Thursday, December 27, 2018

Non Essential.***

So, I am non-essential as determined by the federal government, and I have been on furlough for the past week. It was supposed to be my paid vacation time, but paid time off is an obligation to the government, so since the "discretionary" agencies have no budget, I am on furlough, not vacation. Following so far?

It seems like the average American doesn't care much about a partial shutdown. Most national parks are still open and so are the forests. I've seen people giddy with the realization they don't need to pay an entrance fee. Right now the only people working in my agency are law enforcement, firefighters (if it's fire season there) and the few that are contractor representatives. Which makes me wonder.: if most of us, the toilet cleaners, the trail builders, the planners, the water testers, are not essential, maybe the parks and forests should revert back to wilderness, with no services.  

Happiness!

But I am essential in the cosmic sense. That's all that really matters.

Anyway. I haven't had this many days off in a row when I haven't been on a hike. And what I have discovered is what those who are able to avoid work have known for years: Time! So much time! I've been able to snowshoe and ski with friends who have no work limitations, when usually I have to beg off with a sigh if it's during the work week. I also realize: I would be in such great shape if I had this much time, all the time!



And we have been blessed by soft, fluffy powder snow! The kind that your snowshoes sink in deep, the kind that forgives your clumsy skiing. The dog is getting spoiled too by all this activity. No more lying sullenly in the house while I work. It's play time all the time!

This makes me realize why some less fearful friends retired early, with the opinion that the future is not guaranteed. I get it! But I still can't quite make the leap. There's been too much time invested, and so little to go. I do dream, though.

***Speaking as a private individual. These opinions are not expressed for my agency, or on official work time, or in my professional capacity.

14 comments:

  1. This shutdown is amazing, it is not possible in France thank God!
    Time. I have been retired for 16 yrs now! It's a fulltime job, with a lot of planning to do, especially when your partner still works, but it's a wonderful time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Shortcut! Great to hear from you! I'm looking forward to that time and more hiking!

      Delete
  2. As a local government employee I sympathize with all the furloughed federal workers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. If only our president had more empathy for all Americans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh and if I see that meme again on FB that "we" survived the past shutdowns, posted by people who are not affected at all, I may end up leaving social media entirely.

      Delete
  3. So glad you have found a positive side to yet another shut down. I wonder how it must effect so many families at Christmas.
    Your snow sounds amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a great winter so far. Yes I feel for those with no savings.

      Delete
  4. I understand about the burden of the shutdown and furlough, but I'm so glad to hear you are making the most with your gift of time!!! And yeah for the perfectly timed snowfall!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to go back to work to rest. Haha!

      Delete
  5. I am sorry to hear about those who are on furlough due to the shutdown and especially so at this time of year. It is good you are making the most of what you have been handed, lots of time and tonnes of white gold.

    As a recent retiree, when I looked into retirement, sorted it all out, figured it all out, came to a comfortable place in my head space with it, and came to the realization that I would be OK retiring at 61, I went into it with wide open arms. I believe when the time is right for you, you will know it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I have felt the time is right for a while but financially no. I thought you were about 30, hahaha! I look forward to following in your footsteps.

      Delete
  6. We are on the essential side of the shutdown here. Working with no pay. Fun. I think the government would shut down entirely or not at all. Imagine if TSA, the USPS, National Weather Service, and all essential personnel no longer worked? The thought of a shutdown would carry more weight than just a stupid bargaining chip to be played when our elected officials disagree.

    I'm glad you're enjoying the unexpected snowy playtime with your friends. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel for Matt and the others who are working. I totally agree...I don't like the idea of essential and non essential and since when is the Coast Guard, for example, a discretionary agency? So tired of this. Hang in there Matt.

      Delete
  7. I'm with Karen ... if you're going to shut down the government, shut the whole thing down. Close the airports, etc. Chaos will ensue and that will be awful, but perhaps Americans will realize just how crucially we need real compromise, not just ongoing petty arguing over dead-end issues.

    Anyway ... you seem to have a good perspective. Glad you're making the most of well-earned free time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that the parks are becoming sh*t shows, literally, I think it is starting to sink in for some. I think the most disappointing aspect of this for me is how badly people are behaving at the national parks.

      Delete

Hello out there. If you liked this post, please leave a comment so I keep writing!