Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The luxury of time off

It's been a real luxury to have so much time off around the holidays this year. I don't think the novelty of it will wear off for a few years, at least.

I've been able to keep the house cleaner and tidier than usual with all this extra time. I got the Christmas tree down and packed away yesterday without too much stress. It's nice to see the living room put back in order. A major cold front is moving in (we may even have some snow and ice over the weekend) and I plan to make a big pot of vegetable soup with the leftover ham and hambone from Christmas. I may even bake a cake.

The days off work have been useful in another way, too. Gregg has inherited a third of an IRA from his mom, and the application to open a new account had to be faxed in ASAP so that we wouldn't have to pay a large tax penalty for not taking out the "required minimum distribution" before December 31. Given that she died on December 4 that didn't leave much time to figure out all the complicated paperwork, even with the (almost expert) help of Edythe's husband Lou. I've had to exchange several emails with the investment company, and Lou, and travel back and forth to a UPS store to send faxes....all things I wouldn't have much time for if I were at work. It's been a huge help to Gregg for me to take on the paperwork for this. All he's had to do is sign in a couple of places. I do hope the rest of Edythe's estate won't be as complicated for him to inherit. This IRA thing has required a small crash course in investing for me and has been a real pain, to boot.

I've also had time during this break to catch up with friends I haven't seen in a while. I met my friend Susan for breakfast today. She's such a good friend to me, and as a cancer survivor herself, she was just the person I needed to talk to about Gregg's upcoming PET scan. She went through almost the same scenario a year ago, and it turned out to be nothing but scar tissue. She's convinced that will be the case with him, too. I hope she's right! I also got to hear about how her son Alexander (a former coworker of mine that I really like) and his wife are doing. We ended up talking over coffee for almost 3 hours! She's a teacher, so she's on the same holiday break as me.

The only plans I have for the rest of my time off is to do a little bit of decluttering and organizing in the house. We have several cupboards and closets that desperately need cleaning out, and I can do it at my leisure over the next few days. It will be nice to start the new year with a cleaner, more orderly home than usual after the busy holiday season. Once again, I'm beyond grateful for my new job.


  1. I am so happy you have time off after all the years of a day here a day there !
    Happy New Year !

    cheers, parsnip and mandibles

  2. Thanks for the reminder that I REALLY NEED TO DE-CLUTTER SOME SPACES!
    It's gotten bad.
    I'm so glad that you've had time to do not only what you needed to do (good job on the IRA thing!) but also what you've wanted to do. That job has really changed your life, hasn't it?
    I'm glad you got to have a long chat with your friend. That means everything, doesn't it?

  3. I can’t decide to take my tree down and and get rid of the mess or keep it up and enjoy the lights for a little while longer. The clutter is a little overwhelming.

  4. That nice block of time away from work is precious. I am impressed your tree is taken down already, wow. I am doing a similar thing with an IRA, that is complicated and the same situation to get it done by Dec. 31.

  5. You sound very well organised Jennifer! It's nice to hear that you're enjoying your time off, so many people take their holiday periods for granted.

  6. This sounds like all's not bad for you this December, Jennifer.
    Like you, I am immensely grateful for having this week and next off; I was working real hard, and it is catching up with me only now that my body has time to become aware of it.
    Yesterday, I did nothing except for some washing and long phone calls with the family in Yorkshire (and of course with O.K.); I did not even step out of the house!
    Today is going to be different, since I need fresh groceries. After an entire day of not leaving the house, I want to be out and about again, just for a little at least, in spite of it being a grey and wet day.

  7. All that investment language and guidance is so damned boring isn't it? Much easier to fly to Las Vegas and gamble with it. Enjoy your cupboard cleaning!