Paraphrasing a thing I read: You spend the first fifty years looking backward, comparing yourself to your younger self, fretting about doing better. After fifty, you start to look ahead, seeing what the days and weeks have to offer.
I got there a bit early, I think, or am on my way through some sort of transition. Two things: I have a spouse who has a job, and we have no kids. Out math would be very different if any of these variables were different.
And, in fact, I do want kids still, but my spouse ain't convinced yet. Maybe when we get to a new city, some new version of our daily lives.
So, what is next? Well, I really don't know. I will spend some months prepping the house to be sold. I will get rid of at least 50 percent of the crap in this house, and hopefully 90 percent of what inhabits the garage. I'll paint and add new kitchen cabinets and new floors and new fencing. Basically spend my days DIY'ing what I can't or won't pay someone to do.
I'll be cooking and cleaning. I'll be a housewife.
I'll work on creative things. Hopefully get back in to school, with a new goal: no BS degrees, no tech, no science. A degree in something useless, something I like, but a degree. Turn that into a teaching certificate. Become a teacher.
Elementary school. Poorly paid, well hated, and mired in underfunded struggle.
It sounds sweet as hell.
But for now? For the short term? I'm finally not sure.
For the first time ever in my entire life, I have no idea what I'll be doing in a couple of months, or a couple of years, but I am looking forward to it.
All of this will sound odd to some. Those of you who've had the wherewithal to do what you can and want, and those of you who're stuck doing what you have to do, my enthusiasm will strike those two camps as odd, but for very different reasons.
I'm OK with this.
A coworker asked me if I was excited about getting out, or if I was nervous, anxious. I told her, it's none of those things.
You know what I feel? Overwhelmingly, I feel relief.
I am relieved that I am no longer the single point of failure for an entire company. I feel relieved that my role is no longer crucial, that my decisions don't affect the payday of a couple of hundred people.
I am relieved. And I plan on staying there.
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