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Archive for August, 2014

Introspective Post - What Should I Do With My Life

August 23rd, 2014 at 03:48 pm

I've been reading "What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson. It definitely begs the question. I still don't know the answer, (the way the book also doesn't know, yet humanly explores the question through personal stories). After nearly 30 years of working, I'm closer to an answer to 'what can I devote my life to?', but no clear X marks the spot. I definitely know (based on the jobs I've had) how I DON'T want to spend the rest of my working hours here on earth.

I've done a lot self-analysis in the past (skill tests, interest surveys, aptitude assessments, What Color is My Parachute? etc.) but eventually gave up when I had such a spread of interests and skills that I didn't seem to fit in one category for a career--I'm both creative/intuitive and analytical/administrative, organized and chaotic, I like to work alone and collaborate. This book made me go back over some of my old journals --how I gave up trying to fit somewhere career-wise and just kept working at jobs that I don't love (because I've got bills to pay) and tried to do the creative stuff after work hours and on weekends.

Several years ago I came to the plan to save as much money as possible so I no longer have to work at jobs I don't love. That's been my way of coping (saving, talking about saving, BLOGGING about saving, dreaming of a life of more meaningful work, not so dependent on a wage-earner's paycheck treadmill) But as I've said many times, I'm currently suffering the worst job burnout. I try to do my creative stuff after work as a way of coping AND work my savings plan, but my current work life seems to suck my energy dry. Not to mention the family responsibilities.

The truth is, if I can hold out for another 5 years or so for civil service retirement, there's HOPE. All is not lost!! But in the meantime...how do I take care of myself?? It seems like a constant struggle to take good care of myself while enduring the struggle of job burnout. I try. And I'll keep trying, but it's a constant struggle.

With my savings plan, it looks like I won't have as much money as I'd hoped by retirement eligibility (it's difficult to do this without spouse or family support). But at the moment, 5 more years is about all I can take at this current job. If only I'd started this savings journey at 21!!!!

So back to my one joyous hope - SAVING!! I've determined that I need to step it up in paying off the mortgage for the house, because that will give me more options over the next few years. It's one of my main goals, but my irrational tendency to try to meet all my goals at ONCE (retirement, non-retirement savings,paying off the mortgage, family health care, house care and automobile upkeep) makes for SLOW progress. I was ok with that for a while, but I've got to step it up. Here's the plan now:
1. Lower retirement savings allotment for one year (I'm afraid to do this because of budget creep, afraid I'll have difficulty going back up to the original savings amount)
2. Lower non-retirement savings allotment for 1 year
3. Put that extra money toward the $40,000 mortgage.

Since I still have some work to do on the other accounts, I'll begin in November.

Long blog, but this book had me THINKING, because I'm so tired of it all. I'm working my savings plan, so I can do something different, with more joy and more meaning. Thanks for the continued inspiration, saving advice friends. What would I do without you?? Happy saving!