Sunday, September 1, 2013

Unemployed in Greenland?

'......Friendless, brainless, helpless, hopeless....unemployed in Greenland..." I don't know why these words keep echoing in my mind. Coincidence I hope.  

August 29 was my last day at Intermountain Power, and I suppose that there is a mixture of uneasiness mixed with the happy thoughts of not having to get up at 5 a.m. unless I want to get up.  Ever.

The uneasiness I think is a little like when you get out of a bus, or de-plane at a strange were tired of the ride and wanted to stretch your legs, but now you have to find the baggage claim and find your bags, the rental car place, or who ever is meeting you, and often you go out and sit on a bench and wait for a while.  Sometimes you wait for your bags, and sometimes for your ride...After a while things become clearer.  Hopefully, that will happen here as well.

We came to Delta in January of 1986, and ever after the thoughts of the power plant have been pretty central to my life, and to my familie's life.  The checks always cashed, and little mouths were fed, little body's were clothed and kept warm.  So it was a good thing, and a good place to be.  More over, it was a safe place to be.  

But the Little One's grew up, and left the nest, and found their own mates and made their own nests, and we are deeply grateful and thankful that this has happened, and that our children and their families have been blessed as they have as well.  No shortage of blessings here.  Just a change in the weather of life.  Kind of a snap in the air. (And a lot of aches and pains in the morning now....  )

IPSC has nurtured me and my family financially, and educated me in many facets of engineering, chemistry, law, and social dynamics  It has been a good thing, and I have enjoyed many friendships, many good times in my work life.  But as the days marched on, I couldn't help but feel that a lot of what I was doing was to some extent a waste of time, and to put it another way, a waste of my life.  When I woke up and realized that I was now 60 I also realized that 70 wasn't that far off..... there seemed to be not as many days between 60 and 70 as there was between 30 and 40.  This realization made so many normal ways of doing business in a big company seem to be an irritating waste of life.  It was time to turn the page..  

So we turned the page, and pulled the plug.  Not according to a long thought out plan, in fact in direct contradiction to many of the plans and tenets that I thought were essential to successful retirement.  Not only didn't  we have all of our debt paid down, but we had bought a new (to us) home in Oregon.  We bled money paying the taxes for the down payment, taking that out of our 401(k).....neither of us has applied for Social Security yet.  We are leaving a comfortable home and people that we have become close to in our little town to go to a home that will take a lot of work, and to live in an area where we have only a few friends.

I have thought about this madness, if it is madness or some other thing, and tried to explain it in a way that made 'sense' .  I haven't come up really with anything that you can put numbers to, and get a pay off, or a pay back..  This whole experience came to us so un-looked for, so un-sought that to try to explain it just makes the whole thing sound silly.

I like spreadsheets.  I really do.  They are powerful tools and can help you to model complex and difficult problems.  You can get your algorithm dialed in - get all your formula's lined up and it can tell you about numbers - money, length, height, weight, speed, density.... you name it.  You can find out present value, net present value, averages, sums, you can round, make conditional branching statements....the power is amazing. But in the end, I'm not a 'spreadsheet guy'. That kind of a construct can tell you a lot of tings, but it can't really help you to find what will make you happy.

In spite of the seeming  ill-logic, and impulsiveness that seems to be a big part of these changes in our lives, it feels right.  I know very well what I'm giving up as far as money goes by leaving now rather than later, but what I don't now, and what we can't know  -ever- is how many years we will or would have together, and when you put a day with Annie on one side of the balance, I don't care what you put on the other side, it won't be enough.  

When you are dying, and your organs are shutting down, your feet and arms getting cold, your nose turning blue, you can't say -  'Hey, I think I made a mistake, and I'd like to try to have another year or so - somethings I still need to do....'   You have to take the time when you have it, and live each day to the fullest.  I guess that is what this is all about.  Trying to live up to my son's admonition to 'Seize the Day!!  Carpe Diem!!'  Ever After.  


Katie said...

It sounds like you made the right choice, Dad! I'm so happy for you and Mom to get to retire and move to Greenland! Congratulations!
Much Love,
Katie & Conor

RETA said...

It's been a little while since you posted this, but I enjoyed reading it. I am a desert-dweller, and I think your photos are amazing! I wish you well - especially this holiday season. Funny thing . . . we labor over decisions - where to live, how to make ends meet, etc . . but our heavenly Father watches over us - no matter where we are. May blessings abound for you in the coming year.