Today marks exactly 100 days from April Fools Day 2016 – the date I’ve planned for early retirement. I am off of work today and will spend the day doing last minute errands as we get ready to enjoy Christmas with our families over the next few days.
Christmas activities have been a bit of a blur this year. It’s always a busy month, but this year seemed more so than most. I knew when I got to this point in my countdown that time would start to accelerate, but that is exacerbated by the happy frenzy of the holiday season.
For some reason, December in Corporate America always seems to feature a packed calendar. Many people at our MegaCorp take off part or all of the last two weeks of the years, so the first 3 weeks (15 business days) get jam packed with extra work everyone wants to get done by year-end.
Having 5 weeks of meetings jammed into 3 weeks makes things busy enough, but the month also had 3 half-day communication meetings scheduled, another half-day year-end volunteer offsite (that I missed), a holiday/year-end party (that I hosted at my house), and another half-day team performance review discussion. Adding top of that a department restructuring (and full day of planning/announcements). That’s seven “big block” events meetings/events to plan for in a short period of time.
Still, the holidays have been a lot of fun. Our family came to our house for Thanksgiving to kick things off. We hosted a big holiday party a week later for friends & neighbors. We’ve gone out to a few holiday shows and activities at my son’s high school. We celebrated my wife’s birthday. And, we really got into preparing for the new Star Wars movies – watching the other Star Wars movies in advance of last Friday’s premiere. On top of all of this, we actually started a construction project at our house to finish off a couple rooms in our lower level (so we’ve had builders in our house all-day, almost every day all month). Who starts s construction project in December?!
January won’t be much less busy. After a couple weeks of not having the total team together at work, we will have lots to catch up on. Especially with a global marketing & sales conference planned for the last week of the month. Our group will play a key role in hosting the 4-day event. It is the one time a year our worldwide MegaCorp partners come to HQ as a group to discuss and refine plans for the new year. I am hopeful that this event is done will make for a natural “cutoff” for announcing my leave to my boss. My whole team will be involved in planning & presenting at the conference.
At that point, my current 100 day countdown will look more like 60 days. I’m not anxious for time to fly by, but keep the count more as a way of transitioning my brain from where I am, to where I plan to be. The way I deal with change is to over-plan and prepare, so having time to countdown is proactively cathartic for me.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to everyone that followed this journey throughout 2015. It has been an eventful walk so far and a great pleasure to see everyone’s interest in our journey to early retirement. With 100 days left I’m sure there are quite a few surprises left!