outside can be an adventure. for whatever comes next has not happened yet, and that is the best news here. no matter what your body tells you, you are still here, still breathing, and still a blessing to somebody.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy retirement. I know when I retired and looking back I didn’t know how I did all the things that I did and find it hard now to fit all of that in. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Time goes extremely fast and I guess with what you can fit in takes longer not because of age but because we stretch time as we don’t have a set schedule to follow when working. I guess we compressed time when we are working and when I retired everything goes in slow motion so if you have tea in the morning your 2 cups can last you 2 hours playing on your phone or internet. Enjoy!
    Enjoy! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ” Teddy insists that I have been his backbone and support for the whole of his career. We are a bonded pair and I am grateful for that.” The most important thing in life.

    BTW, I’m thinking of getting that haircut on that cow. I’m diggin’ it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Not a failure, Kerry. But it’s a realization you will have to come to in your heart and mind. It doesn’t really help us when other people tell us that we aren’t failures.
    I hope you can enjoy all the beauty and surprises the pasture holds. 🌞🌸🦉

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You are not a failure! You deserve a calmer lifestyle after years of working. Welcome the opportunity to do more things that help you to enjoy life. Be thankful, and I know you are, to have a partner that is understanding.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m sorry you’re going through that. Sounds difficult and exhausting. I feel for you in this situation, because I’ve been in similar ones, too.

    I’m from Australia. When I have symptoms like that, I ask for help, and they usually go away. You can try it, if you want?

    I still feel anxious sometimes, but I don’t feel it often enough that it becomes a disease or even a hindrance to my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Gill. I take regular medication and see my psychiatrist in a couple of weeks when we will discuss my mood. It’s possible I need a little boost in medication or time will heal. We had our granite worktop polished today, he did a fabulous job but I ache with anxiety. I want to slap my silly face but give me a hug too.😊


  12. Wow. There is so much to unravel here. On the one hand I want to sternly reprimand you for the negativity you say about yourself, and on the other hand, I want to hug you and say, “I hear you, it’s gonna be okay! You got this! I promise.”

    The only thing I know for sure is, you do the best you can with the cards you’ve been dealt. That is all any of us can do. I am so happy for you and this next chapter of your newfound freedom and life! It may be scary. It may be invigorating but in the end, just be beautifully uniquely you, be kind to yourself and do the best you can! I’ll be thinking of you, praying for you, and wishing you nothing but joy through it all my friend! 💕🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I hope your ‘retirement’ proves all for the best Kerry. In reality you’ll probably find yourself doing bits and pieces which deliver more pleasure and less anxiety. I’m certainly way more relaxed and happy these last 3-4 years having decided to jump off the treadmill. And be happy that you’re financially in a position to take that decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Kerry,
    I was diagnosed with PTSD in my mid 20’s and since then I have had intermittent issues with my mental health (including three burnouts) and a lot issues brought on by stress (like shingles twice). I developed Crohn’s disease, but an unusual type, so it took ages to get diagnosed and I’ve had pretty severe asthma since I was a kid.

    Firstly, I hate being the ‘sick one’. The one something is always going wrong with. It’s horrible. I like being the strong one, who despite everything, helps other people. That’s probably partially what led me to keep burning out!!

    I divorced my first husband and was a single parent for a while and then I met my second husband, who’s my absolute rock. He loves me and looks after me and I love him and look after him.
    I lost count of how many times I’ve been told how lucky I am he’s stuck by me. It’s truly offensive and makes it look like I bring absolutely nothing at all to the relationship and like my kids and I are just leeches hanging on to this poor, brave man. When in truth I make him laugh all day, I am a really good cook and he loves my food, I listen to his problems and I help him when he is struggling with work pressures. My kids and I have been a full on entertainment package which he feels has enriched his life massively. He says I give him confidence to try things and do things with his life.
    Your story with your husband will be a different one to mine, but your husband values you, otherwise you wouldn’t still be together after all these years. He sees in you what perhaps other people, perhaps even you can’t. He knows you better than anyone else at all.

    I am really happy for you BOTH that you found each other.

    I completely understand your feelings of guilt and failure. I fight those demons too. I want to be a valuable part of society and not a burden, especially on those I love! As soon as I feel like a burden I really do begin to spiral.
    I read an article a few months ago in which the writer said they lived by the motto that their goal here on Earth, is to leave the world a better place than how they found it. That their choices and actions each day should be with that principle in mind. If I think of my philosophy on life, I think mine is similar but it wasn’t as well defined. I thought about it a lot in the meantime. I realised I’ve done quite a few bigger things in life which were good and fit well with that motto. But I’ve also done really small things which are equally important, like helped someone carry their shopping or chatted to someone who clearly felt lonely or paused the car and let someone cross the road in the rain. I grow lots of plants in my garden and I reprimand people who don’t look after the environment.
    Thinking about my life and how I just generally treat people has made me realise I am an intrinsically good person and even if I can only do small things from now on in, I can still leave the world a better place and for me personally that makes me feel more valuable and my life worthwhile.

    I wish you well with your new path in life. A new direction doesn’t mean failure, it just means learning a new aspect of life, which leads to growth and hopefully even more tolerance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew that someone would read this post who truly empathized and THANK YOU! It’s really difficult to understand another person’s angst without having a similar experience. Since I wrote the post, weeks have past and I feel better. Not fulfilled but better. My psychiatrist helped too by reminding me of all the voluntary and paid community work I have done in my life. I also make my husband laugh all day and support him in a thousand ways. My neighbors rely on me for support in a crisis – I was amazing during the bad hurricane! My OCD lets me plan in advance for every zombie apocalypse…so that’s handy. 😊

      I so appreciate your insightfully written words. By sheer chance I fainted last week, hit my head and ended up in hospital last week. That has already changed my attitude for what’s next in my life but there is a hilarious blog to come… K x

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are very welcome. I am really glad you’re feeling a lot better and although I’m sorry you fainted, I look forward to that post.

        That reminds me of me when Covid started. I cooked so much food that my husband had to actually buy a second freezer!! Then I sewed so many masks, I could provide the kids, their partners and then I even gave some to doctor’s offices.
        Take care!

        Liked by 1 person

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