Life is short and getting shorter all the time, which is why I made the decision recently to retire early and see what life is like without deadlines.
My plan is to sell my home and hit the road in a motor home, coming back to our beautiful Wild Rivers Coast for the summers.
I may have to go back to work at some point, or I just may decide I want to go back to work, and I am fine with that. But at least for now, my plans are to live in a rolling home with two dogs, a cat and my wonderful husband. Well, we will see a year from now if I still think he is so wonderful!
After 42 years of marriage, I know separate rooms for watching TV are the key to our marriage success. Hmmm. Perhaps I should consider two motor homes? Or is it against the law to have him ride in the “toad”? (That’s the proper term for the vehicle you tow behind.)
The interesting part of our new life will be how well I do without a newspaper to keep me busy. Next year will be 40 years I’ve been running through my work days trying to keep up with deadlines. I’ve been accused more than once of “having ink in my blood,” and I always agree, nodding with pride.
I recently asked our editor at the Triplicate if I could submit a monthly column from the road and he replied, way too quickly, that I had cut that portion from his budget. Drats! He is right.
Now, I am not so worried about our two dogs adapting to life on the road for we all know dogs were meant to roam. But I do worry about Pebbles, our sweet little cat. She loves her life on our place in heaven, a quiet, dead-end road in the redwoods. I shudder to think what will happen if she gets out of the motor home. You know cats don’t come when they are frightened.
I can see us now, stuck on the side of a highway in southern Idaho, calling for Pebbles. Me, crying and refusing to leave, ever, and Rick yelling at the dogs because he is distressed that I’m upset. My son suggested I start training Pebbles now to come when called. He said I should use chicken or something else that she really loves — so I tried that, and the only ones who came were the dogs — and my husband.
My last day of work will be May 31, but already I have plans for things to do in June, which include cross-training employees. So although I eagerly gave my notice a few weeks ago, they may have to drag me out of here kicking and screaming.
It’s hard to leave a job you absolutely love, and a group of people you consider family — and all the special perks of being publisher, such as picking up the cigarette butts from the parking lot or delivery papers.
But my fantasy is the day my husband pulls up to an intersection and we flip a coin to see whether we turn left or right. No deadlines, no place we HAVE to be, no emails or decisions or … well, just nothing but the moment. Sounds like a heck of a plan.
People ask me where we are going first. I have no idea. Watch for my columns from the road to find out. Maybe I can talk the editor at the Curry Coastal Pilot to fund my column from his newsroom budget.
Thank you everyone for helping me feel so welcome in Curry and Del Norte counties during the last 10 years. I’ll be seeing you in my new role as a retiree!