Thursday, April 28, 2011

Diary of a Trailblazer: Loose Ends

It's been almost a month since I left my job.  Feels like longer, in a way: with no particular structure to my days, and no place I need to be, time strrrrrrrrrrrretches out like taffy. And yet every Thursday or so, when I realize I have one more day of being alone in the apartment and then The Boy will be here all day because it's the weekend, I think, "Already?!"

I was rummaging for something in my wallet the other day and realized that there was a bunch of work-stuff in there I didn't need anymore.  Obviously the card for my employee health insurance could go, as could the card with the office emergency number on it and the card with the employee attendance line number on it.  But also, employees of my ex-workplace are entitled to a number of different deals and discounts, so there were four or five other cards to throw away, too.

Speaking of employee deals, I'd forgotten that one of these was a special low interest rate on my credit card...until my bank mailed me a letter stating that I'd been bumped back down to peon status. Ouch.

Another piece of mail I received recently: an ROE, or Record of Employment.  It's a big official piece of paper showing how long I worked for the company.  I put it in my Important Documents drawer for safekeeping but to be honest I'm not sure what this thing is for.  It's not a tax thing; I got my T4 slips already. 

Any day now I should be receiving a letter asking me if I want to cash in all the money I accrued in my company retirement savings plan or if I want to let it sit there for now.  I think I'll probably cash it in; the money will buy me that much more job-free time.  The HR lady at my old work warned me that cashing it in might bump me up to a higher tax bracket and I'd get a much smaller refund, but something tells me 2011 isn't going to be a huge moneymaking year for me so I'm not too worried about this.

I've taken all my work pants out of their dresser drawer and stashed them in a storage bin; I'm not the kind of girl who'd ever wear tasteful pinstriped slacks of her own volition.  That drawer is now filled with stacks of paintings.

So...this is it.  The last little loose ends are tying themselves up.  I think the wallet-cleaning and the letter from my credit card company made the whole "quitting" thing feel more real to me than anything else so far...I was forced to realize just how much I've given up.

But then I put on some tunes, gave my cat a kiss on the head, picked up my paintbrush, and reveled in everything I've gotten back.