I am in the process of retiring from my day job. “Day job” is musician-speak for “real job”; you know, the kind that has a regular paycheck. Income you can reasonably rely on. I get to return to being a starving musician now. “Starving musician” is a redundancy. Except this time I won’t be quite as starving as I was in my 20s and 30s, thanks to some financial sleights-of-hand called “401k”, “employer-matching contributions”, and “re-invested dividends”. For 25 years I got to watch some numbers on a paper get bigger, and now those numbers on that paper get magically turned into dollars in my checking account, almost like a regular paycheck. Except that filing taxes is going to be way different next year, I’m pretty sure. I’ll let you know when I get there.
For the first few of those 25 years I was in customer service. That was pretty sucky. Talking to upset people all day was not a lot of fun. But I did learn some great communication and de-escalation skills. Those come in really handy now that I’m married.
The last five years were terrible: lost my great boss, was relocated against my will twice, all of our security and documentation practices changed. One change I can tolerate and adjust to, but my real complaint is that things KEPT changing, and changing. Like “they” (who are they anyway?) couldn’t make up their minds about what they really wanted. I started telling people when they asked what kind of work I did, “I used to be a developer”. Because now, instead of writing code, I spent half my day in meetings and filling out documentation. Clearly it was time to go.
I cannot tell you how relieved I was when our financial guy ran his magic software on our numbers earlier this year and it all came out green. Yes? You mean, I really can retire this year? Really?? You mean, somthing good happens this year?
So here we are. Learning the ins and outs of healthcare insurance options, and how to manage retirement cash-flow. The world is looking much brighter for 2021: vaccines are on the horizon, some sanity back in the White House, and I’M FREE!!!! I’m going to learn how to sleep past 6am again! I’m going to practice every day! Except, oh yeah, 2020 wouldn’t be complete without the Universe tossing in one of her little jokes on me: I’ve developed arthritis in my thumbs. Now that I finally have all the time in the world to play my flute, I’ll have to contend with the effects of aging. Forgot about aging. I’ll be a starving musician again, but I won’t be 30 again. As Charlie Brown used to say, “*sigh*”.