This is going to be one of those evening blogs where I sit down to write with no real purpose in mind. I have the time tonight, really just want to see my mind in front of me. Had I not made a Costco run, I might have started earlier without the fog of near beditme in my head. The Costco run was necessary, though, a voyage of importance — my favorite dark roast coffee pods ran out this past week. I have been forced to drink the overly strawberry-ish chocolate coffee I bought at Menards (on one of my rebellious visits without my wife). It’s not that the coffee is bad. As a matter of fact, it’s pretty good, but that coffee is not an every day coffee. The bold dark roast I normally drink is a comfort each morning, especially on those mornings that I work from home and get to take extra time blending into the day. I like it overly sweet, with four packets of Splenda, drink it slowly at first, the warmth of the large ceramic mug in my hand enhancing the mellow that so often characterizes my morning. Our condo faces northeast, and I like the view of the sunrise through the large sliding glass doors in our living room.

Funny as it may seem, I am already looking forward to the morning. Oh wait, my revelry will have to wait until Thursday, as tomorrow is one of my commute to work days. My office is nearly 40 miles away, in the far south Chicago suburb of Tinley Park. I pop out of bed (contrary to what Lisa says — she says I shuffle in the morning) promptly at 5:30 AM or earlier if I decide to get up earlier, am out the door before 6. The first part of my commute is on I-88 east to 355 south, a bit hairy until my little Subaru crosses over I-55, the traffic less dense until I get to I-80. Even with the traffic, the Subie rarely drops below 80 mph, and the commute is an easy 35-40 minutes. One of the treats this time of year is watching the sun begin to creep up. When I back into my spot at the office, the morning is fresh, with dawn’s light in its glory as I trudge from my car to the five story building I work in.

My perspective on work is beginning to change. Retirement is no longer just a thought, it’s a reality that I realize will be here before I know it. Lisa wants me to retire at 65. She is two years older than I am, so it makes sense to retire together. I really like that idea. With retirement in mind, my approach to my job is different. There is no real reason for me to want to do another job, to push for a promotion or more money. I am good at my job, take satisfaction in that, am getting the recognition and respect that comes to someone my age, my experience something that is appreciated. In some respects, I have to say it was a long time coming, but maybe that respect is something I had to earn over the years. Today, I interviewed one of the prospects intended to round out the five person team I work with. My boss has had me doing that, wants me to give the potential employees a chance to speak with someone who is doing the job they may be doing. It’s fun for me. The first interview I did was a phone interview, at my desk with my boss listening over my shoulder, and he got a huge chuckle when I told the person I was interviewing that they would get along in the company just fine as long as they weren’t a deadbeat. I am required to use that line with every person I interview now.

Tomorrow also is the start of a two day onboarding class. It’s intended to be a refresher for me. Also, it’s an opportunity to meet some of the people I never see but support on a day to day basis. I like that in a bit of a selfish way. Those people usually express their appreciation, make me feel like I am a big deal. That’s not a bad thing, I guess, and I think my boss has me attend the classes more for the opportunity to further the relationships with our sales people. I take advantage of that opportunity, as once people meet me face to face, it makes it even easier to deal with them afterwards. The extrovert in me also gets a lot of energy from the interaction.

Time to stop my writing for the evening. It almost felt like little walk around the block as I wrote. Lisa is getting ready for bed right now, showering and getting into her pajamas. While I wash my face, brush my teeth and shave, she settles in under the covers and waits for me with the covers pulled up to her nose. I get in bed, give her the nightly back rub while we watch a little bit of Home Town (we love the Napiers) or Fixer Upper (Chip and Joanna are fun to watch). I usually fall asleep rubbing her back, am shaken back awake by Lisa telling me it’s time to put my CPAP mask on.

Good night…….