Early, early retirement
This past week had its ups and downs. Julia was beginning to count her final days at the eye clinic. All year, she's been saying good-bye to patients who she has seen for over thirty years. We laugh because some of them tell her that she's too young to retire or that she isn't allowed to retire because they don't want to switch vision providers.
Many of Julia's peers in the profession plan to continue working indefinitely. I've been pushing her to retire early for the past several years so that we can see more of the world while we are still active and healthy. I would much rather live on a little less each year than live on more but be tied down to a job. In fact, I'm convinced that I could live on a lot less. Julia isn't willing to go quite that far.
Things definitely changed after Julia sold her remaining ownership share to her former partner about a year ago. She became, as she says, just another worker bee. The complication of Covid didn't make the year any easier.
On Monday, with only two weeks left until her official retirement, Julia called and said that she was coming home for good. Her former partner had just tested positive for Covid, and the clinic would be closed during Julia's remaining two weeks. It wasn't the ending that she expected.
Plus, because the former partner had worked the entire week until feeling symptoms and then testing positive, Julia had some exposure risk. She was confined to quarantine in the lower level bedroom and bathroom until recently receiving negative test results.
That's one dart dodged. There are a couple more to dodge ahead. Against my advice, my daughter Allie came home for Christmas. She works remotely anyway, but I didn't think it was a good idea due to the enhanced risk. Julia and Allie disagreed, so she is here. Allie will wear a mask for awhile, and we'll see. She says that the plane was uncrowded, and that she stayed masked from door-to-door.
After New Year's, my son Justin has his annual full day of doctor visits and tests at the hospital. I know that every precaution will be taken, but the hospital just doesn't seem like a great place to spend time in right now. Almost all of Justin's medical visits have been by video conference or telephone this year, but there are certain tests that need to be done in person.
My hiking has been limited this week to in-town sunrise walks. I've been a bit anxious. Callie says I just need more outdoor time.