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January 21st, 2022

Getting Closer To The Last Day Of My Paycheck Life

Sort of. I doubt I’ll simply give up my trade altogether. Maybe I’ll take on some part-time temp IT contractor work now and then for some extra bucks.


Maybe sell some artwork now and then. Maybe get some photography gigs here and there.


In the meantime as the reality of all this sets in, I’m trying to get myself into a mindset of seeing myself as a retiree. I’m sitting right now in my kitchen typing this out on one of my laptops, and trying to think of this moment as one that has no obligations on my time, other than what I choose to do with it. It’s not quite as simple as all that though. But to the degree I can manage it, it feels pretty good. The bright sunshiny day it is outside now is probably helping with the mood. But disentangling myself from the paycheck life isn’t going to happen overnight. I kinda expected that. Fifty years and a tad of working for a paycheck most days doesn’t lift off your shoulders overnight.

At the beginning of each year, the Institute gives us three “discretionary” days off we can use for whichever holidays we observe that the Institute officially does not. These discretionary days do not roll over and are not counted in your post retirement vacation time roll-out or cash out depending on which you decide to take. As I am retiring at the end of February (actually at the end of the last February pay period), I am using my three new discretionary days now, before they simply disappear, by taking three Fridays off this month.

I was out buying groceries this morning. I might go to one of my favorite bars in York later. Plus I have some household cable laying I want to get done. Today is mine to spend as I wish. I’m trying to imagine this as how it will feel to be retired, and have my time to myself. Something I’ve begun to see is that retired or not, I’ll still have to figure in what day of the week it is to plan a drive anywhere, because of commuter traffic.

And all morning long I kept feeling this uneasy guilty feeling like I’m skipping school somehow. It’s a workday. I’m supposed to be working, not out and about.

I suspect this feeling won’t be going away anytime soon. But that’s okay. I’ve been a good little Mouseketeer for so long it’s time I gave myself permission to be a bad boy. Yeah, I’m skipping school today. Catch me if you can.

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