He was called up to accept his award for fifty years of loyal service to the company, and as he walked toward the podium the crowd stood and applauded. It was a proud moment. He had accomplished long-standing loyalty and was granted retirement and a watch to own his hours of free time. This was the last chapter of the Dick and Jane books from which I was taught to read and was taught how life in America was suppose to look. Funny thing about those books and this last chapter- it some how has always given me solace. I was not told to embrace Dick and Jane’s suburban utopia, I just did. There was safety in their world. Safety in dinner being on the table at five, bath at 8 and retirement at 65. I wonder now why I have not lived safely and yearn for something different once things become too familiar.
See Kim. See Kim run. Run Kim run.
I am ready to go live in the mountains. Meet strangers and make them my new friends. I feel restless. Is it hormones? Can I blame this on my estrogen levels as I have been able to do with the rest of the stuff I feel a need to explain away? Weight gain? Estrogen. Spending too much? Estrogen. Unable to focus in one life direction? Estrogen.
This new decade of my life has been a gift. Sure, the gift that I am alive, with manageable health issues, but also it has given me the gift of emergence. I have struggled all of my life. Family, money, sense of self, all seemed to offer a challenge rather than clean, clear blessings. I think many of us struggle through life, trying to feel moments of happiness and bliss and trying to hold on to them, then seeking it out all over again. It is no wonder I had two children, tried several jobs, received two degrees, bought and sold several homes. Yes, I often even buy two of something if I like the style and can justify the cost. I really, really want to buy or build another home, and I would contemplate a nice tree house at this point in Costa Rica.
I admire the people who make a home for their life in one place, retire from their first job and maintain a group of friends acquired in elementary school. I admire them, I love to converse with them and bask in their world. It is better than the book, but in all honesty, and I mean that, I never did read past the first grade reader. I am only guessing Dick, Jane, Sally, Mom, Dad and Spot all stayed in the family home until each was launched properly to their parents alma mater. Spot was buried in the backyard, and his puppies have had puppies so Spot has lived on.
I would like to say that if I was given a prompt to describe my life I would know how it would read. Wonder years meets wanderlust. And just like I yearned to jump in my car in 1979 and drive to Alaska on a whim, I yearn to jump into my car and drive west- towards mountains and open spaces. I never did go to Alaska. Fear stood in my way. Now, retirement does. Eight years and I get my “watch.”
It just seems wrong to wait to do what I want to do.