Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Wicked Pull Of Home

My reality is that I'm not that far from retirement. I'm not talking about retirement from writing but from my career as a paralegal.

When I first started writing I actually believed, like many other fledgling writers, that I'd make enough money to support myself and could leave the day job behind and write full time. [Insert wild cackling laughter here.]  Not so. While I do make money from my books, it's not even close to enough to pay my rent and other expenses, not to mention individual health care coverage.

I turn 62 in a few months. Even if I did make enough money from my writing to pay my personal expenses, I'm so close to retirement that to leave my job (which I like very much, by the way) behind now and head into early retirement would be a big financial mistake. But that doesn't keep me from planning for it.

For the past few years I've been looking at places where I might want to retire.  I don't want to stay in Los Angeles. I'm tired of the traffic, noise and crowds, and it is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE. I've known for quite some time that when I retire I will pack my stuff up and move.

But where?  That has been the big question.  I've looked at several places in Southern California and a few out of state places, but it wasn't until the past month or so that I realized where I want to be. 

I want to go home.

By home, I mean the East Coast, specifically New England, more specifically Massachusetts, where I was born.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know all about the winters.  But I like winter for the most part. What I never liked about it when I did live there was driving in it day in and day out to go to work.  But if I'm not working, I won't be forced out onto icy roads.  I can sit in my nice warm place in my Snuggie, point out the window at the falling snow, and say, "Pretty."

And I want to be near my family. I really miss them and my trip East a few weeks ago really underscored that in my heart. I want to see the generations grow up. I want to spend the holidays with them. Each year that passes, I want it more.

What can I say? You can take the girl out of New England but you can't take New England out of the girl.

This past week I've moved from the maybe one day stage of Retirement into the planning stage. Over the next few years I'm going to be cleaning out all the crap I don't need, and tightening the belt a bit more in preparation. I'm a sexagenarian with a new mission. I've even contacted a realtor in Massachusetts to discuss options.

Yeah, it's that real.

My Odelia Grey books are contracted for 3 more books with those contracts ending close to my retirement. I have plans for new things and might even extend the Odelia series in a new format. And the Granny books are chugging along nicely.  Even with publishing being chaotic, I'm hoping that my writing income will continue and will supplement my retirement income.  At least that's the plan.

OMG! I just realized that if I'm moving back to Massachusetts I'll have to become a Boston Red Sox fan. There's just no way around that. It's a requirement. And I don't even like baseball. If they find that out, will they deny me residence?

Aside from the baseball thing,
it's going to be WICKED AWESOME.
I just know it!


Lifeat65 said...

They really won't let you stay if you are not a fan! I want you to write wherever you live.


Mark Baker said...

I can understand the pull of family, especially little ones. I feel that, and mine is just up the road in Nor Cal.

If you do move (you'll notice I'm in denial about it), I still need autographed copies of your books. I must have the complete collection.

Alisa said...

I was wondering what took you to California Sue Ann? Not really my business, I guess I'm always interested in why folks choose to move so far from where they were raised. Been thinking about it myself lately, although I'd be going in the opposite direction, from Ohio to Northern California.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Alisa, my parents moved us to So. Cal. when I was 8. I've moved back east a few times since then: once when I was 20 and again after my mother took ill, but always returned to CA after a while.

Edith Maxwell said...

I grew up in the Pasadena area, Sue Ann, but now have lived in Massachusetts longer than I lived in California. And I love it. Love cross-country skiing, love the falls, love spring flowers. I even love shoveling snow!

So we'll look forward to having you back.

Di Eats the Elephant said...

I'm in Oklahoma now, for the past 14 months. (I musta really pissed God off.) My folks are in Pensacola Florida and I miss it but it's not what it was when I wad there. I spent 20 years in Ohio and I miss it. .. The trees, the spring and fall, the snow. I love it. The drivers are better there too and the roads are usually cleared. Funny thing is, I'm a Red Sox fan. I did a little reading on baseball when I realized I didn't really know much about baseball after listening to a date and the maitre d' talk about it. I didn't understand why there were more pitchers than just a pitcher and one backup. Like a backup quarterback. Silly me.

Bernice said...

For many years I have been wanting to see New England and am trying to plan that trip. I also want to meet you!! So, please hurry up and retire, move back home, and start your appearances, okay? Well, I do have another idea that will work - I'll vacation next year, fall in love with New England then visit again when you are there. Great retirement plan, Sue Ann. I know you will make it happen.
Bernice Tresemer