Posted March 29, 2016 – Narrated by Carmen
To listen to the podcast, click the play button

With less than 100 days till Jim’s final office work-day and the beginning of full-time Airstreaming, he is now officially in the 2-digits – less than 100 days from retirement.

To be precise, today Jim has only 94 days until his last day in the office!

Celebrating only 94 days left at the Coronado Brewing Company.

Yep, it’s a big deal. A milestone.

For better or worse, reality sets in when the two-digit countdown begins.

On the day Jim went down to 99, a younger co-worker took out his phone to calculate how many times the sun will rise and set before his retirement day, and his number was 7,300.

So, being under 100 is life-changing … a time for celebration!

While still a participant in the business world, being so close to retirement highlights the known facts about an unknown future.

What is known is that the deadlines for projects, strategic planning sessions, hundreds of daily emails, personnel issues, pleasing the ‘boss’ and the ever-present “next meeting” … all begin to break down into a dispersed, ethereal slo-mo quality as a Yoda-ish enlightenment steps in to inform you that the urgency is, and has always been, mere mental work.

This isn’t an early retirement. Jim’s been earning a living – without break or sabbatical – since he was 13 years-old. That’s 48 years.

Jim – Age 13, 1967 – His 1st career was helping run the Armed Services YMCA Slot Car Raceway. If you look closely, you might see Jim in the top right corner behind the counter where he worked for 3 years (actually he is slightly out of the photo)
Jim – Age 16, 1970  – His 2nd career as one of San Diego’s busiest magicians from 1970 to 1978.

He’s been wanting this change for quite a while but had to find something exciting enough to retire about – something to focus his knowledge of technology, art and craftsmanship, his love of organization and procedures, and longing for the outdoors, traveling and adventure.

Now comes the delicate task of unyoking and releasing his skill-set to roam the wild unknown while living in Beauty.

It isn’t lost on us that this opportunity is rare for middle-class folks these days.

Not all workers will come to a planned and chosen moment of departure from employment – or even a mid-career sabbatical – and still have the means to provide the financial resources necessary for one and one’s spouse to venture out into the golden years and beyond unattached from timecards and payrolls.

Our minds and hearts are wide-open to the reality so many of our hard-working American friends and family express to us: “I can never retire”.

And, while that may not be entirely true, the feeling of being unable to leave the farm is prevalent among our peers.

So, we give collective thanks to Strength (friends, family and faith) for the ability to stick to the plan through the lean and fat years, the tragedies and joys, personal failures and hard-won triumphs, gut-wrenching decisions and life-style choices – through the circumstances, happen-stances, divine-stances and good-enough health … because all has delivered us to this place without having sacrificed our joy of life or having fun together.

As July 1st, 2016 nears, we find ourselves anxious, fearful, excited, and everything in-between. We are honored that you’re here to share this moment in our journey of Gratitude … if not this superb IPA.

Only 94 days!

Bottoms up!

If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.

14 thoughts on “00094

    1. Hey Gloria! We were torn between the Innova Swing I and the Advanced Elements DS-XL Series (the one we bought). We are greatly impressed with each for different reasons but after trying out the Advanced Elements Sport last weekend, our decision was made. Our kayaks are due any minute!!! The door is opened so we can hear UPS drive up!!! We will be inflating them this afternoon and will have an owners review coming soon! Here’s the link: http://www.airkayaks.com/advanced-elements-advancedframe-ds-xl-series-kayak-ae1044ds-xl/

  1. A wonderful piece. The magic show video exposed those wonderful hearts of yours. Very inspiring for me today! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Robbi … We loved performing at schools as much as the children loved our show. It was a dream job – our own business. The Jarvis-Gann initiative put an end to our school road-show overnight and then we moved on to the bookstore. If tax reform hadn’t come though, we’d probably still be in the schools.

      Thank you for following! We will be either passing through your mountains or passing near by in a couple of months!


      1. Yes, April 22 is it! There is a deep down happiness knowing it’s the right decision. We’re so busy there’s not much time for smiling…but that’s coming😀.

      2. Yes … once the dust settles from the transition, it will be much easier to celebrate. Right now, we’re moving out large pieces of furniture, selling the art on the walls and still trying to call this place home … while, keeping our fingers crossed that no appliances break that we’ll have to replace before new owners take over. It is a stressful time but with, yes, as you say – a deep-down happiness. Strength!

  2. These last days are going to seem to pass very slowly…..but once you are retired, the clock speeds up considerably. We’ve been retired for 13 years, it seems like only a couple months….

    1. Days are slowing down for both of us! They are more exhausting because we’re putting out considerable energy to perform a multitude of one-off oddball tasks. Some days the mental work is overwhelming. When Jim is overwhelmed he can’t sleep. This morning he went to work at 3AM. His brain does that when he’s excited or dealing with complexities – like me 😉 He did come home early this afternoon for a nap though … and to greet the kayaks when they arrive.

      BTW: your artisan wood projects are exquisite – eye candy!


  3. We’ve got a little less than 2 years to go. We are getting our Airstream ready while I’m still working. We are renovating our 2008 Classic 25fb from queen to twins, new vinyl floor, Maxim skylights, some custom kitchen cabinetry, installing a recliner, adding solar to the roof and an on demand water heater.

    1. Hey Kelvin!

      Thanks for your countdown. Ours started this time last year, but today it seems like just a couple of months ago … so hang on!

      Fortunately, the previous owner of our 2001 AS 30′ Excella made most of the renovations we would have made ourselves like the Maxim skylights (love!) and two recliners (so much better than the sofa – and I often turn my recliner around so we can face each other), vinyl flooring (love!) … we don’t have solar or the on-demand water heater but we hope to install solar this summer. Are you installing solar yourself, or having it done? We’re looking for a recommendation.

      It’s probably smarter to do your renovations before you set out. We’ve decided to make changes as we go along but only because my dad has a fully equipped carpentry shop in Mississippi – where we will change a few cabinet doors, so they open in the opposite directions and have a couple of doors made. Jim will also install a new kitchen sink there because the paint is chipping off and we will change the bathroom wall coverings. I like the idea of covering the bathroom walls with old National Geographic laminated maps – my dad has a set.

      One day at a time!

      We’d love to see and hear more about your renovations, Kelvin!

Leave a Reply