I seem to be a one-topic gal these days. It's all about wildflowers, trails, hiking, animals and birds. Life seems to be going pretty well and I have no complaints....not any major ones anyway. You could say I'm in a "good place." And isn't that what the previous 40 years were all about? Getting to a "good place?" I think so.
First I worked on farms, then at a couple of restaurants (4), then I worked at The Royal Bank for 9 years full-time and 5 years part-time while I went full-time to university. I put in my time doing work I didn't enjoy, as do we all. From university I went to Teacher's College, often with my one-year old on my hip. I only had one professor ever complain about bringing Kazi to class and his problem was that she got more attention than he did!
At the ripe old age of 36 I got my first teaching position (l992) and worked at an adult education centre for the next 7 years. Just an hourly wage, no benefits, though it was more money than I'd ever made before. The hourly wage and top-up benefits we received, which included a daycare subsidy, were enough for me to qualify for a small mortgage and in l994 I bought this condo. I withdrew from my RSPs, cashed in two small life insurance policies, and borrowed from my dad to come up with a down payment of a whopping $7,000.00 and money to cover moving expenses.
Eventually, permanent jobs started to reappear in l999 and I was finally hired on full-time with benefits! Woo hoo, that was a happy day! For 3 years I worked between 2 schools, one of which was in another city so daily driving involved. My boss asked me to commit to 2 years of driving between schools and I gave him 3. As a result I was rewarded with a full-time job at a nearby high school in a special education classroom and where I was, finally, my own boss.
Twelve years later I was able to retire early - I really needed to as it was such a high stress position. I achieved my Five Year Plan, thoroughly documented in this blog, of paying off all debt, saving a good chunk of cash and retiring at age 58 instead of 65. (Now it's 67!!)
You really can live on less if you keep your eye on your longterm goals. I became a master budgeter and through online friendships with fellow bloggers learned a hundred and one ways of squeezing more value out of my money. I am so very grateful to you, to my parents, family and friends who have all helped in various ways.
So, here I am, smelling the roses :) at long last!