I am an analytical scientist by training. It is my third actual career and one that I have worked hard and overcome many obstacles to achieve. I work in research and development for a large company who shall remain nameless. I enjoy the work that I do very much. But, just lately anyway, things have gone sideways for me at work. I, along with many of my co-workers, have been a little blindsided by some of the changes in our industry.
I still do a lot of the things I like to do. I still get paid to play mad scientist sometimes and I even get to wear the costume on occasion. But my days more often than not are now bogged down in paperwork and red tape. I went from working and creating in a more or less academic environment to laboring and producing in a business atmosphere practically overnight. At times, I find it repressive, joyless and uninspiring. The fact that I am getting paid to do these things is little consolation. Late last Friday afternoon, I could literally feel my insides shrinking and the empty space being filled with a low hum of panic. All I could think was, "If I have to do this until I reach retirement age, I'll just die."
So, I decided that it is high time to figure out what the next phase of my life will look like.
I like to think of it as my pre-retirement years. Normally, I think people my age (pushing 50) are starting to worry about money a little more and are starting to sock it away at a greater rate. Some of my contemporaries are talking about 401k plans and Roth IRAs and retirement homes in the South. Yeah, I have the retirement fund and I've considered a condo myself. But it's not enough. Not for me. Not after all this work. The thought of spending my Golden Years living in a condo in a place without seasonal changes, watching TV and complaining about the government full time makes me a little queasy.
There has to be a middle ground.
My husband and I have long dreamt of having a place of our own to grow food and keep ourselves close to the land. Recent health events have turned that dream into an imperative. Neither of us can afford to feed ourselves with the mass-produced, chemical laden products that pass for food these days. So that's where my change starts.
Here I go.