Doing Better… Dreaming of Travel

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I’ve fallen behind on keeping up with all the cafe blog postings from members, but I promise I’ll read them at some point. It seems like so many of us in this community struggle and are dealing with Major Shit – I honestly just needed a break. I needed to celebrate that, hey, it looks like I’ll be returning to work on the 15th, and hey, I’m doing a hella lot better than I was back in October. YAY! Celebrate good times come on…

I wish I felt on a little firmer ground, but we ARE doing better, and I DO need to get back to work. My bank account is currently not pleased. It also really hit me just recently. Holy shit, I’m almost 50. Retirement savings? What retirement savings? 😛

Our entire adult life has been cycles of boom and bust. In our early 20s, we were on Social Security Disability and were not really even scraping by. Then, I entered the tech sector and got off disability. That lasted about a year, and then, oops, broken, unemployed, living with mom again. Then back on our feet for a few years and broken again. Rinse repeat.

We’ve been in six-figure credit card debt more than once, self-financing our own disability. There have been years where I’ve made over $200k. We’ve had years where we’ve made absolutely nothing. Somehow, we manage to stay afloat…. but not with a ton of slack. The good times pay off the debts of the bad times, but before we can make too much of a cushion, it seems the bad times always come back up.

Our history at our current employer has been a microcosm of this truth. We’ve busted our ass and exceeded expectations and won awards. We’ve dropped off the face of the earth for weeks. Somehow they haven’t fired us yet, but to say we’re an uneven performer is an understatement. My old boss liked to say I averaged out to an average employee. When I was in seat, I knocked it out of the park, a total rockstar. Then I’d be out sick. A lot. sigh.

But, come the 15th, I enter into a new position under a new boss. It’s totally unknown how it’s going to work out. It might be a new stage in my career. I may be unemployed soon. Roll those dice.

We are super, super fortunate to have a good relationship with our Mom and stepdad. They have really looked after us the past two years, as we have NOT been physically healthy. Truth is, we’ve been damn near housebound. (Fortunately, I work from home.) We live 10 minutes from my Mom because she shops for us, helps around the house, and generally looks after us. That’s great! But she turns 80 this year, and her side of the family isn’t especially long-lived. Things are going to change here in the near future.

Once she and my stepdad are gone, we have literally no one. We’re estranged from the rest of our family. There is no T-E-C Spousal Unit. That scares the shit out of me.

Now, the truth is, I may shuffle off this mortal coil in the next few years myself unless I get healthier, so maybe worrying about retirement isn’t THAT huge a worry. But damn it, what if I beat the odds and don’t die? Who will take care of me? With what money? Eeep.

So, anyway, what did I spend all day doing? Looking at what it would take to move to Ireland. <laugh> What can I say? I like green, wet places – I do live in the Pacific Northwest. Of course, it’s a total pipe dream. Or is it? My current company does have a Dublin office. I’m not in a position to ask for jack shit right now, but I wouldn’t want to move while my family was still here anyway. But once the inevitable happens and my mom and stepdad are no longer here…. what’s to stop me? Oh yeah, the fact that I can’t take my own trash out.

But, one thing I do know is that goals are important. I have to have a reason to want to live, and honestly, thinking about getting well enough to travel appeals to me in a way that day-to-day life doesn’t. So who knows, maybe in five years I’ll be dead…. or in Europe. I’m not going to buy a house where I live now. There is nothing to keep me in this town once my folks die. There’s not a whole hell of a lot to keep me in this country.

And Gods, what a ramble.

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5 months ago

No worries on falling behind. We just appreciate having a space to express our thoughts and feelings; that means more to us than having readers, though we do appreciate the dedication. This site is honestly amazing imo.

Hooray on keeping your job! We get work anxiety just from turning off people-pleasing mode. I think a leave of absence would send our gatekeepers into a state of permanent, frozen horror. So I applaud you prioritizing your mental health. That is so freaking hard to do.

5 months ago

Oof, that’s a lot! I know our system is only a month in at a new job ourselves…that unknown bubble of starting a new position and just…not knowing what’s coming next like that SUCKS. I hope it all works out, though, and that it’s…as safe/secure as it can be.
Y’all are amazing, and more than deserve to think about nice places like Ireland and about nice things in general.
So take whatever time y’all need for that!!

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