Happy New Year! I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything so I want to start off the new year in a positive way and get on top of all of the things that I’ve been letting go, writing being at the top of my slacker list. So make your tea, get comfy in the recliner, and let’s talk. It’s rainy and dreary, but I’m off from work so of course I’m in a good mood. I’ve realized that I’m really tired of the 9-5 grind, after about 50 years of doing it, and would love to retire, but my pocketbook says NO! So that’s my first topic to discuss.
Way back, when I sort of planned my life, this time of life seemed so far away. I’m sad to say I didn’t give it much thought as day to day life and survival took precedent. I worked towards better and better positions, more and more money, and finally achieved what I thought would be the ultimate goal, Assistant Director of Head Start, a program that served 3 counties, with more than 1000 children in our child care centers. I supervised staff, traveled around, and actually really liked what I was doing. However, after being there for around 6 years, some restructuring occurred and I ended up out the door. I found another position, at 20,000 less a year, still at a good salary, but during that time my hip was getting worse and worse, and after 2 years, I needed surgery and for a variety of reasons, left the position. Since I live in South Jersey, positions that pay that well are not hugely plentiful and after recovering from the surgery, I struggled to find a good job. The end result is that any retirement money saved needed to be used for survival, and had to be cashed in. Of course, this was also the time of separation and divorce, and I know I’ve written about those struggles so I won’t bore you with all of that again, but here I am at 67, still getting up at 5AM, driving an hour each way, sitting in an office each day bored, and trapped. I’m driving 2000 miles a month, and now that great old NJ has the new gas tax it cost $25 yesterday to fill the tank and I have to fill it every 2 days to get to work. So I’m pretty much working for peanuts now and don’t see much way out at this point.
So this leads to my next thing on the slacker list. I have quite a few ideas for small businesses I could start from home, some good and doable, some not, but my mind is always working and coming up with ideas. Am I doing anything with this, to help my work woes? Well, no. By the time I drive home, highway all the way, in the dark with my old lady eyesight, stressful high speed driving since I can’t just do 65 because I want to get home, I’ve been gone for about 12 hours and I’m drained. And did I mention that I leave in the dark at 6:30 AM and work in an office with no windows? So I come home and sit in the chair, on FB or Pinterest, or playing with my grandson, or reading, maybe warming up something for dinner, and then all I want to do is go to bed. So nothing is happening but the same, every day. It’s so tiring. I’m trying to put my nose to the grindstone and DO SOMETHING, but I haven’t been able to maintain it.
Now, this post is not for your pity. I’ve come a long way, with pitfalls I haven’t even mentioned, and won’t, but I know the clock is ticking and I have to break free of this rut. My income has improved since the divorce and I’m doing repairs on the home that I managed to hold on to, I have new friends that I socialize with, and I’m proud of my progress and love that I’m not a quitter. But I’m so sick of working like this. Getting up at 5 is no joke! And I’m bored with my job but it pays ok and I can’t do anything physical so in this area, it’s somewhat limited to look for something else as this is a big fast-food/retail jobs area. So that means I have to create something like I did before (I taught chair exercise to seniors in nursing homes) but the planning means getting out of my rut and doing something.
This blog post is the first day of changing the rut. I’ve signed up for an email tutorial on free lance writing to expand my writing possibilities, I’ve looked into courses I can take on Udemy, and am looking into getting my Master’s in Psychology, to work as a therapist instead of Behavior Assistant, though since the election I don’t feel very positive about taking on that debt at this time of life. I have a few other things I’m considering too, all dependent on breaking the rut, with the point being that a person is never too old to start over, start something new, and reinvent themselves. I’ve gone through 4 major reinventions, just in my professional life, and have also had to do it in my personal life. If I can do it, so can you. If you follow my blog and are floating in the same boat that I’m in, perhaps reading about my struggles and determination to overcome will assist you in your journey. Or perhaps not. I know I’ve made mistakes in my life plan and have so much to give to a do-over, but since that isn’t going to happen, I’ll just keep plugging away. I don’t feel “old” and if it wasn’t for arthritis, feel healthy and whole, so I’m blessed in that regard. Some of my choices are somewhat limited but working around them the best that I can is OK.
My goal is to write a post once a month. I have several posts started from previous months that never got completed so that gives me a head start. I want to start back with some sort of craft, and I’m going to follow through with what I mentioned above. I’ll keep you posted on my progress, and won’t say “or lack of progress” so as to stay positive.
One last thing: for Christmas, I finally had my dad’s old home movies converted to DVD’s and many of my grade school and high school friends, old boyfriends(you know who you are!), etc. are featured in those films.(Remember marching in white boots and green uniforms?) There are a lot of family Christmas celebrations, family vacations, and faces of loved ones. Watching was so moving and somewhat sad to see all who have passed on, but I loved it too. Some of you who have reconnected through Facebook are in those movies and it was wonderful to realize that we still have a connection. So thank you for being in my life.
My teacup is empty, and the next project calls. Have a lot to do with this day off!
Happy New Year to everyone! Stay safe and healthy, keep growing, loving, and being you. Until next month!