I moved this week. If I ever talk of doing it again in the near future, please make me stop!
Actually the move is a great turning point in my life. Very simply, owning a house brought me lots of headaches and little joy. I have moved into what I call a one bedroom-one office apartment. It’s just across town from where I was living. It gives me all I need, yet cuts my stress and my expenses considerably. Also, selling my house gives me equity I can use to support myself until I begin taking Social Security.
I’m not stopping working, though. I love writing for NewsBreak. I am writing fun stories about what’s going on in my area and it is a blast. Mostly I live my life and write about it.
If any of you other writers are interested, here is a link to information about their creator program.
If you’re interested in checking out what I have been writing about there, here is my page. Download the app and follow me. The link is in any of my articles. You’ll see I head in a lot of different directions. This month I am writing a lot about area parks for National Parks and Recreation month. Last week I discovered a park I didn’t even know existed. I discovered another park that I thought was named for a guy actually wasn’t. I looked him up to see why a park was named after him and got the story.
I’m still writing on Medium.com, but that’s not a great money source for me. It’s still fun, though. That’s where I write about more topical stuff and also participate in a lot of writing challenges. Being encouraged to write poetry or write exactly 50 or 100 words on a topic stretches me as a writer. It’s definitely worth the time.
And it’s benefits open enrollment season for many large companies in the U.S., and I have picked up a couple of contract jobs related to that. One is essentially working in a call center to sign people up for their benefits. This will mostly be in October and November. I did this last year and loved it. But two months is about the right amount of time – it is exhausting talking to people all day long! I do this job from home, which makes it convenient. It taught me how to use multiple screens. I’d resisted doing it before. I really regret that now.
The other contract job is new for this year. I’ll be doing health fairs and enrollment presentations for an insurance company. These are fun for me, so I was glad they reached out to me. They will work around my other job and there is the possibility this one could be year round. Not every day year round, just here and there. I love their flexibility with me.
I truly think these jobs will be enough to pay my bills. They will also give me the flexibility to travel, my passion. A friend and I are doing a two-week Panama Canal cruise out of New Orleans after Thanksgiving, We’re adding a couple of New Orleans nights.
Next year I hope to go see my family in Wales. I hope to stay two weeks with them, then head to Ireland or Scotland (or both) for two more weeks. After having a career of limited vacation, this seems glorious to contemplate. So many possibilities of places to go!
On a “life’s hard” note, we put my mom (who has Alzheimer’s) in a memory care unit last month. It happened quickly and has thrown us all off balance. I don’t believe any of us regret it. All who know her well were in complete agreement. But to hand over your mom to strangers when you are used to seeing her often, and at your whim? It’s an adjustment, But her room is really pretty (we furnished it – bed, couch, and all) and she seems happy even as she tells us she doesn’t belong there. This week she thinks she volunteers there and has lost her car and needs to go home. She is calling us all constantly. My younger sister got 14 calls one day. What must it be like to be inside her mind? Quite confusing, I suspect.
Speaking of my mom, tomorrow is the anniversary of the day she birthed me. I have made absolutely no plans. I could do anything. Will I stay home and unpack? Doubtful. I would love a massage. Or there are several places I want to go to get info on for stories. Or there are the trails at that new park I found last week. I know I will find a piece of really great chocolate cake and eat it. True story – one sad birthday I got home from an uneventful day that included a meeting at church at night and I realized not only had I not had much of a birthday, but I didn’t even have a piece of birthday cake. I cried. That’s when I realized I control that day. If I have a bad birthday it’s my own fault. But after moving and not unpacking, maybe it is time to start. Or maybe I’ll just read all day long. I have a night to sleep on it.
A bit about the cardinal picture. I always think they are my dad saying hi, Weirdly, right as I was moving out the last rose bush he planted in the yard of the house I sold Friday was near death. I bring my last load of boxes to the apartment (those things not ready when the movers came) and keep seeing cardinals. Dad built these apartments. It makes sense he would be pleased I am here again.