I Wanna Grow Old With You

I had a mini-meltdown on Monday over something SO stupid. I got a letter in the mail from the pension administrators for teachers in my part of Canada, letting me know that my meager contributions that I made during the six years I taught up there would result in a whopping $240ish if I collect at age 65, and a thundering $135ish if I draw this money at age 55. Woohooo!!  Going places with all that coin!!! I was completely and utterly depressed – I pay into a pension plan here in Texas, but it is by no means a great plan…so I supplement with a wee bit of money that I put away in an investment account each month. It’s not a lot, sadly, but when you are paid as poorly as I am, every little bit is a lot. The plan from Canada is currently giving me the option of withdrawing that money and rolling it in to something here in Texas – I’m exploring the options, and trying to determine the best way forward. However, I spent Monday morning obsessing about this (and didn’t sleep a wink that night, fearing that I would be destitute and living beneath an overpass in a cardboard box!)- I’ve already resigned myself to the fact that I will need to continue working past the age of 65, but…when faced with some bitter realities and depressing numbers this week, I think that I will be between 72 – 75 before I can retire. That strikes me as absolutely insane. The thing is that I have no other pensions or money to fall back on – this is it, it’s just me. And that is flippin’ scary, friends. 😦
I always assumed in the stupid, naive part of my brain (i.e. ALL of it) that I would retire sometime between 55 and 60, live a comfortable life, travel and enjoy the rest of my years, and just generally be awesome. I never thought much about how I would fund that fab life of mine, but…I just kinda hoped it would take care of itself. However, over the years, reality has begun bitch-slapping my stupid ass around (thank Christ) and I’ve been taking steps towards planning some kind of a future for myself, but I’ve still got SO far to go. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I will be 40 next year (Yaaa!) or the pension fund letter this week or what, but it has really been hanging over my head lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about the financial side of things, of course, but…I’ve also been really contemplating the kind of life I want to have. I have been imagining where I want to be 25 years from now – and, just as importantly, where I don’t want to be. Let’s start with that, shall we? I want to have moved on from Education – this industry that I am working in today is NOT the one that I signed up for years ago, and the changes that have happened have not been good. I don’t know that I have the heart, patience or stamina to do this for the rest of my working days, I just don’t. While this year has been monumentally better (best year of my career, no joke), I still don’t know that I want to do this ’til I drop dead. I feel that there is so much more out there for me…and I want to do it ALL. 🙂

I want to take more painting classes, because the one I took last July was hands down one of the most awesome and pleasurable experiences of my life…it was AMAZING! 🙂 Here’s my picture if you haven’t seen it before (and yes, I am extremely proud – I’d never painted before until this!) :

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I have studied Art History quite a bit, but I want to do more of that…it fills me with impossible happiness. 🙂 I would like to spend time playing the piano more – I play as a form of stress release these days, and it does the trick…there are few things that can take the edge off a shitty day like banging the ever-loving shit out of the ivories in the name of Chopin or Liszt! I want to take up golf again, and not give two shits about whether or not I suck at it…who cares??! It doesn’t matter! 🙂 I want to travel and see some more of the wonders of this world – and I am damn well going to finish ALL of the things that are on my ’50 Things To Do Before I’m 50′ list…and I’ll probably make a new list to see me through the rest of my life! 🙂 I just know that there’s SO many things that I still want to do…I just need to figure out some way to finance all of these great ideas of mine! 🙂 Suggestions are gratefully accepted! 😉

A lot of people that I know in Education have side businesses – a few of them are real estate agents who sell homes in their off time, others are professors at local colleges, one works part-time at a title company…there are so many options out there! One of my friends at work this week shared details of her side business with me – she’s a baker! 🙂 And one hell of a good one, let me tell you! 🙂 Here are some of her treats:

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Chocolate-Covered Oreos 🙂
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White Chocolate-Covered Oreos 🙂
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Cake Pops make me unreasonably happy 🙂 Just FYI 🙂
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Almond Bark is so pretty 🙂
Chocolate-Covered Cherry Mice - Adorable and Yummy! :)
Chocolate-Covered Cherry Mice – Adorable and Yummy! 🙂
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Chocolate-Dipped Fancy Fortune Cookies 🙂
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Gingerbread Marshmallows! 🙂

Delicious looking, eh? I know!! I sampled some of her wares yesterday (that sounds like a lesbian orgy, but it totally wasn’t, I swear), and my word but they were DELISH!!! Scrumptious! 🙂 If you happen to live locally and be interested in purchasing some of her goodies (cake balls, cake pops, cakes, handmade candy, cookies of every shape and flavor,  cookie baskets, marshmallow, almond bark, caramel corn, chocolate-covered Oreos which look like HEAVEN…girlfriend does it all!), please let me know and I will happily put you in touch with her – not only is she an AMAZING baker, she’s one of the best BEST teachers that I have EVER seen (seriously, she’s magic in the classroom), and she’s a really great person! 🙂 I envy someone like her – she has this awesome talent, and she’s found a way to turn her favorite thing into a side business…SO SMART! 🙂 I’ve been thinking of this for years, and I can’t seem to get anywhere with it. Sadly, nobody is lining up outside to pay me to write (which is a damn shame, because if they did I believe that I’d have found nirvana – no, silly, not the Nirvana with Dave Grohl, although that is one seriously awesome and funny dude, so I’d kinda like to find him and hang out for a bit), and I have yet to figure out a way to get paid for my immense and mildly impressive knowledge of popular culture, so…I haven’t had a lot of luck with the whole side business thing. I don’t have many talents that are marketable, which stinks…I really need to get on that and get something going for myself. The idea of being a crazy old lady with 27 cats in my cardboard box living under the 1604 underpass is getting more and more frightening…yikes! 😦

 I hope that you’re having a happy day, friends! 🙂  I love you a bunch! 🙂

xxx

 

 

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