Kathleen Carroll’s life changed forever the day she typed the following question into her internet search engine: How many days until retirement? She was both frightened and depressed by the result she received: 4,834. That struck her as a long time to stay in a job she lost interest in years ago.
Hoping to ease the sinking feeling that came with that answer, she decided that the date might not seem as far off if she posed this question: How many weeks until retirement? The answer returned by her computer’s search engine: 691. That didn’t help at all.
Perhaps if I subtracted vacation days and statutory holidays, she then wondered. Ten statutory holidays plus twenty vacation days a year (she had been doing the same boring job for a very long time) equals thirty days, the equivalent of six work weeks. Five days a week multiplied by 685 weeks meant that Kathleen was facing another mind numbing 3,425 days at the office.
Or was she?
What if Kathleen did something that medical experts have deemed impossible for a woman to do and grew a pair? What if she came to the conclusion that life was too short for it to be wasted on an unfulfilling big city administrative job when what she really wanted to do was open an antique store in one of those quaint little villages you see in a television movie of the week; where life lessons are learned and implemented in two hours, even less if you factor in the commercials? What if she just up and quit her job, moved to the prettiest place on earth, and sold all the beautiful things that ungrateful young people resent inheriting from their grandparents?
So that’s what she did. Well, not exactly. She didn’t just up and quit her job. That would have been stupid and irresponsible. First she sold off most of her possessions – things that were manufactured by today’s cheap standards and, therefore, would never end up in an antique store. She gave up eating out, ended her morning coffee drive-thru routine, and stopped buying everything else that wasn’t absolutely necessary. In hardly no time she had built herself a nice financial cushion. She also researched all the pretty little towns in the country to see which ones weren’t already overrun by antique stores. When she had found one that had sufficient market demand for old treasures, then she quit her job and opened the store of her dreams.
Now Kathleen has no idea how many days are left until retirement. In fact, she quite likes the thought of working until the day she dies, and hopefully that won’t be for a very long time.