5/15/2008

Friends after Retirement


I worked for a federal agency for almost 19 years before I was forced into retirement due to a physical disability. During those 19 years, I met some great people. There were some people I would trust with my inner most secrets. They were people I thought I could count on when times were tough. I had, what I considered, a great bunch of friends at work.

But, it seems once I retired, left the gulf coast, divorced and came back, very few seem to want to have anything to do with me. And, to be completely honest, I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because you lose that “closeness” once you leave the workplace. It may be common everywhere. I don’t know. It just hurts that people you thought were the salt of the earth can’t find five minutes out of the week to, at least, pick up a phone to give you a call. There are about four or five people, I used to work with, I would have done anything for in this world if I had the means to do so. You thought that devotion was reciprocal. I have discovered it is not. It’s not in my case, anyway.

It’s not that I haven’t tried to stay in contact with my former co-workers, the people I considered close friends. I have tried, many times, and it’s always, “We’ll have to get together sometime soon…”, and that’s the end of it. I’ve come to a conclusion that is hard to take. It seems the people I thought were good friends, the kind of people who cared about you and wanted the best for you, were nothing more than what I categorize as “friends of convenience”. They were friends as long as you worked beside them each day. They were friends as long as they had daily interaction with you. They were friends as long as they felt it was convenient to do so. By that I mean someone who will call on you as long as he feels it’s in his or her interest to do so. Apparently, with me retired almost five years now, they no longer see any reason to consider me a friend.

In reality, I recognize people move on with their lives when you move out of a day to day contact situation. But, I never thought the four or five I mentioned above would prove to be people who moved on without me. We were that close…or so I thought. It’s painful to accept. But, it just points out that you have to move on with your life without them. You have to make new friends. You interact with different people and socialize with them. Still, as I look back on these people at work, it still astonishes me in a way. Some of these people were with me at my lowest points in life over 19 years. Some were there for me during deaths in the family. It just shows how people move in and out over the course of a lifetime. You cherish your friendships with people while they last. You just have the memories as you go on about living your life.

If I see them while shopping or any other situation, the feeling will be different. I’ll acknowledge them and we’ll probably talk about old times. We’ll reminisce and say the same things we used to say. And I’ll probably solemnly remember Thomas Wolfe was exactly right; “you can’t go home again.”





4 comments:

I have had friends like that as well.for what ever reason it seems that not all friends are there for friendship they seem to expect something from you.i wanted to thank you for coming to my blog and leaving such a nice comment!

You bring up a good point. The article I linked to does discuss the fact. But we as Americans have determined we'd rather free a guilty man than have an innocent convicted of a crime...thus "beyond a shadow of a doubt." Not that the prisoners fall under American law. And I wouldn't mind if the huilty ones stayed forever as long as they were treated with the human rights we as Americans value.

guilty not huilty sorry!

Sara, appreciate you reciprocating the return visit. Yes, it hurts when you think you know people, especially after almost 20 years. But, you move on with you life, as I said. Thanks for the comment and please come back sometime.

aimeepalooza, my point is that these people that you say deserve "human rights" have no inclination to honor the human rights issue. They want to kill us because we are infidels in their eyes. Therefore, given the opportunity (as I have shown in that article), they will kill again in the name of Allah. We have to understand...we are at war. Just as the nazis in WWII want to either kill us or subjugate us to their authority, the Islamic fundamentalists want to do the same. In fact, there is little difference in the two. The nazis sent people to gas chambers, the Muslim fanatics decapitate those who do not share their beliefs.

I appreciate you coming by to expound upon your opinion. That was a very good topic. In fact, I plan on bringing that topic up this weekend on a blog entry. Hope you will come in and give you opinion then also.

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