I feel so inspired after reading Shea’s article, I can’t help but respond.
“Who’s Shea?” You might ask. She’s the co-author of our blog, and partner in this exercise of an incredible right, Free Speech.
GOD BLESS, AMERICA!
“If you have to go to work every day to pay your bills you are NOT a free person,” Shea says.
But what about people like me, who wake up every morning excited about work? Who love their careers? And love the people they work with?
Some of us enjoy the challenge, advancement, stretching of the mind, and fulfillment in a purpose each day. For me, I feel I am making a difference in my life, and the lives of others, through daily work.
People might think I’m crazy. “You do insurance though?” they say.
Not quite. I don’t “do” insurance. I consult, educate, negotiate, represent, recommend, place coverage, assist, build relationships and create long term partnerships. In times of crisis, who ya gonna call?
… Kate Busters!
On any given day, I am juggling five tasks and still thriving on the most stressful, high pressure situations.
And, perhaps more importantly, I am grateful to be gainfully employed. Able-bodied and gainfully employed, that is.
While I respect that Shea’s industry is a bit ruthless and brutal at times, we have to remember that we have jobs! We have a source of income, and the mental and physical health to allow us to earn an income. It is a beautiful thing.
I know several people (women in particular), who are not earning an income. Their value is in the home and building a family. When that income source is no longer there (perhaps a death, disability, divorce or otherwise…), then what?
For me, I feel empowered knowing I will be okay. I will always be able to take care of, and support myself. I will always find work, have work, and the good Lord always provides. I hope no one ever feels like they’re a “slave” to their job.
I agree with everything else Shea is saying though. Sometimes I wonder, “How are people retiring?”
I’m already worrying about this for myself, simply because for $7 grand a month lands you into a mediocre assisted living facility. The food is unappetizing, and the care is questionable. $7 grand a month! If I’m being fact checked, I might even say that figure is closer to $9 grand with inflation and cost of living.
I know what I need in order to retire with the lifestyle I am accustomed to. And I am okay working until my late 50’s, maybe even into my 60’s.
If I continue on my current path, by 60, I hope to look like I’m 45 and have the energy of a 35 year old. No short hair for this girl!
My “radical sabbatical” (as Shea is about to embark on) will be retirement for me. I’m planing for my longest vacation.
In my retirement I will be busy though. Perhaps you could say I will be a “slave to time”? I hope not. But I have so many things I want to do, and not nearly enough time!
In my retirement, I want to learn another foreign language. I want to learn French. I want to travel all of France and speak to the locals. Forget the Parisians. Sure, their city is beautiful but I can’t handle their attitudes. You dislike Americans, Pierre? Well, I dislike your attitude. Let’s call it a truce.
In my retirement, I want to play an instrument. I would love to learn how to play the piano or even the guitar. The piano would be amazing. Not like this would ever happen… but I envision myself at the piano, in a silk nighty, playing soft music in front of my $15 million ocean view. The coffee will be brewing in the background and this will just be how I wake up, folks. My husband will give me a kiss on the cheek, knowing that I’m so happy.
This, of course, is after I’ve spent the first hour of my day quietly writing in solitude. Journaling. Making poetry. Reflecting on life.
In my retirement, I want to travel. Nothing crazy. Just India, South America, Russia and China. Maybe I’ll vacation with my lover to Alaska or Canada for an easy getaway.
In my retirement, I want to paint, take pictures, create art and make beauty in this world.
In my retirement, I hope to give back. Be a mentor, a teacher, a mother.
This may sound like Katie’s Dream, but it will be my reality someday (as long as I have my health and mental wit about me).
So many people fear retirement. Will I have enough money? What will I do with the free time?
That “free” time, to me, is a gift. It’s repayment for a lifetime of hard work. It’s reimbursement for all the late nights, weekends and, even holidays that I’ve worked to meet deadlines and gone above and beyond to make my clients happy.
God bless free speech,
God bless, America, and
God bless capitalism…
I need to get to work now!
Published by Katie Jones
I wrote this post-massage at the spa over a cup of camomile tea and finished it early the next morning, not because I care how much Americans have issues with money and finances, but because I’m so inspired Shea wrote a blog post.