Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Running the numbers

April 2, 2019

We Americans like numbers. Everything is all about the numbers, even the money. Big numbers are good, and small numbers are bad. Hmm. Not always. 

This morning I checked in with my retirement countdowns. Folks, it's getting scary. Having already passed the first number, that being December 31, 2018, I'm working on the second. That rolls up in sixty days. 

How did I choose the numbers/dates? The first one wasn't arbitrary. It was the earliest day I could financially afford to retire. The numbers dictated 12/31/18. The problem with that one was the size of my slush fund. As I contemplated depleting that fund of several thousand dollars over the course of five months, I started to wheeze. Seriously. Going from a saver to a spender might kill me.  

The picture is for age sixty-two. A lot of Americans retire at sixty-two. I could be one of them if I choose to be. After this one, the next number is for the twenty-year mark at my current job. That is another 456 days in the future. Age sixty-five? That's pushing twelve hundred days or over 3 years. That one seems a bit daunting. Or is it depressing? 

Maybe it's time to break a rule I've held fast and firm to since 2003. With very few exceptions I've not written prose while at the day job office. But things change. 

Now don't get excited. I work in a private 501(c)3. We do not get government money so I'm not wasting taxpayer dollars. But as this trend has developed, along with a few others, I question whether or not I need to be at the day job forty hours a week. Going to a four-day week would solve a lot of problems for me. It would also be more cost effective for my employer.

All these numbers staring me in the face are distracting. I can't shake them off. I can't ignore them. I'd like to make peace with them but so far I've failed that endeavor. Seeing the days click off, seeing the numbers shrink, brings up that natural fear of change. It's the complete opposite of what I expected. I expected to be gleeful and chomping at the bit to attain my freedom. 

I should have known. Nothing in my life has ever gone as planned. 

KC Kendricks

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