In part 2 of my “dreams” musings, I have to say I can’t remember when I had any. I’m 61 and have been officially retired since 2010 from the job I had for 25 years over a 30 year period. I have worked for a few places since but have basically never found another place that I fit in. Truth is, I’m not sure I ever fit in anywhere. I’ve been at a few jobs, made a few superficial friends & a few really good friends. But I’ve never fit in anywhere. And not just in jobs.
That aside, growing up I always wanted to be a nurse. In retrospect, it may not have worked out because I have an issue with smells & there are a lot of smells in hospitals. But that’s the dream I’m going with. When I graduated from high school, Texas Tech did not have a nursing school. The closest was in Abilene, 3 hours from home. I didn’t have a car and was not familiar with Abilene so my fears stopped me from going. Coming to Tech, I never knew what else I wanted to be. I finally graduated with a BS (on so many levels) in Family Studies, with a minor goal of being a counselor. But that would have required more school which I was not prepared to do.
The year after I graduated, I got hired by Southwestern Bell. It’s not the same now but when I started, it was a company that a lot of people worked at all of their lives. I can’t say that was my intention but after a couple of years I was making good money that didn’t happen many places for a person with a degree in family counseling. Actually, it’s pretty funny the degrees in my office…political science, theater arts, botany…and none of us intended to stay all our lives but then we looked up and had stayed all our lives. Basically, we couldn’t afford to leave and complacency set it. My hiccup was in 1984 when SWBT was divested from AT&T parent company and I made the wrong choice. I went with AT&T. My job was not really different but I moved to San Antonio, about 6 hours away from my parents and I was never meant to see my mom twice a year. I didn’t have it in me. So I quit and came home. After a 4 year stint as a police dispatcher, I went back to SBC (new name) and worked there til retirement day. And if I ever had a thought of leaving, and I’m not sure I ever did, I always knew that I’d be the person taking care of my parents in the old age. I had 2 sisters but one died in 1970 and the other in 1997. And my parents raised a grandson, who was great at boy jobs and has always done anything I’ve asked of him. But the responsibility has always been mine. And I’m not griping. I’d do it now still if they were here. I wish they were.
So after retirement and the loss of my parents, I was set adrift. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and I have no one to take care of. I have not had a full time job since 2015. I had a brief and stupid sabbatical to Las Vegas. I worked at a grocery store part time. I got my real estate license. I’ve lived off of savings and monthly retirements but have not touched 401k. Yeah me!!
In 2007, I moved my dad from his home to the big city to my house. He was 92 and I worried about him living alone. My mom had died in 2003. I’d hired a builder in 1998 to build my home and I was so proud of it. He had the plan but I got to pick out everything & I loved it. But the strange thing is, when my dad moved it it ceased to be my home. I got rid of furniture I didn’t like & built on another room and for some reason, it was never right again. And again, I’d take my dad or mom over anything. After Daddy died, the feeling never went away. I sold the house in 2013. And since then, I’ve lived places but never again had a home. Another element of being adrift.
Lately as my savings have dwindled I’ve been in a minor–panic is not the right word. I don’t tend to panic–but a trepidation about money. I’m fine. I have enough. But without anything going in, all lit goes is down. I filed for early Social Security this week and it starts in October. I just got my OK letter a couple of days ago and all I’ve been able to think about is that I’m going to be ok. I can keep some of the savings, I’ll make enough to replenish slowly. I’m going to be OK!!
I’m trying to find ways to use my time. My real estate license is inactive but will still in effect. I had 3 sales last year but I spent as much as I made. I live in a town that has 1400 realtors and not everyone eats. At the first of the year I evaluated the fees and decided I was throwing good money. Homes are not like candles. My friends have homes and are unlikely to need another soon. And as I discussed, my friend pool is a little shallow.
My goal is work at the food bank 2 times a month. I cook at home and eat out rarely. I have tomatoes in my garden. My house is clean. Once a week or so I do go out to eat with a friend. I’m working hard to save money so in 2020 I’ll be able to buy a house again, my last one. I’m kind of a family joke (and I laugh the loudest) because since I came back from Las Vegas in 2015 I’ve moved 3 times. My niece says “Aren’t you tired of moving?” Yes I am. My nephew snickers about me moving. But one more move and I’m done. And I mean it!!
To paraphrase Mary Tyler Moore theme, I’m going to make it after all.