FIRE Countdown Obsession – As Presented


I’ve written about my “count down obsession” before – thinking about good ways to count down my final year at MegaCorp.  I’ve also showed you pictures of my hidden countdown Post-it Flag system that is in the credenza above my desk at work.  Like a kid counting down the days to next Christmas, I find my mind wandering several times a day to “how many weeks do I have left?”

I also like that no one around me at MegaCorp (only a very few people, really) have any idea I am on an early retirement countdown.  After all, most people my age have more YEARS left of work than I do MONTHS.  I expect I will get a lot of blank stares next year on April Fools Day, when I stroll out for the last time.

My latest countdown obsession is embedding the number of weeks I have left inconspicuously on the title page of presentations I am giving.  I live in a Microsoft PowerPoint world – where I make numerous presentations in the course of the month. Most are internal presentations to groups across the company (throughout the world) and some are made to outside audiences.

You would have to know what you were looking for to actually see the countdown number – 50, 48, 43, etc – I have stealthly hidden on the front page.  They are in small type and I camouflage them within the background or graphics on the page.  Sometimes I will reprise a presentation from a couple months ago, and feel strangely satisfied how much progress I have made in my journey to the end of work.

It’s just a little insidious reminder to me of where I am on my journey.  The number is up on a screen for all to see, but very few (anyone?) would ever notice it.  Even if they did, they would have no idea what the number means or why it is there.  I even managed to put it into a presentation that our group recently made to our MegaCorp CEO.  A number of us worked on the presentation, but no one noticed when I slipped “43” into the background of the title page.

At some point (near the end), I will let some close friends know about it so that they can “see” it too. Like the “Nina” in an old Al Hirschfield caricature, it will be an inside joke that only the enlightened will enjoy.

Image Credit:  Pixabay

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