Tuesday, April 29, 2014

About the Current Retirement Plan & Moving Away

First off, I grew up in the South so it's a place I feel more comfortable as a general rule.  I understand the Southern mindset.
Though I've lived in Yankee land since 1984, most of my married life, I had hoped to return
below the Mason-Dixon Line at some point.
Retirement might just be that point and Louisiana just might be that location.

No matter where we move to I'll be fine.  I am a master at being alone.  Big difference between being lonely and being alone and many people don't understand that.  I am comfortable with myself enough to enjoy lots of alone time.  I am good company. ;-)  I have always been most productive when left alone.  If the community we end up living in is unfriendly, I can deal with it, because I've dealt with it for many years already.

I HATED living in northeastern NJ the almost 3 years we were forced to be there.  I met some
lovely people while there but mostly it was a horrible experience......too many pushy people, too noisy, too polluted, crazy drivers, too expensive and full of pretentious *A*holes.  You get the idea.

When we moved into our first house in the Pocono Mountains. of PA, by comparison,  it was heaven.  A community with few year round residents at the beginning, natural beauty and
unspoiled vistas.  A serene place to live and much cheaper.  The drawback was how far we
were to services, stores and having utilities go out in the winter.  AND the winters.......averages
of 100 inches per Winter Season(in a light precipitation year).  Hard to dig out(especially with
just shovels)and hard to get to a job.

In a way I loved the isolation at that time in my life(this was before the internet too)but was also
able to make a few friends.....until they either died(the older people I was friends with) or left to go back to the Metro NY/NJ area because they missed living there so much(which I just can't even imagine! lol)

Then that place changed as we were invaded en masse by New York City-ites and eastern New
Jersey-ites, looking to relocate their families to an area away from crime and expensive living,
while they toiled away at their NYC jobs with large salaries.  The employed in these families
would stay in the city during the week and come home on weekends.

There were nice families among these newer transplants but the migration also brought the big
 city problems of crime, drugs, noise, et cetera with them.  I didn't mind going to the community
pool and never hearing English spoken the whole time(lolz) but some of these new residents thought themselves above the PA laws and because our sleepy little town had little police protection all
kinds of shenanigans made itself known and disrupted our lives on a daily basis.
These transplants brought their big city problems and big city ways along with them.

Wild parties into the wee hours every weekend in good weather and new or unlicensed hunters
with no gun learning using our development to take pot shots at wildlife, which brought up the number of "accidental" gunshot victims.  Then there were the "Summertime only" residents
from NYC and Metro NJ who would invade our hometowns and as many folks on vacation are
known to do, leave their brains at home.
Hey, I grew up in a Tourist town so I know this type of behavior well. lolz

It all got to be too much for our little growing family(who wants to worry about letting their
young kids go outside in a private community-not in a game lands area, in the Fall even with
wearing Orange so some idiot doesn't mistake them for a deer and kill them?!).
Plus Hubs wanted a shorter commute to work so we moved further into PA.  While this put
distance between us and the obnoxious/entitled metro NY/NJ behavior folks, we moved right
into the midst of provincial small town PA behavior.

We've lived here almost 14 years now and I STILL don't fit in.
That's what happens when you move into a small close knit town where everyone has lived
here for 5 generations(at least).
These folks keep to their "own kind" and after 14 years I am still not accepted.
Lord knows how I tried, at least for the sake of my kids so they'd have friends.
I have extended invitations and put myself out numerous times just to be rebuffed.
But I refused to be miserable, so I kept to myself and threw myself into my family and some online activities/groups and had a happy little life.  Well, except for the overspending and hoarding phase...lol

I joined stuff here like the PTA, I was a room mom(what a disaster THAT was! lolz), I volun-
teered for things,  I let them have those kid birthday parties and pool parties, whatever I could do so they would "fit in".
I hope the little shits appreciated the crap I went through...... ;-)

And I tried NOT to influence the kids with my very negative view about the folks I interacted
with in this town.
Even with all I did, the funny thing is.....all 3 of my kids couldn't WAIT to move away from
this town. 
Two did and as soon as he's out of college, the third will be joining them.
They all have maintained very few, if any, friendships with the kids they grew up with.

As my kids left home I have had less need to interact with the people who live around me.
And that suits me fine.  I don't need anybody here to be happy.  With my 3rd kid almost
graduated high school, besides the cashiers at the stores and the bank tellers I'll have no need to
interact with anybody around here anymore. 

I may have been a hermit in a previous life, as that type of living arrangement suits me fine for the most part. 

4 more years and I am out of here!  I am sure we can find a friendlier corner of the country
to live in.
If I could survive in Metro NY/NJ and then here for 14 years(and counting)I am sure I can adapt
and get along most anywhere. 
I don't need a grand house, or even a large house.  Just leave me be, to be who I am.

So even though we are looking at houses/properties in a part of the country we have little
experience in, I am sure we can be happy there, whether or not it's a welcoming community
or not.  I'll patch together some sort of support system and be perfectly content being left alone
by the folks in that town/area.
As long as I have all my long distance friends......

Sluggy

 

12 comments:

  1. "We've lived here almost 14 years now and I STILL don't fit in.
    That's what happens when you move into a small close knit town where everyone has lived here for 5 generations(at least).These folks keep to their "own kind" and after 14 years I am still not accepted."
    You're telling my story. That's why we had to bug out. And I got tired of people blaming crime and everything else on outsiders moving in from the cities when there were plenty of homegrown criminals and murderers there, as I very painfully found out. We here at clamco will be happy to be part of your support system when you move south, that is, if we're still here by then! Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I know our plans changed from week to week, sometimes day to day, but we wanted to escape winter and we finally made it happen. What an adventure it's been. :-]

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  2. I can completely understand the difference between being alone, being lonely, and being alone in a place full of people. I've never felt like I've fit in anywhere else but my PT job (maybe that's why I'm still there after 9 years, ridiculous commute, ridiculous work practices and annoying, lazy coworkers). I can only hope one day I wont have to feel that way. You're getting me all excited with all this move talk!

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  3. "I hope the little shits appreciated the crap I went through...... ;-)"-A true good mom statement!
    I think you should RV for a while and see where the wind blows you. Seems like fun and hey, you can come visit me and fit in.

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  4. Sluggy, I found your post today to be very sad and yet, so realistic. I don't think any one of us who have had to move to a new town or area hasn't experienced what you have all these years. I've gone through the exact same things. I don't think I even fit in where I was born!
    My kids often make fun of me because I have no human friends. I had many in my younger years but I've found out maintaining human friendship is a very difficult thing to do. There is always jealousy and envy. I've been betrayed too many times to count by women who swore their allegiance and loyalty. I could have a friend for years but do or say the wrong thing, a fight erupts and the friendship is gone.
    So, I've maintained family relationships instead. Family can always forgive a misspoken word or deed. Family forgives and understands. That's why I've never moved away from family BUT more closer to them.
    I understand that not everyone is going to like me and not everyone is going to hate me. I do my best BUT I answer solely to myself. I've joined many a social club (Garden Club, book club, hiking club, yada, yada, yada) and have been appointed to many board memberships. PLUS I always got a job locally which improved my chances of making friends and learning new things about the current area I am residing in. I also volunteered at the local hospital and adult living home. We all need people. Human people. Because the day comes when you're either sick or infirmed, your spouse ain't around and you need that help! You've got to have at least one human being or neighbor that you can physically call to help you! Especially as we get older!
    I was born in NYC and I did everything in my power to get my kids out of the city. Once they graduated college, where did they go to live? New York City! I cringe each and every time I go there to visit. How can kids, who I slaved for, to grow up in the country, go back into that madness? Live and learn.
    Please continue to reach out to humans and try to make as many human friends as you can. As we get older we need that network of friends (or aquaintences......whatever) Virtual buddies, however wonderful we are, can not bring you that pot of chicken soup when you have the flu, or go to a drug store to pick up meds (not every store delivers) or can loan you a cup of sugar when you've run out. Am I making any sense? People need people. Don't give up on us. Please don't feel like you don't fit in. Believe me, there are plenty of us who would love just a simple hello, a kind word and companionship.
    Good luck to you wherever you wind up. I only wish you the best. Much peace and happiness.
    Don't give up trying to make human friends. Constantly reach out and try, try, try. Take it for what it is. And stay closer to your family.

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  5. You're a woman after my own heart. I love spending time with me - I always get along very well with me :) and am descended from a long line of hermits. I didn't plan to live in PEI alone but the thought doesn't scare me. I have met people there through my blog, have a local pub to hang out in, have made friends in the community so that will be more than enough people to interact with. And our online community is the BEST! I'll be with you wherever you go Sluggy!

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  6. I can relate to your post in ways. I grew up in a town of 10k people from ages 6-19. I was fairly well-known and had lots of friends. I moved 5 hours away when I was in college, and ever since I've struggled finding a reliable network of friends. I have my Dad & grandma (Mom passed away) who live an hour away and a wonderful boyfriend, but as far as friends are concerned.. no one I can really count on consistently. They few I do have are wonderful people, but they're from there. They have a difficult time making room in their already busy schedules of work/spouses/children/long time friends for newcomers. Thank goodness I've maintained my closest friendships back home, but even still they're 5 hours away. I remain hopeful that maybe one day I'll develop a small, tight-nit group of gal pals to connect with (where I live now).

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  7. My last post, the last blogger will allow me to post, is about finding some human light in this world. For too many years I have had friends in Birmingham and Huntsville and a few here, smack dab in between. My friends my age living here and the other two cities are dying, not to mention the older ones.

    There was a time I could go to festivals in town, partake in other activities and honestly not feel lonely when I was alone here at the house. My recent search for something is not so much for the desire to be in a flurry of activity or be accepted, but to stave off some of the deleterious affects of isolation in old age. Now, I like isolation in many ways. When I could get to my sewing machines, I whiled away my time happily.

    I have lived here since 1974 and was always on the outside. My friends for years were other people not from this town. They then moved away for good to escape.

    Having a spouse goes a long way towards alleviating loneliness. I rarely feel lonely which may be why I feel it so acutely once in a while. The problem is that I am such good company for myself that I rarely miss people. This past year, I decided to get out more in the community. That has been full of angst as anyone who reads my present blog post can see. I am not interested in the drinking crowd or the church crowd. I don't have small children so that I meet other women. Some women are jealous of single women talking to the husband. I don't want to join the knitting group at the library. I never wanted to go to the dances at the VFW.

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  8. Part two

    I met a woman with whom I started finding things we had in common. About a year later after many pleasant conversations that were mostly short ones, I called her and asked her if she had ever been to a local festival and why didn't we go together. She agreed and wanted to know all about it. She then said she would bring her "sweetie." aaaah!

    I told her I would just go by myself if she had someone to go with her. She said he likes the same things she does and he would want to go. I very pleasantly told her I did not want to be a fifth wheel. It turned out their was rain before the festival and I was having allergy problems, so I did not go. She then begged me to go with them. What? Me go with them?

    Then, she adamantly told me that she could not go on Sunday to anything ever that the church came first, that she went to church four times each week. So, that sort of put a wet blanket on any relationship with her. EVER

    I finally determined who her "sweetie" was. There was no way I was going to go with him because he is an idiot. He is conversation challenged. Oh, he talks, but his blathering would drive me nuts.

    Then, I joined a writing group last month. After one meeting, I can see the handwriting on the wall. But, I am going to try to make it work.

    Going to the 60s style coffee shop to hear live music is great, but I need someone to go with me because of my back and mobility problems that occur once I sit for an hour.

    The online community is great. After one huge mistake in online communities, I have found other places more pleasant.

    I discussed joining a book club about ten years ago. But, the leader made it clear they don't discuss the author, time the book was written, or anything other than reading their favorite parts. In other words, they read aloud to each other.

    I had people over once a month for three years. Only one of those people is even friendly to me now other than a passing "How are you?" as I roll through the store on an electric cart. One even had a longer conversation about how all of them got together and what a good time they had.

    This town is great for rearing children, great for couples, but for a single person, it's the pits.

    I must say, the part of town I live in affords me great safety and security. So, leaving here would probably make me feel not safe.

    When new people I meet find out I am the one who lives in the falling down house, I can see by the look on their faces that we will probably not speak again other than in passing, much less being friends.

    I am not looking for many friends, just a few with whom I at least have something in common.

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  9. Pardon this being a Christmas song, and therefore at the wrong time of year, but I thought of you. It's a New York (state) guy singing about a gal like you who lives in Dixie Land (soon enough.)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa7tNAUyQwQ

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  10. Sluggy, I hear you! I have very much enjoyed meeting a few new cyber friends but am I looking for new friends in my day to day life? No! I am not. I have the same 3 women and 1 guy friends that I have had for 30+ years I'm not actively looking for new friendships.

    If I lived alone I think that I might feel differently. To tell the truth my husband is not a whole ot of company but that works for us (most of the time) Like you, I like being alone. I don't think that I have ever been bored.

    I think the suggestion of a RV is a good one. We like rv travel very much but the current gas prices have caused us to keep out little camper parked much of the time.

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  11. Gee Slugs, I am sorry if I had lived next door to you we would be best friends, I don't drink but I could steer you home as designated steerer:0 I have had similar experiences where we live now, but I made my own life and to hell with them, I say To HELL!!!!! So I am a little different, okay a lot different but I did not make myself this way... well maybe I have some responsibility?

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  12. Hi Sluggy, this is so sad. You would be made most welcome here where I live. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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