Tuesday, December 25, 2012

6 more full-time days of work

On my four-day holiday, I started cleaning out my paper files at home, which will take days if not weeks. No writing, though. A little depressing. Especially after seeing On the Road, which shows Kerouac writing regularly when he isn't drinking, smoking dope, or taking bennies. He did do a lot of writing.

I had a brief fantasy of my replacement e-mailing me and my boss at work saying that he just couldn't do it, the job would be too much for him. What would I do? I would not stay, no, no, no. I'm leaving for my trip at the end of January, no matter what.

Monday, December 17, 2012

19 and counting...

I've been miscalculating, counting down to the first Monday I don't have to report to my office. But shouldn't I be counting down to the my last day in the office? That's 19, not 21.

My replacement has two weeks to learn everything. He'll miss the week between Christmas and New Year's, but that's only three work days anyway. And he's doing pretty well so far.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Perils of Being a Dilettante

I'm very undisciplined and easily distracted. Unless I have deadlines from others (like going to an office, having specific work to do), it's too easy use up my time doing things I like doing, but that aren't essential to what I want to do. I could easily spend two hours reading the New York Times (in print) and then another hour or more playing Luxor Maj-jongg or Bejeweled, and another hour or more reading Facebook and clicking on the links friends have posted, and another hour or more reading all my e-mail and the various links other friends have posted -- and there you have it: almost seven hours just reading stuff that's interesting (many things are interesting to me) but not focused.

So I have to learn to set priorities, my own priorities. If I'm semi-retiring to write, writing has to be the first thing I do. If it's not supporting my writing, the reading has to wait. Writing, the writing group, reading books on writing, talking about writing: those are priorities. Reading for fun counts, but not online. Reading online is an open-ended temptation, links to links to links. Print books keep you in the book.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

33 Days

My boss is on vacation, I'm doing his job and mine, and the new staff person, the hopefully-to-be-my-replacement, worked today. He seems to be doing okay, at least the questions he's been asking are good and reasonable ones. I haven't checked his work to see whether he missed anything egregious, but the editors whose work he read will doubtless give me feedback. I'm still feeling half in/half out. I need to remember how to do everything so I can fill in the replacement, yet I'm finding myself not caring about details that used to concern me.

Meanwhile, I had to make a phone call about my father's life insurance and only learned a crucial piece of information by using the old journalist's interview technique of asking, "Is there anything you want to tell me that I didn't ask about?" What I learned added an additional step to the process, but simplified another step. I still need to get in touch with my retirement account person and one of my father's accounts, and make some informational phone calls about Medigap and Part D. Retiring is such hard work!