If you could fast forward to a specific date in the future, when would it be?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us FORWARD.
If I could fast forward, I would go to that magical place called Retirement. My mother always said I shouldn’t wish my life away and that “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride”. This saying originated in the 16th century and was both a proverb and a nursery rhyme. It means it’s usually pointless to wish and you can get better results by taking a plan of action. That’s what I have – a plan of action.
I am not one of those people who live for my job, and I never have been. I make no apologies for that. It’s just who I am. I was raised by a stay-at-home Mother who was always there when I got home. She baked pies, cakes, cookies, did housework, sewed our clothes, ran errands and read. Her life to me seemed ideal. I know differently now. I know she was painfully shy and stuck to house and home because she was almost agoraphobic. She hated meeting people and socializing. I also know now that my family really struggled financially. She never let on, but there were some rough times.
I had a sister-in-law (my brother’s second wife) who was a workaholic. She lived for her job. She couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t leap out of bed in the morning and dash off to work, just thrilled to bits to be there. She loved working. I never understood why. She worked at a printing company, and she was a go-fer. She was basically the shop assistant, and if the more seasoned apprentices or journeymen printers needed something, she ran and got it. She carried boxes and moved supplies around and probably did cleaning, too. It certainly was not a glamorous job, and it was also an unskilled type of position. Anyone could have done her job.
When I was in High School, I was painfully shy. Continuing on to college seemed like more of the same to me – more school and with some of the same people who teased me because of my handmade clothing or picked on me because I wore glasses, was shy and was overweight. No guidance counselor ever worked with me or encouraged me or urged me to try for more. I remember being told by one counselor that I could certainly go to college, but she had no suggestions as to what I should major in. I also had an inkling by then that my family was not well off when my Mom said, “I suppose we could find a way to pay for it. There must be grants or something.” I found out, though, as an adult learner that no guidance counselor was going to help me decide what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. I had to decide that for myself, and I did take a few courses in the “wrong” program before I settled on my major. Given my parents’ finances, taking courses aimlessly probably would not have been wise. I went with what I knew. I could type so I started working right out of High School as a clerk-typist and was on my way to being a secretary.
I can’t knock being a secretary because it’s been good to me. It helped my parents’ situation out for a few years, and it has seen my own family through lean times when my husband lost his job. Someone always needs a good secretary. I have only been out of work a few weeks here and there over the years. I would not consider it a career, though. It’s just a job. I work because I have to – not because I want to or because I feel like what I do is changing the world somehow.
To fast forward to that magical place I’d love to be, I long for retirement. At the law firm where I used to work, there was a “retired Partners’ office”, and most days some old man (it was never a woman) would come doddering in and set up camp in that office. He’d spread out his newspaper and spend the day (or part of it) reading. I could never figure it out. If I was retired, I’d find something to do at home. Maybe the old men’s wives kicked them out or maybe they were just so used to the routine of going to the office that they couldn’t give it up. I thought they were pathetic. If I ever reach that magical point where I can say, I am retiring, I will gladly do so, and I won’t be going back in to work (not if I can help it).
I am realistic enough in today’s society to realize that the financial situation may not allow me (or even Hubby) to quit working altogether. That’s a large part of why I went back to school and why I am continuing on with more school. If I can work for a few years doing web development work, perhaps when I retire, I can continue to work on websites from home. That would allow me to continue to bring in money, but I would be able to do it from home and on my own schedule. Hubby also had an interesting idea the other day, and this might also be part of the plan. He won’t be able to drive a truck forever, and he used to work in IT. Maybe the future is the two of us opening our own business, working on websites together. Could we make it work? I guess we won’t know until the future gets here.