Weekly status update [0006/????]

Weekly adulting level: High.

End-of-week energy level: So low.  So, so low.

  • I spent most of the week avoiding full day binges at the computer and PS4 in an attempt to baby my wrists given my long-running issues; it’s helped quite a bit, but I’m going to keep it up for another week at least.
  • Because of that, I haven’t been typing very much.  I’m still in the low 60s typing speed wise, which is simultaneously more than fast enough for… anything, really… and still so much slower than my traditional typing speed that it’s driving me nutso.  I wanted to start properly drilling this week with the help of gtypist, but I’ve only done a bit of that thanks to the whole wrist thing.  In a couple of weeks, though… yeah.
  • The visit to the ENT went really well, and I recommend seeing Dr. de Neef at Carolina Ear, Nose, and Throat if you need to see someone and don’t have a regular.
  • The other big bit of adulting was me getting all of my stuff together and bringing it (digitally) to H&R Block for that most dreaded of American traditions: taxes.  I did that yesterday, and found out today that I owe… a lot.  Nearly forty grand a lot.  The raw number was a bit shocking, but I knew it was going to be a huge tax bill, since I sold almost all of my tech company equity at the end of last year.  Still, ouch.
  • That said, with all three of those essentially done, I can now start planning for a multi-week road trip to Arkansas and Louisiana to visit friends and family.  I’m actually pretty excited about this!  Which is rare for me, because as I’ve mentioned before travel is most definitely not My Thing.  I’m looking forward to the languid “go whenever, leave whenever” possibilities for visits that being retired affords me, though.
  • I finished the second season of The Expanse, which was even better than the first.  Still working on Transparent, although I’m close to the end there too.  I really want to start on the second season of Jessica Jones next, but my completionist tendencies mean that I have to watch Punisher first.
  • My other big “not gaming, not computing” time sink has been a reread of Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels.  I made it through the first two this week, and am already about 20% of the way into Use of Weapons, which remains the hardest one to reread.  (I’ve done this “read them all” thing a few times already.)  After Weapons, though, the rest of the series is smooth sailing.

…that’s a lot of text, and my arm is tweaking a bit, so I’ll stop there and settle back down with my book.  But, hey: progress on actual life things!

Procrasti nation

I have a confession to make: I’m really good at procrastinating.

Cue a wide array of shocked faces.  What?  No shocked faces.  Oh, well then.

I still haven’t taken my car in for the tires-oil change-inspection combo deal.  I haven’t started searching for a tax prep person either; normally I do them myself, but with me selling a ton of company stock last year I think the right thing to do is to get someone else to handle it this one time.  (Speaking of which: any of you Western North Carolinians have a good recommendation for tax prep?)  And I finally called the ENT today to try and get a refill on my Singulair prescription, to find out that I have to schedule an appointment to get it renewed.  I hung up rather than dealing with that this morning.


Wait But Why has an excellent pair of articles on procrastination that I can’t really add much to, other than to talk about what triggers it for me.  And that’s uncertainty.

I don’t handle uncertainty well.  I delayed early retirement for two years because I was scared of the changes it would bring, the level of turmoil to my finances and daily routine and “what do I do if something horrible happens and my cush tech safety net isn’t there” and and and

It’s a big part of why I hate traveling as well.  What if I don’t make it to the airport on time?  Or if I do but I’m delayed at security?  Or if the flight is delayed?  Or or or?  I can’t sleep well the night before any travelling because my head is spinning with all of the ways everything can go wrong.  It even makes me feel a bit physically ill.

So procrastination is my coping mechanism, in the grand tradition of mythical (but not real) ostriches, is to bury my head in the sand.  As long as I’m not actively doing A Thing, that thing can’t twist around on me, can’t be a source of new uncertainty, and that makes it easier.

That’s all wrong, of course.  There’s nothing to say that my car won’t break down tomorrow, or that my allergies won’t get worse.  But my brain is more easily satisfied by doing as little as possible, by keeping the active uncertainty down, even if that means just a different level of uncertainty.

It’s annoying, and frustrating, and putting voice to it and being aware of it hasn’t done much to make it easier for me over time.  But, hey: I’m on the phone with the Toyota dealership in Hickory right now, trying to schedule all the maintenance I need.  That’s a start, right?

COBRA commanding

I signed up for COBRA today, which was one of the big bits of Adulting I still needed to do with regards to my retirement.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, COBRA allows you to maintain the health insurance coverage that you had at a previous employer.  You have to pay for all of it yourself, rather than the (extremely) subsidized rate that most companies offer, so many people don’t opt for COBRA.  Instead, they go with personal insurance from one of the exchanges or–depressingly often–opting for no insurance at all.  Fortunately I can afford the extra expense, so I’ll be sticking with COBRA at least until the next ACA enrollment period.

When I’m a little more comfortable with the format of this blog and the state of the readership, maybe I’ll go on a long rant-slash-ramble about how utterly ridiculous it is that the number one deciding factor in my early retirement was the state of the gorram healthcare system here in the United States, not anything so practical as amount of money saved or whether I was ready to retire.  But not today.

Before I actually made the commitment, it was easy to think of retirement as a sort of bright line, a single Rubicon to cross: one day you’re working and the next day you aren’t.  But what I’ve come to realize is that it’s a long series of much smaller Rubicons that you continue to cross, one after the other.  The first was actually tendering my resignation, many months ago.  Then there was the hustle near the end of my tenure at my job to actually get everything turned back in, all of my paperwork in order, and all that.  My last day was a big one, of course, but not nearly the last.

And then that first Monday, where I woke up and realized, huh, I’m not going into work today.  Or maybe ever again.  And then this past Monday, the second one, where that happened all over again. A bunch of small realizations that a bunch of people I used to interact with on a near-daily basis are going to be much harder to see on the regular.  And now this.

I know that doing my taxes–by which I mean using a professional for the first time in a decade because holy moly are my taxes gonna be complicated this year–is another big upcoming river to cross.  But I’m more curious as to what the others will be, the ones I don’t yet know of, haven’t yet thought of.