The Firefighter retires

I’m writing this post today because this firefighter retires tomorrow—and I’ll probably be very busy and too weary at the end of my last day on the psychiatry consult service to write. In fact, I’ve been too busy and tired to post for the last several weeks because we’ve been in the process of moving. Does that ever really end?

I can tell that what will really end at around 5:00 PM tomorrow is my career as a general hospital psychiatric consultant. It has been a long time coming. I’ve been on a 3-year phased retirement contract and going back and forth between wishing for it to end sooner and being scared to death as the final day approaches.

There are those last things: handing in the keys, the white coats, the parking hang tag and the like. I’ve cleaned out my office and somebody already wants it. I’m surprised that I’m just the tiniest bit territorial about the place, which is strange. I never spent much time in it because I was always chasing consults around the hospital.

I’ve never retired before. I wonder what the rules are. I still don’t know how to answer everybody’s question: “What are you going to do?”

There is the “new” house. It’s actually an older home, which fits my status as an older person, I guess.

The floors squeak and creak, a lot like my joints. There are little jobs and slightly bigger jobs to do for which I’m painfully aware of the need to develop a whole new skill set—or at least relearn them.

It’s about new noises and new animals. A fox trots across our yard occasionally. I’m used to deer, but we’ve never spotted a fox on our lawn. It has a rusty coat streaked with a lot of gray. It looks old. But it’s a good hunter and more than once we’ve seen it carrying a big mouthful of something that might have put up a pretty good fight.

I’m touched by the well-wishers, and those who say thanks for the memories. Just about every day of the last week, I’ve seen and done something at the hospital which makes me say, “That is what I’ll miss.”

One day to go.

3 comments

  1. Jim, thanks for your example to me and countless other trainees over the years. I hope this message reaches you, but if not, I will try to reach you through the Department to pass along a note of gratitude for everything you taught me and for how you tirelessly and graciously took on the fireman’s hat to help us all be better. In a way, it’s a surprise you even had an office, as the stairwells and corridors of the whole hospital were more your “home base” than a desk could have been. Like so many others, I’ll do my best to pay forward what you took time to invest in us. I will be always grateful for the time I spent working with you. keenan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Keenan! You’ll never know how happy and grateful I am to hear from you. I learned from you–maybe more than you learned from me. The fireman’s hat is gone, but the fireman’s heart beats on.

      Jim Amos

      Like

    2. I just noticed that my reply might not have been sent; how embarrassing! Reply below:

      Hello, Keenan! You’ll never know how happy and grateful I am to hear from you. I learned from you–maybe more than you learned from me. The fireman’s hat is gone, but the fireman’s heart beats on.

      Jim Amos

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.