One down, three to go.

I have to admit I was warned.

I was told by others before me that when I quit my job, I shouldn’t give too much notice.  I now understand why.  Once you make up your mind to make such a big life change, you want it to be DONE.

I gave four weeks notice. I still have 3 weeks to work and I’m already feeling tired with the wrap-up and anxious about what’s to come. Yes, it probably would have been less stressful to give two weeks notice and an offer to come in when needed to train someone new. I had assumed I’d be using a couple of my remaining four weeks to train my replacement. But that won’t be the case, as it now looks like no one will be hired until after I’m gone.

In the meantime, I go to work every morning, going through the motions, tying up loose ends while my head swirls with questions. Questions like “Can I really afford to give up my paycheck?” and “Will a new health insurance plan work as smoothly as my employer plan?”

I will be saving some money by not working. Stopping to buy coffee each morning and grabbing take out lunches costs a chunk of change that I’ll no longer be spending. The laundry bill will go down along with the expense of keeping up a closet of professional clothing. I won’t be putting those two to three tanks of gas in the car each month. And by taking grocery shopping back from my husband, the grocery bill will go down. I’m a coupon clipper and a sale shopper. He’s a brand name buyer who chooses everything from the easy-to-reach shelf where stores stock their priciest items.

I know that the numbers work on paper. But seeing numbers on paper isn’t the same as living with actual dollars in your wallet. My impatience grows as I realize that until I actually live with the numbers I’m destined to be on edge.

And so, as I work (and worry), I try to alleviate my jangling nerves by making plans for beginning new projects when I finally am done going to the office every day.  Number one on the list is getting my house in order. My plan is to start on the top floor and work my way down, cleaning every closet and drawer. The garden also needs attention. I will clean up the perennial beds this fall and start a major garden renovation in the spring. I will clean the basement and the barn. I will make time for a walk each day on the treadmill. I will make my husband walk with me outdoors. Home filing cabinets need to be organized; an electrician needs to be called; my dripping shower faucet needs a plumber. My husband will be happy to have me take over more of the cooking, a chore that, for the past decade, has fallen almost exclusively on his shoulders. I have a shelf filled with cookbooks and flagged recipes that I’ve always planned to try “some day.”

“Some day” begins in two weeks, five days, and eleven hours…

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