Today is the first day of the rest of my life. All of us can (and probably should) say that every day, but this week marks real change for me. Some months ago, Jo Anne and I started planning for change at the Scorekeeper. In May Jo Anne gave notice to our largest client that we would be parting ways at the end of September, the close of their fiscal year. Jo Anne and I both want more time for writing, reading, and sleeping. The third Scorekeeper, David, has passed all four parts of the CPA exam (on the first try!) and needs to work for a year for a CPA or the IRS in order to be certified himself. So it was time for change.
This week we spent wrapping up reports for the big client, packing up boxes of their records and a computer that belongs to them, and today is the first day on our new schedule of three 7-hour days (usually Tuesday through Thursday) a week. Two less days I have to make the 60-mile round trip commute into Houston. And, since we’ve decided to open at 10 AM instead of 9, no more days of getting up at 6:15 to fight the 8 AM traffic.
Jo Anne has been referring to this as “semi-retirement,” but I’d rather think of it as a new phase, with more time for all the things that have been hard to pack into weekends. I have my usual to-do lists on virtual post-it notes on my computer screen, things to do now that I’ll have a couple of weekdays free: a couple of doctor check ups for me, the vet for Nutmeg, get the roof inspected. The Houston area is expecting its first noticeable cold front this weekend, just in time to push Tropical Storm Karen away from us (sorry, Gulf Coast neighbors to the east), and we’ve had some decent rain lately (if the rain gauge didn’t show it, I could tell by the toad stools popping up in my lawn), so maybe I can get back to that extensive clean-up-the-overgrown-back-yard project. The front yard needs mowing, if I’m careful to avoid the hurricane lilies.
I have plenty of writing projects: this weekend I want to polish the first chapter of my work-in-progress to send to the West Houston RWA Emily contest. I have an edited manuscript waiting in Scrivener to be compiled into a Word file and sent to an agent. My critique group is back on track, with a new member. I have Ideas waiting in line.
As for reading, the supply is endless. I have a list here on my desk of new books I want to pick up, several by my Golden Heart friends, and Diane Kelly’s latest Tara Holloway mystery. Not to mention the book shelves in my bedroom and all those blogs and articles waiting in my email box.
Last night when I went to bed at my usual midnight I turned off my alarm clock. This morning I slept until almost 8 AM (no thanks to Nutmeg, who climbed on and off my chest, purring and washing my face and generally suggesting it might be time to get up). I’ve already received five work-related emails this morning, but I’m thirty miles from the Scorekeeper and my work computer; the work will keep until Tuesday.
I haven’t decided yet what to do with this first day. Go shopping, maybe with that book list, and have lunch out? Work in the yard, starting with collecting all those mushrooms? Read a book? Catch up with a couple of TV shows I missed last week? Two extra days a week, and the possibilities seem endless.