Archive for October, 2022

Not Happy but Not Unhappy

I spent the first two weeks of retirement with no goals other than to continue gym workouts and walking at least three miles every day.  I didn’t set an alarm the first week.  I slept in.  Some days I didn’t get out of bed until 10 or 11.  I stayed up until midnight most nights.  I watched a lot of Netflix. I read a book on the pandemic given to me by Cindi, which, was gifted to her at a book fair/literary conference in Santa Fe.   I spent time in the garden preparing for the first frost along with the arrival of the initial snow, which, turned out to be an insignificant dusting.  The second week I started setting an alarm for 7:30.  I found myself turning off the alarm but staying in bed.  Most days I slept another hour or so. The week flew by.  My days all seemed the same.  The only difference was the programs on TV in the evening.  I often found myself checking my phone to see what day it was. 

At the start of the third week, I decided I needed to do something constructive every day.  I started purging my office of work collateral.  I returned my work laptop and had lunch with a former colleague.  She informed me more layoffs were coming in Europe and Asia as the first round only affected the Americas.  After the lunch, I was relieved to be away from the chaos.  I threw years of client files and work documents into the recycle bin.  I didn’t bother the shred the confidential or proprietary documents.  I moved on to purging the closets.  I took a load of clothes to Goodwill only to hit the mall the next day to buy new shirts.  This week, I’ve been washing windows and cleaning the wood blinds and plantation shutters one room at time.  I’m amazed how beautiful fall looked in my garden after the windows were cleaned. 

I took my first retirement day trip with my gym pal, Martin.  Martin was able to retire early as his late husband left him financially secure.  He takes a day trip almost every week.  Martin and I drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming for lunch.  We had a leisurely, but unremarkable, lunch at a restaurant near the train station.  After lunch we took a self-guided tour of the newly renovated capitol. A video presentation described the extensive renovation and preservation of the trompe-l’oeil decorative elements. The accompanying video subtitles spelled out trump loy instead of the correct French spelling. It is a red state after all. I was surprised how small Cheyenne was.  There are no tall buildings in the little downtown.  The capital is the second tallest building in the state.  It was my first visit to Cheyenne.  It may very well be my last.

I’m still trying to figure out what this new life will be.  I’m in no hurry.  I have the rest of my life.  I imagine I’ll find something more than workouts and walking to fill my days. 

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Before the Frost

I snapped a few garden pics before the frost caused the trees to drop most of their leaves.

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This recently arrived. What will come next?

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Friday Night Gala

Jan van Hemessen, Portrain of Elizabeth, Cout Fool of Anne of Hungary, oil paint, 25 1/2 x 22, 1525.

Last night I attended the Denver Art Museum’s annual gala held in conjunction with the opening of Saints, Sinners, Lovers, and Fools: 300 Years of Flemish Masterworks.  The museum dropped the black-tie dress code in favor of cocktail attire.  There were a few men in tuxedos and a number of women in floor-length taffeta ball gowns, but most men wore suits or sport coats while the women chose cocktail dresses with sequins being a central theme. As expected, there were a few guys wearing jeans, t-shirts and sneakers.  Many of the high-end gallery owners were there along with the local oil heiresses and the usual suspects from the Denver art scene.

The exhibit offers a look into the specific subjects and styles adopted by artists in the Southern Netherlands between the 15th and 17th centuries.  Works by Hans Memling, Jan Gossaert, Jan and Catharina van Hemessen, Peter Paul Rubens, Jacob Jordaens, and Anthony van Dyck are on display.  Almost all the art is on loan from the Belgium-based Phoebus Foundation.

My friend, Sharon, attended the event with me.  She’s an artist who shows at one of the high-end commercial galleries in town and teaches art history and print making at a local university.  I really enjoyed hearing Sharon’s view of the artwork.  She’s sees things in paintings I don’t see and she uses her knowledge of art history to set the social and political context of the time.

We spent two hours touring the exhibit before calling it a night.  I dropped Sharon off at her house before picking up glazed donut holes to celebrate my second week of retirement. After a little Netflix I headed to bed.

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Setting the Bar

The owners of this house have set the neighborhood bar high for Halloween decorations. It’s not an expansive display but it is very impressive in person given the scale of the skeletons.

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A New Journey

It was the perfect storm of corporate malfeasance.  The company went from raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in pandemic revenue to needing to borrow $500 million only to later restate earnings resulting in lenders hiring forensic accountants before threating litigation.  A fired CEO walked away with $40 million leaving a company in shambles.  The new CEO cut product lines and laid off employees in an effort to cut $350 million in expenses. 

I was informed three weeks before contract expired that is could not be renewed.  Although I wanted to work one more year, I decided to retire.  I had peers offer me leads on other contracts but I decided to take time off.  My manager said he would keep me in mind if he can hire at some point in the future. 

I’m on a new journey.  I’m trying to figure out what to do with my life.  I have determined I no longer need to get up at 5:30.

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