Last Friday at two o’clock on a sunny, cold afternoon, I officially retired from the workforce. For now. What started as a simple consulting project ended up lasting for two years of contract renewals. In the end, I finished what I was hired to do – heading a team restructuring the promotional process – and it was time to go.The Big Blue Binder is complete – more than forty documents, a humongous timeline and instructions for next steps. It feels good.

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Now I’m in the transition phase. Again. But I have a wonderful experience to look back on. As an added bonus, hanging around with police-folk for two years has given me lots of fodder for my novels, Alex the hardwood floor guy and Pete the plumber and some snappy acronyms. Good for you [GFY – go f***k yourself] and FOCUS [f**k off ’cause you’re stupid] are two of the more memorable ones.

My colleagues in Professional Development threw me a lovely potluck lunch – that’s one of the things I’ll miss – the incredible congeniality of the place. I miss the routine of getting my clothes ready the night before, setting the alarm clock and packing my lunch sac with leftovers from supper, fresh fruit and a treat. Making lists of to-dos, scheduling meetings, getting stuff done. During my exit interview, the Chief asked if I’ll still ‘be around’. I took it as a lovely compliment and assured him that I would. I can truthfully say that I loved going in every day.

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To celebrate the start of another stage in my life, I bought a custom-made desktop computer with a terabyte of storage, blistering fast processors and video cards, automatic backup and lots of USB ports (which I’ve filled already – every device now has a little dongle that I have to label). Getting the setup the way I want took all day yesterday. I’ve cleaned up a lot of duplicate data but I still have a treasure trove of documents, pdfs and audio files and tens of thousands of images. Yes, I’m a digital hoarder. Ergo, the massive hard drive.

I’ve done a bit of sewing but I feel distracted. I’ve got four projects on the go and I’d better get them done or else I won’t be able to start anything else. I’ve got to get my fabric stash to a more manageable size. Already I’m finding that I can blow a morning checking out emails, then Facebook and Pinterest. And that’s just on my desktop. I’m trying to set aside a dedicated workspace so I sit at my other desk across the room and work on my novel on my laptop. The thing is, I can see through the curtains and get distracted by the three chipmunks scooting around on the deck outside my office window.

I’m not complaining. I officially retired in August 2000 and I’ve been working consulting projects across the country ever since. I keep finding new opportunities (or they fall into my lap) but it’s time to hang up the keyboard,. I’ve cancelled all of my police sector alerts, I’m taking down my consulting website and clearing my bookshelves. Someone else can do it.

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Life is very good. I have a long list of projects I’ve been putting off for years – mainly purging and cleaning that I’d gladly postpone or pay someone else to do <sigh>. At least I took the Christmas decorations off the bushes in the front garden today. Yeah, I know. It’s Easter. I’m in no rush. Soon it will be time to get out the garden tools and the tractor. Yeah!

I figure if I finish something small each day, my sense of satisfaction will increase. Let’s see how long that delusion lasts!