I looked up “retired” on and one of the phrases that came up was “no spring chicken.”

Based on my mental age, I take offense to this but in regards to my physical age – I ain’t no spring chicken.  and it sucks.

Today I had to make the call to my client and tell them that I’m closing up shop on April 30th.  Starting May 1st, I will no longer be employed by anyone and I will be applying for Social Security Disability.    I was doing okay until the cancer diagnosis last year but over the last few months, it has become apparent that I can’t continue to work.  All of my issues seem to be colliding and making it hard to keep any one of them under control.

I’m taking the next month to complete documentation on the system that I’ve largely administered for my client as well as get all my paperwork together for social security.   It can take up to a month just to get my medical records and I need to have letters from all my doctors.   From my research, I believe that I will automatically qualify due to the number of transfusions I have to have.  It will still take at least 6 months to process things and get my first check.  I’m not allowed to work during those months but I’m sure I will find things to occupy my time – I have so many unfinished projects it’s unbelievable.

This seems like an easy decision but I’m battling my pride as well.  As you know I already live with my mom.  While this works out for us, it is still a blow to my not-quite middle aged ego.  I enjoy living on my own.  My mom is a great roommate but still, I’m living with my mom.   Now, I won’t even be supporting myself.  At least I had that for the last few years and now, I’m going to be living off the government.  I did work and earn the benefit but this isn’t how I imagined ending my career.

Although, to be honest, this was never a career I wanted.  I kept taking the parts of jobs I liked and moved forward to make it something that I eventually enjoyed, but it’s so not my thing.  Art, Photography, Writing, Music – those are my true passions and why I have a music degree.  Interestingly enough, I’ve found that as I’ve made this decision to quit work, I don’t really care about new technologies or apps or whatever.  I will always have a bit of the geek in me, but I have been able to let my iPhone completely run out of batteries lately and not panic.   I’m hoping that after I get over the emotional challenge of not working, that I’ll bust out the paints, pencils and my camera and go to town.

Not working for me is an emotional challenge.  Even if I didn’t like a job, I always put in 100%.  Doing well and being appreciated (publicly) for good work has always motivated me.  I’m a little afraid of not finding something new that will motivate me to do good things and be a productive person.   It would be very easy to sit on the couch every day watching Gilligan’s Island reruns under the guise of “not feeling well.”   Some days I will need to do that, but I have to make sure it’s not every day.

Sorry for all the ramblings.  This is not easy for me to do but as one of my friends said, it’s a new adventure.










6 Comments on “Retired.”

  1. Heather says:

    This may sound cheezy or cliched, but all of the things you are doing are incredibly brave and smart. You are listening to your body, and not stubbornly holding onto things that will keep you from improving your health. You conduct thorough research before each decision you make, and you keep your doctors on their toes by asking questions and then asking some more. You are very fair to yourself, too. You acknowledge your fears and insecurities, but at the same moment you start working through them. You give yourself a break when you need it, and you take time to enjoy some pleasure in life: your family, your friends, your talents and interests. In addition, you are sharing your insights on this challenging journey by keeping this blog going. I can confidently say that you have never rambled. FIGHT ON!


  2. Cynthia Wiese says:

    Wow! You are no longer burdened with doing what others expect of you. I have always admired your strength. You will fight on indeed. I hope to see you soon.

    Does this mean we’ll be blessed with more of your awesome drawrings?



    • Pam says:

      Thanks Cynthia! I’m hoping to come to campus one day after graduation is over – perhaps we could have lunch? There is so much on campus that I’ve yet to see as well.

      More awesome drawings indeed – just getting stuff wrapped up in the next few weeks!


  3. Lori says:

    Very smart choice! You DID earn these benefits – you’re NOT just “living off the government”.

    And these:
    “Art, Photography, Writing, Music – those are my true passions and why I have a music degree.”

    are just some of the things you’ll have time and energy for now that you’re struggling with the challenges of running a business during health issues. When the stuff you HAVE to do falls away, it makes some room for what you WANT to do – and that may end up being the best career you ever have!

    I know it’s hard for you though…hang in there!


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