Eleven years. On August 1, 2020.
I want to do 20 years in state service. That coupled with my 29 years of teaching, will put me in the best possible place, as far as retirement goes.
FORTY NINE frickin’ incredibly rewarding years. I’m lucky that I did so much subbing in year round schools so that STRS counts that as actual YEARS; plus I transferred all my teaching from Utah over to STRS when I moved back to California in 1978.
THAT was a smart move and entirely accidental. Left to my own devices, I would have spent that money on shoes.
I have a very small pension from my time with the governor’s office. Book money. Coffee money. Crayon money for my grandchildren. If Lisi even has them, which is pretty much up in the air. At her age, I really wanted to have children. I thought I would be a good mother (I like to think I am) and I wanted to prove to myself that I could be a better mother than my own (cakewalk).
Of course, looking back, I can see that m y parents were terribly flawed (as am I) and did the best they could with no parenting road map or skills. I MAJORED in parenting and small children and all that stuff. I wanted to raise adults and I did.
The biggest roadblock for Lisi (I think) is that for one, she isn’t passionate about children. For another, her brother is autistic and schizophrenic. Jack was schizophrenic. His mother had her own mental health issues. Heck, Ireland has the highest percentage of schizophrenia in the world, followed by Finland. (Imagine my total and complete surprise when I read THAT book.) Ben was doomed from birth and it was as much my fault (100% Irish) as Jack’s (100% crazy).
Of course, I didn’t know this in 1980 but somehow I think I SHOULD have. And even if I had, I would still have had my babies, who have brought such tremendous joy into my life. I just wish that it wasn’t so painful for them.
Ben was telling me how he calls Bingo at the mental health social center he works at. I thought maybe they should play Crazy Jeopardy…”I’ll take Bi-Polar for 300″. He didn’t think it was a funny as I did. “These are not high functioning crazy people, Mooooom. That particular game simply would not work. And YOU. Are. Not. Funny. ….I can’t even change up Bingo without somebody crying.”
2020. That looks so far away, but then, in 1971, so did 2009. That number was so far way, we didn;t even know how to say it.