I have a countdown app on my phone, and this morning I checked it to see how many days until my official retirement. It still looks a bit depressing, but there's good news there once one digs deeper. One hundred seventy days is less than it looks. It's only 122 weekdays. The key to unlocking it is in the week and weekday counts: 24 weeks.
I don't work on Mondays, so subtract those twenty-four Mondays off the top and we're left with ninety-eight days.
Take another four days off for scheduled 2021 vacation time and we're down to ninety-four days.
I don't yet know what my 2022 vacation package looks like, but doing the simple math, I should get nine days vacation to use next year. That puts us at eighty-five working days.
That's actually a bit scary.
I've been counting down the days for several years, and the knowledge of having only having eighty-five workdays left brings a mixed ball of emotions. It's a big change in both mindset and lifestyle. My biggest worry is that after twenty-seven years together, the man of the manor and me won't be able to co-exist peacefully within the new paradigm. It's going to get interesting.
There's the exhilaration that my goal of being the Lady of the Manor full time is within reach.
There's fear something unthinkable will happen and I'll die two days shy of the mark.
There is the question, the big question, of what new "adventures" do I want to have? I've been grappling with this one.
Yes, I plan to pursue my DAR, not just for myself but for those in the next two generations. I know my five times great-grandfather signed the Oath in what was to become the State of Maryland to support the colony's bid for independence. That's not in question. I need to formally present the documents that show he is indeed my 5x great-grandfather.
Yes, there are friends I want to reconnect with, at least once. It's on me to make the initial contact but after that, it has to be a two-way street. I'm prepared to be disappointed by some of them.
Yes, there are so many things I want to do to make the Manor even more of my own personal paradise. To suddenly have time for that, to think that I'll have time, is almost overwhelming. Being occasionally compulsive about some projects, I know I must pace myself carefully to accomplish anything and not burn out. Or even flame-out, which could happen.
And perhaps the biggest question of all, the one that is looming over me every time I sit at my desk in my lovely sunroom office - will the joy of writing return after I retire?
It's a lot to ponder on a Sunday morning before the sun has risen over the mountain and my coffee gets cold.
The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)
Christmas Eve update - 79 working days
January 14 update - 68 working days