At lunch yesterday with 'old' friends the topic of my impending retirement came up a few times. Some couldn't understand why I was using my Long Service Leave to ease into retirement; why not take the leave in cash some friends asked? One of my friends also works for the state government and she nodded knowingly...it's about money! Now I know that my first post was all about turning my back on consumerism and being 'happy with less' but it also pays to be a bit canny and work with the systems. By taking LSL I'm still accruing Rec Leave, LSL, sick leave and coasting along to the next pay-rises in July, all without going to work. As I turn 60 in May, when I do access my Super I won't pay income tax so my small pension will go further perhaps?
I've been doing a few things in anticipation of finishing paid work. Yesterday I joined a local patchwork shop's 'The Patchwork Tree' (here) 'Possum Club' and look forward to classes and regular social sewing events. I also plan to go to some of the 'sessions' that Gabrielle organises at the American Yarns, here as, for example, on Monday nights I soon won't be exhausted at 5.30! I'm really fortunate to live so close to a number of special stores. Near American Yarns is another patchwork shop and over at New Farm (another suburb on the northside of Brisbane) is Tangled Yarns here. And at the last Craft Fair I discovered a woolshop off Shaw Road in another close suburb. So lots of exploring coming up.
On a more mundane level I have been putting a lot of effort into clearing my classroom; giving away useful items to young staff, putting a lot of paper into the art/recycle boxes and heaps into the Visy bin (recycler) and other things into the ordinary bins. I've had to be ruthless as I have no space here at home for school resources any more. Space at home is for stashes, both fabric and wool/yarns. Today I brought home many of the containers that I've used at various stages in my classrooms. They represent a fair bit of money outlayed and will be useful for storing stash or items in the laundry cupboard which is my husband's territory. I also have brought home display folders that held various teaching resources. All those photocopied items and patterns will now have a new home, at no added cost. I think that the way things are going that on my last day Dec8, I should be able to achieve my goal of walking out with just my handbag and spare umbrella! Quite an achievement if you consider what I started with late last term.