This challenge comes from a small writing group. We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share. The goal is to answer at least one per week. My personal goal is to do this for one full year.
Outline a “mission statement” for your life.
My Mission Statement
At one point in my life, when I was in a stable well-paying position, I joked that I wanted to live long enough to be a “burden on society.” In my reality, this did become my mission statement.
Part of the reason for this truth is my own fault. I was never a competitive or driven person for most of my life I just rolled with the flow and never needed to make long term plans. For a very brief time in my life things were on an upward trajectory and it looked like I would wind up as a complete and solid person. Sadly that was not to be.
I grew up in a poor house and never learned the benefits of saving money or developed the tools to be able to do that. No idea of disposable income versus savings versus retirement. My grandparents were always retired in my lifetime and money was never talked about, but they seemed to be fine. My mother did not work outside the home until I was a teen and then it was part-time. In high school I worked part-time and saved the $100.00 needed to go on my senior class trip and didn’t save for anything after that.
Junior College after high school didn’t require much money and my job more than paid for all of that. Within a year I decided to quit school and worked full time, lived at home and only took public transportation. Had a great wedding on the cheap. Fast forward three kids and 1 divorce later with no savings or pension on the horizon.
At times I worked 3 jobs just to make ends meet and saving was not a possibility. The company I was working for was hit bad by the recession and my job was eliminated. First time ever on unemployement. Back to college for the third time and I found a great position that I loved but did not pay well. Then 9/11 happened. My small pension and 401k were hit very bad and I lost my job again.
At my age it was almost impossible to find a position and wound up working at a big box store for minimum wage and part time only. So with all this happening close to my retirement my Social Security is tiny and it’s very hard to understand the system.
Help, I really am a “burden to society”.