Now that we’ve passed the hat of our company to the new owners (as of 3/27/2020), this is our first full week of “retirement.” I write this with quotations because, technically, Carl is retired but I don’t feel quite old enough to officially retire. I’ll call this the beginning of my extended sabbatical from working life.

I’m not counting this past Saturday and Sunday, so today—Wednesday—is day 3 of retirement life. How are we faring so far?

Day 1 involved wrapping up a few miscellaneous, business-related tasks. We delivered 2500 “passing the hat” postcards to the bulk mail facility to be mailed to past customers, and we took a trailer-load of scrap metal to the local recycling facility. I worked on a small desktop publishing project, updating a few pages in a book on which I did the page layout a couple of years ago. And I worked through a large stack of mail, asking to be removed from their mail list or requesting to go electronic only. It was a productive day, not without some self-induced drama. Carl wrangled with an old trailer hitch (the trailer hitch won!), which required an impromptu visit to Agri-Supply to buy a new one before hauling away the scrap metal.

Day 2 was less productive … a little more thumb-twiddling and more self-induced drama! We had painters in our house painting the foyer, stairwell, hallway, and kitchen cabinets. There’s a fine layer of dust coating our house from the popcorn ceiling removal and from the sanding of the kitchen cabinetry. Our kitchen cabinets have been emptied and cleaned (but I’ll have to do that again because of the dust!), with the contents strewn all over the place in the living room. The garage was taken over to be used to paint the cabinet doors.

With no freedom of movement in our house, and the garage space covered in plastic, paint, and doors, our productivity plummeted. Carl had a colorful fight with the lawn mower, at one point even turning it over and kicking it (I wish I had a video of that moment!). Luckily, he won this battle, although possibly not the war. The lawn mower miraculously started working, but he never figured out what the problem was. I worked in my office, finishing up with the stack of mail, writing a note to a friend, finishing the desktop publishing project, and then cataloging my stone collection. This latter task is not easy … so many beautiful pieces with me having no clue except for a few. I mean, is this chrysocolla or turquoise?

Carl could have probably done the painting, but with the popcorn ceiling removal and the stairwell having a high ceiling we decided it was better to have professionals handle the task. It would take him easily a week what is taking them two days to do.

So, here we are. Day 3. It is just getting started. I’m spending my time writing this. Carl is watching CNBC. The painters have arrived to finish their work today. I’m expecting our productivity to bottom out. If the painters finish today, the next several days will be filled with getting our house back in order, getting rid of the layer of dust, and moving our daughter into her new house. Then week 2 of “retirement” begins. I’m starting to wonder how my extended sabbatical is going to look, but I can’t put too much energy into envisioning it until we hit the road full time with our Airstream. Living out of a trailer and traveling the country will impact my time differently than if we were to stay in our house. This transition period—from working out of our house to traveling and living in our RV—coinciding with the self-isolation/social distancing/stay-at-home virus crisis makes these interesting and challenging times. Stay tuned … and stay well!