I am a little emotional. I no longer have a job? I’m unemployed? I feel very strange. I started working one week after my 16th birthday at Safeway as a cashier. That was almost 32 years ago. I’m not sure I know how NOT to work.
Those were the days before bank machines and debit cards, so I managed to save quite a bit of money. I gave my Mom my pay cheque each week, she deposited it and gave me $20. Cigarettes were cheap then and I existed on french fries & gravy without gaining an ounce. It’s ironic that my first big expenditure was for the Grade 12 school trip to London, England and the Canary Islands. The second was the down payment for my 1988 Mustang and it took a long time before I had savings again.
Fast forward and after 25 years in IT and 17 of those years with Shell, I have returned my laptop, my corporate credit card and my Shell ID. I have walked through the turnstile for the last time. I have no actions to complete. There isn’t a deadline looming in front of me. There are no issues to resolve. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.
I will miss the people I worked with. I was escorted out today by a few folks and it was sad to walk away while they went back into work and I came home.
Big life changes start … drum roll … right now.
It was twenty years ago when I made the last major life change (aka divorce). A very young 27 year old me, along with my 3 year old little man, moved back across Canada to my hometown and my parents. They came to get us and Mom flew back with Bryan to Fort McMurray. I had rented a U-Haul and was towing my Mustang behind it. Dad and I spent 3 days driving home and I have to note that he didn’t let me drive the U-Haul at all. It was quality time together, driving all day and stopping in the evenings and having a beer with supper. We didn’t really talk about the divorce, but it’s funny how your parents let you know in a million different little ways that they have your back. We moved in with Mom and Dad for a few months and after a week or so I was hired by Suncor in the IT department. The next chapter had begun and my priority has always been my child.
I listened to this song a million times – leading up to, during and after this time in my life. It was my theme song, I chose a one way ticket heading back West to start over again. Listening to it now, I can say that I’ve done everything in the song. I still want those shiny blue pants!
I’ve spent the last 20 years raising my son. There have been some sacrifices along the way, but they don’t compare to the love, happiness and adventures we’ve had together. There is just something special about the Mother-Son relationship. Our family unit of two is very strong.
I’m so proud of the young man that he is … his character and his integrity shine through in all he does. He’s a little over-protective of his Mama, but I’m thankful for the support that he’s giving me as I embark on this new adventure. In his eyes, I can do anything.
I’m a big Trekkie fan and I always found this particular theme inspiring; I’ve been listening to it a lot lately thinking about what is next for me. I love seeing the footage of Amelia Earhart and Alan Shepard (first American in space). The only thing missing for me was Yuri Gagarin (first man in space).
Amelia Earhart said “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
After all that reminiscing, I’m now officially living my crazy, wacky travel dream doing as much travelling as I can over the next couple years or until the money runs out. I joke that when I return I’ll need to win the lottery, find another job or hunt down the next husband. I’ve been buying lottery tickets.
I know I owe you all my Antarctica post and it’s in the works! I’m waiting on a download from Quark Expeditions that they’re providing the guests. Soon I promise!
I have such big travel dreams! Being in Antarctica a few weeks back was soul changing and I’m so looking forward to the rest of my journey. I believe I can have both Option A and Option B. I don’t know what the future holds or what my destiny is, but I’m going to live every second to the fullest while I find out!
Love to all, xoxo
Jackie is “Mom” to one amazing son, an IT professional and an obsessed traveller. She spends her time reading, golfing at Ladies League and implementing software projects. Jackie has travelled to all 7 continents and 90 countries and is always planning the next destination and adventure!