Even though I should have been happily ensconced today in my home office, I walked in to the building this morning with a little extra spring in my step. Unremarked and unknown to anyone I have slid past an auspicious milestone and that knowledge has, at least for today, has helped give me a little better perspective.
You see, I’ve rolled by the halfway mark of my anticipated career as a professional bureaucrat. That means, should everything go to plan, I’ve already spent more days sitting in a cubicle than I’ll have to spend sitting in a cubicle in the future.
Yes, an extraordinary number of things have to go right to make this reality – the stock market needs to match or exceed its historic rates of return, I have to avoid doing anything egregious and getting fired, and I need to not drop dead or otherwise completely wreck my health.
Still, though, for the first time I’m on the right side of the countdown and I have a rough plan for the way ahead. It’s hard to believe that finding myself on the downhill slide could possibly feel so good… but it does.
22 years, 24 days, 6 hours. That’s the amount of time between this evening and my first date of retirement eligibility. I didn’t start out the day with that stuck in my head. What I was really focused on is what an utter disappointment Mondays are in the grand scheme of things. Monday is the week’s little way of pissing on your leg and calling it rain.
Maybe somewhere there is a happy group of people who leap out of bed on Monday mornings excited and ready to get back to their cubes to get started on the exciting week ahead. It’s a good bet that I’m never going to be that kind of person. The best I can manage on Monday is a grudging acknowledgement that at least Friday afternoon is a few hours closer… and if I really want to put on my optimist hat, I can always do some quick math and find out that there are only another 1,147 Mondays standing between me and having the right combination of age and years of service to qualify to retire. Eligibility, of course, doesn’t mean that it makes financial sense to hit eject, but that’s going to have to be a separate discussion.
But hey, looking on the bright side, in less than three years, I’ll have whittled down the number of Mondays into the triple digits. Wow. Yeah. That’s depressing. Stupid Mondays.