Busy, out-of-balance week

A lot of stuff going on in my little world these days, and it feels as if my head is suddenly spinning round and round as I try to keep up with all the moving pieces.

As previously noted I have 2 different part-time jobs that I do from home. Both are accounting related – for one I take care of the books for a law practice and the other I take care of his personal and household bill paying and domestic staff payroll and anything else he can think of for me to do in support of his business pursuits.

The way this is structured I rarely see either in person, maybe once or twice a year, usually at the holidays. But we chat by phone and email, documents zip back and forth in various ways. It’s nice work and I enjoy it. Except it seems this too is a-changing.

Part-time boss (the attorney) has started negotiations to sell his practice. I knew this was coming, he has been talking about it for the last 5 or 6 years, but this year it is pretty serious. His youngest son is getting married in October, and it seems like with that settled he will finally be ready for some other changes in his personal life. He told me in an email this morning that he is currently prepping his house to go on the market, parting with a lot of his big and heavy furniture (just in case M and I are in the market for anything), and plans to rent a condo or an apartment for 6 to 8 months until things are settled with the business. He is hoping to have his entire life wrapped up by the end of this year, after which he will travel for a bit and then settle somewhere else. His wife died a couple of years ago and it’s been a long slog without her. The had been married 37 years and were completely devoted to one another.

I will be sorry when this relationship terminates, because I have worked with him for more than 15 years. I think if times ever got really lean for him I would have worked without compensation, because he is just such a genuinely nice guy. But with this potential change comes the knowledge that I’ll soon be asked for additional reports, files, schedules, etc., to share with potential acquisition partners. It’s fine, not that much extra work. Mostly I am a little sad about the end of pleasant professional relationship.

My other boss is a relatively new gig, only about 2 years. In this time we have done all sorts of things together, everything from his personal accounting and books to planning parties for his family and his office staff to reviewing and editing sensitive business correspondence. It’s interesting, varied work, and he can be demanding at times. But he pays well and is brusque sometimes but never maliciously mean. I just finished a large project for him and now he has another he wants me to tackle. I will do it, because it’s merely tedious, but I actually don’t really want to do it. Forget spring fever; I am in full-on summer vacation mode.

Diversification is good right now, though, because my full-time gig seems wildly unpredictable from month to month. One month I am sure we’re about to start the closing-our-doors process and the next month new clients come in with enough work to extend our lifelines another 6 months. In my thinking about and planning for retirement, my magic number is 13 years to full social security. Will I be able to continue working that long? One can hope. Do I want to continue working that long? I honestly don’t know. The work I do is not physically demanding, unless one counts the drawbacks to sitting most of the day, and I have taken steps to alleviate that at home with the treadmill desk. That said, there is some allure to being at home more and being able to develop some different hobbies and interests. But not yet. I am not quite there yet, nor do I feel as if we have an adequate nest egg for our older and grayer years.

Essentially, a lot going on with the employment front and contemplating retirement planning. My hope is that I can continue to work as planned and meet our retirement planning goals without M going back to driving a truck or seeking other paid employment.

All this is swirling together in my brain because I have a follow-up appointment with the financial planner on Friday morning, I am expecting the written financial plan for discussion in the next 24 hours, and our attorney is following up with me about our estate planning documents, i.e., have we retitled our bank accounts and changed our beneficiaries on those accounts. Short answer  – no, not yet. Longer and more complicated answer – I am still reviewing the final plan with an eye toward a couple of minor adjustments, but that too takes time I have not had to devote to it. But it’s on the list and that part will be completed by this weekend, the retitling and stuff will happen next month.

In additional to all THAT, we purchased the new dining table and chairs. Surprisingly M loved it as well when I took him to see it in person. He’d looked at it online and thought it looked “small” for 8 chairs – as if a 6 foot diameter round table is “small” – but in person he realized how big it was and how it would fit into our 10 x 13 formal dining room space. Then it was how many extra chairs. From the start I wanted 8 chairs (set came with 4), but M was worried about where we would put them. For day-to-day use we will have only 4 chairs around the table, so what do we do with the other 4? He could easily envision 2 chairs against the wall in our dining room, but what about the other 2? Ummm … honey, we have other rooms in the house where we could conceivably stash those chair assuming all 4 did not work neatly against the wall in the dining room. The lightbulb came on and we got the 8 chairs I wanted. Delivery is Saturday, so the race is on the rearrange the living room furniture, move my rower, the inversion table, and bookcase presently residing in the dining room, and get a rug down before Saturday’s delivery. We have a run that fits that space, but neither of us are crazy about it. However, as a temporary measure – “temporary” being a flexible term that could mean a few weeks to several years – it will work until we acquire something else more suitable and agreeable to both of us. In the meantime, though, the floor is safe from scuffing chairs, dropped food, spilled drinks.

It’s a hectic week with a lot of tasks on my to-do and on the radar ahead. I just need to stay on top of everything and get through Saturday’s delivery before I can relax and regroup.

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