The thing is, between loss of overtime, loss of seniority, and changes in the market in the seventeen years since I started this job (or technically, its precursor), the best I can hope for is half of my current income, and THAT is a problem.
Seventeen years ago, we were six weeks away from the cliff-- the point where there was simply no money to pay the bills-- when I got my current job. As of today, the cliff is three years away. It will get closer; we will start hammering down the rate of approach, and it is not unreasonable to hope that we will never go over it. Being a compulsive risk analyst, I have to admit that the odds somewhat less than even. We will start cutting expenses, and chasing new income, and we will see what happens. It's not like we have a choice.
So the future looks pretty bleak. I never had much hope of retirement, and now, barring a miracle, it is gone. With that in mind, I am going to take this summer off. This is, in all liklihood, the last chance I will have to do anything of the kind, and I am going to take it. My life is full of things that I have not had time and energy to do, and I am going to do as many of them as I can.
The hope is that when I do attack the job market, I will be happier, healthier, and better qualified than I am now. Fortunately, this will not be too difficult; the bar in all three categories is disturbingly low.
We shall see.
PS I am offering a genuine nickel plated Stan Lee approved No Prize to the first person who posts the source of the title of this entry ("2.7 seconds") on FaceBook.