Sep. 10th, 2012

susandennis: (Default)
In the early 90's IBM transferred my job from Seattle to Phoenix.  While I had moved around a lot with IBM and loved all the places I had gotten to live in, I had fallen deeply in love with Seattle.  So, in the end, the decision came down to either move to a hotter than hell place I had no interest in at all with a job that I was not even that interested in or accept a buyout package of about 1/3rd my salary, quit IBM and stay in the city I loved. 

It was not a difficult decision at all.

I had about a month between the decision and the actual leaving with little to do so I combed through IBM's vast benefit offerings to see if there wasn't anything I could take advantage of before I split.  I found the financial adviser section.  Get a free session with a financial adviser.  Ok.  There were two to pick from.  I went with the top one.  That's how much thought I put into what turned out to be the best thing I ever did.

I hired the guy I went to see and he taught me how to invest and to save and so by about the age of 60, having a salary became not nearly the requirement it had been.  It gave me great freedom to know that I really could quit work any time I wanted to.  I just didn't want to.

Then came July of this year and the decision got made for me when I got laid off.  In the US (state of Washington) I can get unemployment insurance.  $602 a week for 26 weeks.  A requirement of the program is that I apply for 3 jobs a week.  So I'm not 100% retired - I have one foot in and one foot looking for a new job.

Both feet are connected to my head which is totally uncommitted to either proposition.  

I'm not really comfortable doing nothing full time.  There is no job that I can think of that I'd really like to do. I miss having a purpose and the satisfaction that comes with having a job but I'm getting used to being able to do exactly what I want when I want to do it. And doing nothing when it suits me.

My half hearted job hunt is turning up some interesting possibilities. I have also considered the obvious, volunteer work, part time work, etc.

I'm not 100% sure i can comfortably live on the amount of money I can generate without a job.  I have a small pension from IBM and  social security and income from investments.  But, honestly, I don't know how much money I need to live the way I want to.  So I am keeping an eagle eye on the numbers.  I have a built up a complex spreadsheet of the fixed expenses against the cash on hand month by month. And I'm tracking every other penny with a program on my cellphone.  By the time the unemployment insurance runs out,  I should have an accurate picture of the money situation.

As far as the mental situation, I'm not sure I really need to commit. I'm not sure there is any down side to just hanging out and seeing how it goes.  At my age, I'm not at all concerned with a gap in my resume.  I do know I will not ever be interested in the kind of high powered, high salary career with a future kind of job where that matters.  If someone is going to hire me, they are going to value my experience and my maturity and my common sense. If they can't handle a time out on my resume, I'm pretty sure I don't want to work for them anyway.

Ramble, ramble, ramble.... One of the downsides (and maybe the only one that really matters to me) of living my life as a lone hermit is not having anyone to bounce my thoughts off of. So I use this journal for that... It often comes off as chewing my thoughts with my mouth open - I should have better manners but I don't.

And now... with no segue at all... I'm off to the fair with a stop at Target to pick up some candy corn oreos. Actually, maybe it's a very good example of the up side of being laid off!
susandennis: (Default)
The weather wasn't as good as it could have been in my book. There was too much sun so it got a little warm but it wasn't terrible and I spent lots of time inside anyway. The crowd was perfect. Enough people that you felt in the middle of stuff but not nearly enough to get in your way or cause a line for the toilet.

I think the first Monday is the best fair day of all.

Besides the weather, the only other disappointment was the food. Maybe my tongue has changed but, fair food used to be delicious. I finished half a corn dog and half an elephant ear and could have done without both. I think next year, I may stop for a big breakfast before I get there.

The drive down was great (as was the drive back).

The fair itself was wonderful! I wandered around and just enjoyed it all every bit. The animals were fun to see and the merchandise buildings were fun to walk through and hear the hawkers and see what was selling - and listen to the fair goers talk about it as they wandered through.

The exhibits were exceptional. There are two buildings of Hobbies that were amazing. I so love the grange exhibits like this one:



And then there was the exhibits of artwork and crafts. I just loved it all. This is one of the quilts:



On the way home, I stopped at Target to cash in on these which went on sale today:



I'm going to give them a try after dinner tonight. Stay tuned for a full review.
susandennis: (Default)
ahhhh heaven



Only because I know so many are waiting breathlessly for a report, I opened and tested the new cookies. Disclaimer: I love corn candy. I love it a lot. I love vanilla Oreos. A lot.

So, no surprise, these work fine! The icing isn't an exact copy of candy corn - more a suggestion. But they are good.

And I love the packaging. I will be able to preserve it for my collection.

Yes... I can have my cake and eat it, too.
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