Today, as the cliché goes, is the first day of the rest of my life. I finished up my last day in the office yesterday, and as of this morning, I am a gentleman of leisure.
At this point I’m not really noticing anything different. I would have been off today, anyway. And on Tuesday—the actual first day that I don’t have to go into the office—it will probably just feel like a vacation.
And December itself was always going to be a relatively work-free month. My part-time schedule, coupled with judicious use of my remaining annual leave, meant I wasn’t going to be in the office for the final half of the month, anyway. (I feel strangely cheated by this; it’s hard to truly enjoy doing nothing unless you are, in some way, avoiding actual work.) The upshot is, my work week wouldn’t have settled back into a normal routine until after New Year’s Day, so I expect sometime in the middle of January, I’ll sit up, blink my eyes a few times and say out loud, “I really don’t have to go to work any more!”
Granted, this exalted status is sorta dependant on me making some money from my writing, and while that may seem like a tall order, I’m already pulling down a six-figure monthly income from my books, so I don’t think I have a lot to worry about. That is, unless you take into account that those six figures include the digits after the decimal point. And the decimal point itself. And the pound sign. (They are figures, after all.)
But we’ll leave that for another day; for now, I am simply amazed. I began work on 24 August 1973 at the Skyline Corporation just outside of Valatie, New York, making mobile homes, and ended up on 29 November 2012 at ROCC Computers LTD in West Sussex, UK, doing project management. And in between, I collected these:
That is every pay-check I have ever received in my entire working life.
Now, I do expect to add to this pile at some point in the future, and I hope to continue earning royalties, but for now, my actual career has come to an end and I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life: the one where I am either a productive and profitable writer, or a lay about in an ill-fitting track suit lounging around all day, drinking beer and watching daytime television.