There were many empty and abandoned farmsteads near my parent’s farm in the 1960’s. A childhood friend and I walked or rode our bikes to those empty farms to explore the barns and vacant houses. Houses were rarely locked and sometimes the doors were missing. We explored those places to search for abandoned treasures as if we were pioneers heading west to pan for gold.
I am reminded of my childhood adventures today by my daughter’s article about barn restoration. http://www.cfra.org/news/170911/preserving-life-next-generation-guide-barn-restoration
The barn on my parent’s rented farm was sadly neglected after they retired and moved to town. The farm sold to someone who was not interested in saving outbuildings. As I contemplate my own retirement, I worry about the future of the house and barns on this ranch. Her article lists many good ideas to pursue to maintain the barns for future generations.
My high school graduating class was very small. There were thirteen of us. Two military veterans have passed away. I attended a birthday party for one of the remaining eleven today. She is a nurse and also still working. She likes her job and isn’t in a hurry to retire.
She and I were childhood friends as well. We wore matching polka dot bikinis the summer we were ten or eleven and sang Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini at the Clearwater summer carnival. There are many versions of this song on YouTube, but this video is the first televised version. TV sanctions against anything sexy were pretty strong in 1960, so the artists has a very young girl in a two piece swimsuit play the part while he sings. Newer video versions of the song have women in skimpy bikinis. https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-001&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=mozilla&p=youtube+itsy+bitsy+yellow+polka+dot+bikini#id=1&vid=1d3b77342ecb4251b3045304fa6295f6&action=view
The September full moon has been rising in the eastern sky for days, tracking slowly across the sky, and still present in the west pre-dawn. Wildlife are more active in moonlight if the dog’s barking is a measure of activity. She goes outside after dark to bark at something, returns to the house for a few minutes, then insists on chasing the foe only she hears, over and over. I admire her determination to protect the house and yard.
Like wildlife, I’m often awake far into the night during a full moon, and when I finally slumber, my sleep is restless. I often feel completely relaxed and ready to sleep early morning. This wonderful rest is interrupted by the alarm Monday through Friday. I wonder what retirement will do for my sleep cycle. Will I be able to stay awake later and sleep later regularly, or only during a full moon?
Most of my days come and go in a whirl like an old-fashioned carrousel with horses bobbing up and down with the music as they go round and round. It seemed like a major victory today to find time to call about repairing the lawn mower, making a hair appointment and finding time to get the car to the shop for an oil change.
Clients in need of assistance walk in the office door in a steady stream. We won’t be able to see all of them with the staff cut in half by administrative fiat. Who has to wait? I’ve done multiple web searches to find models for Mental Health Waiting Lists, but must be using the wrong search parameters because there are no results.
There are discussions about the problems of waiting lists: increased danger to individuals, reduced college retention, poor academic performance, more hospitalizations, etc. Retirement seems like a distant vision. How can I walk away from so much need?
I’m writing this post in the morning as I wait for the termite inspector to arrive. He is, of course, now two hours later than planned. My work life is scheduled in hour-long appointments and meetings. It seemed logical to me to try to schedule the termite inspection first thing in the morning to minimize the amount of time away from my job. The gentleman in question agreed to an 8:00 appointment.
I thought that is a perfect time, but (and there is always a “but”), he left a message that he couldn’t get here right away in the morning, and hoped to arrive by 9:30 or 10:00. It is now past ten.
If I was actually retired, and home all the time, this change would not matter. However since this is a discussion about approaching retirement, but not actually there, I have a day job that requires my presence at an office. Delays such as this one are annoying to put it mildly.
Many people pursue a second career after they retire. The second career can be something one has done as part-time work while employed full time at their primary career, or the second act can be in a completely different field. My oldest brother retired from two different careers, and ran a business with his wife after work. He retired this summer from his second career, and will work at their business, as much or little, as he wishes.
As I contemplate retirement from over forty years of employment in developmental disabilities and mental health, I find it easier to think about if I can transition to a second act. I don’t want to quit “cold turkey,” and not have a meaningful way to spend my days. Afternoon naps will be nice, however.
The TV news reports that 500,000 people are heading toward Nebraska, to experience the 2017 total eclipse of the sun, along a corridor from the northwest corner of the state to the southeast. It’s nearly five hundred miles of diagonal space to add all those extra folks.
Nebraska has only 1,826,341 people, plus a few more on really busy days, like during college world series games in June. https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-who-what-where-when-and-how
This is a rare event “This is the first time a total solar eclipse has gone from one American coast to the other since 1918. It will also be the first time in U.S. history that a total solar eclipse will make landfall exclusively on U.S. soil, meaning it will not be visible from any other country. (This technically happened in 1257 — but, of course, the United States wasn’t a country way back then.) from Space.com
July was hot and dry. It didn’t rain at all. I dislike 95+ humidity nearly as much as -10 degrees. Perhaps it’s my British Isles heritage, but moderate temps in the 60s and 70s suite me best. I love to sleep when it’s raining and find thunder rather soothing.
Pickles doesn’t agree with me. She’s frightened by loud noises like thunder and fire crackers. When she’s scared she hides under the desk while I’m typing. She’s there now because another storm front is moving through-complete with thunder-boomers and lightning flashes.
The noisy storm reminds me of the sound of authority figures blustering about his/her issue of the day. I’m old enough to retire tomorrow if I choose, and don’t worry about being fired, but do worry about the people I serve, who will be at the mercy of these angry people. People that are so insecure in their own ability, they make mean-spirited decisions.
There was a gentle rain over night. A half inch fell on my part of the world, and during a dry summer, it’s very much appreciated. Rain was followed by a cloudy, cool day. My dog and I didn’t take on any big projects today.
It’s been a day to think about the deaths resulting from a white supremacy riot yesterday in this country.
As I contemplate retirement, and look back over more than forty years of employment, the battles for equality are the same now as they were back then. Women are still paid less than men, white men still earn more money than people from any other race or gender. It’s still more difficult for women and people of color to be hired.
It stretches my imagination to wonder why young white men are so afraid of the rest of us that they violently protest. What happens to older women? We are already powerless in the workplace. I worry that without employment’s buying power, I will be even more sidelined by society when I finally leave employment, and less able to defend myself.
However, my body is trying to tell me that I can’t forever dwell in the land of theoretically considering retirement as job stress is physically harming me. My back buckles, often without warning, and sends shooting pains across my lower back. My neck is sending a message too. The tension in my shoulders works it’s way up my neck, and results in periodic headaches.
Be gentle to yourself and work for peace.