It's the Final Countdown...

With less than a week to go until I start my new job, some people have asked me if I'm nervous or will miss all this "downtime."

The truth is, I'm really excited for this next phase to begin. Yes, there are benefits to waking up at 9 a.m. and having nothing to do but laundry or having the ability watch to four episodes of Orange is the New Black back-to-back because you have nowhere to be and no deadlines to meet. But still, it's time to get back to reality and after seeing how incredibly difficult it is to land an interview, let alone a job, I'm extremely grateful to have this opportunity.

Plus, no one over 40 should spend as much time braless as I have these past six months and it'll be great to have a reason to get up early (aside from awaking due to feelings of sheer panic), dress like an adult and be among people who aren't aware of every single company hiring (and not hiring) within the tri-state area.

Also, to those friends and family members who've been afraid we'd try to come live with you: Stand down. It's safe to answer your phones again. I think it's all going to be okay. (Barring an identity thief going on a crime spree, my background check should be clean and we should be "all systems go" for my slated start date of Tuesday.)

As ready as I am to begin (and believe me, after inadvertently falling into the toilet yesterday as my boys left the seat up once again, my soggy bottom and I are definitely eager to get moving) there were things I was certain I'd accomplish during my hiatus.

My to-do list included the following:
  • Paint my attic a lovely, peaceful hue worthy of a Restoration Hardware catalog
  • Lose 10 lbs and carve out calf muscles Jessica Simpson would envy (I think we know how that's gone.)
  • Volunteer more. (Quick side note: In an attempt to prove to my boys how fortunate they are, we began helping out at our church by setting up for the homeless guests who spend a week in the building's gym. It ends up looking good, but let's face it, it's no Ritz-Carlton. Still, after an hour's worth of work this past Sunday, my 9 year old goes up to the lady in charge and tells her, "I wish I lived in a place like this." The woman then looked at me as if to ask, "Do you live in your van?" and I shrugged and said, "I guess this has backfired." He later told me it was the bacon they served on the morning of the guests' final stay that was the big draw.)
  • Write a young adult novel that would be turned into a film starring a misguided celebrity youth I would befriend and later save from getting another tattoo
  • Spend near-scoliosis-inducing amounts of time in my hammock reading all the bestsellers I missed over the past three years
  • Find a wrinkle cream that would have locals wondering if I was a Teen Mom
  • Record my original song titled "Your Breath is Nasty," a rambunctious rap anthem aimed at encouraging children (namely my own) to take their oral hygiene more seriously.
  • Experiment with new recipes involving tahini (if only because that word is fun to say and trying to track it down at the grocery store is much like a scavenger hunt).
  • Visit museums without touching/breaking anything.
Yet, in reality, what have I really been doing? Wandering around Trader Joe's sampling free brownie bites and loading up on Clif bars and the popcorn I've become addicted to despite the fact that it tastes like white cheddar-flavored packing peanuts. (I never even found the tahini!)

But I'm willing to scrap the whole agenda for the security of knowing that thanks to dental coverage I won't have to fashion homemade braces out of picture hooks, chicken wire, and crazy glue for my buck-toothed 9 year old.

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