Due to the nature of my second career, I find myself with long periods of gainful employment, followed by shorter periods of non-workiness. My most recent employer, Giant Pharmaceutical House, was going along great guns when I started on my third stint with them, but I knew that if they took too long coming up with the next "magic bullet" drug, things would start turning down.
And they did.
At the end of the year just passed, I was told to pack my bags and move along. So, I took my coffee cup (the only personal item I'll allow myself at work) and said my fond farewells. Unfortunately, it was announced last week that about a thousand of my former colleagues will be taking the plunge too. Being a contractor, I'm used to this ... my colleagues being regular employees, not so much.
But this is their problem to sort out. I have my own issues.
Finding yourself with time on your hands during the worst weather month in the Northern Hemisphere is not fun. I spent the first three weeks of my free time reminding myself that I didn't have to go to work, therefore I could stop fretting over projects that were coming due. At the same time I milled aimlessly about the house, playing on the internet and watching television (Note to self: Have a plan to occupy your time when you retire for real).
And then one morning early last week, I woke up and found that a switch had been thrown in my head. It was time to embrace my freedom and start paying attention to the things around me. And it was pretty fucking great. For example:
The best time to buy a gigantic-assed flat screen television is when your work dries up and you have only half the income coming in that you did previously. It's also a good time to pay Xfinity/Comast/Whatever-The-Fuck-Their-Name-Is more money to get HD service. I swear to all that is holy, the picture quality is magnificent! This was no more apparent than when I was watching the exciting motion picture "Twister" and realized that even in 1996, Helen Hunt looked like a shopworn Sea Hag and it would be frightening to even entertain the possibility of what her wrinkled, hatched-faced puss looks like today, fully 15 years later.
Do you like the History? I do. Particularly American History. One day, on a trip to the library, I came upon a book about the opening of the West after the Louisiana Purchase. This book concentrated on those lice-ridden, beaver trappin', Injun slaughterin' Mountain Men. Unfortunately, it was written by a Historian. This meant that I had to wade through pages of dry prose, punctuated with big high faluntin' words that necessitated my having to keep a dictionary close at hand. I finished the book with some basic knowledge, which will have to be supplemented by finding another book on the same subject written by Stephen King or perhaps firing up the old Roku box to find that 1972 Robert Redford classic "Jerimiah Johnson".
Walking around your house in the daylight gives you new insight on what a piece of shit it really is. Particularly those half-finished projects. So, now ALL of the doors and trim in the old homestead are the same color and I'm preparing for the assault on the kitchen cabinets. This will be followed closely by admitting the harsh truth of the limits of my abilities and paying someone to put down a new kitchen floor.
So thanks Giant Pharmaceutical House, for giving me some time off to shift mental and physical gears. As soon as you've developed that wonder drug that eliminates the heartbreak of rectal itch, I'll be back to ride the wave again.