Another Year of Tater

I turned 52 yesterday. Does that mean this is the beginning of year 53 of Tater? I think so?

Last year I wrote a post about being on the other side of 50 and things I wanted to change. I looked at that post this morning and I think I did pretty good even though most of my year was in the midst of a pandemic. Here is a look back at that and then a look forward to Tater at 52.

51 for me is time to find a career where I can be content until my career days are over. – Still a work in progress. Eventually I will go back to a job. I don’t know yet what that job will be.

51 for me is the time to stop letting others steal my joy. – Still a work in progress. I did cut ties with the people that were the biggest issue, but I still let people have way too much control over my joy.

51 for me is the time to cut ties with people and places who don’t respect me and my contributions. – Done! 25 years in a place where I brought innovative programming. leadership and loyalty and got nothing(but a paycheck) in return. 25 years of seeing less qualified people promoted over me. 25 years and they show no concern when I bring major issues to HR. 25 years of being a replaceable, unimportant cog. All over. I am now 2 months removed from a very toxic work environment and life is good.

51 for me is the time to forget the fear of the unknown and take that leap. – I took the leap into the unknown. It’s still scary. I don’t know what comes next. I don’t know what the future holds for me. I’m sure at some point I will admit defeat on the writing and get a job. I just don’t know what that will be.

So, looking forward to Tater at 52. What will that bring?

Hopefully, within the first half of the 52 I will get the vaccine and life will return to something close to normal.

I will do my best to complete whatever my memoir will look like even if I know it will never be published.

I will spend some time trying to find other writing opportunities.

I will find ways to volunteer and give to those less fortunate.

I will figure out what my next step is career-wise Back to libraries? Substitute teacher? Grocery store? Gig work like Door Dash? Substitute teacher seems like a good choice. Some control over schedule, holidays and summers off.

Tater at 52 is a transition year. Transitioning from pandemic to post-pandemic. Transitioning from unemployed to employed. Transitioning to a new way of life. I need to be willing to give myself time and grace.

Here’s hoping for a much better year than the last one.

A New Chapter Coming Soon

I am 10 days away from my last day at work. I’ve been in the same profession with the same organization for 25 years. Now, in 10 days I will be ending that long chapter of my life. It reminds me of these lyrics I posted before

Wherever you are, whatever you did
It’s a page in your book, but it isn’t the end

Next Saturday is not the end of my book. Next Saturday is the end of a chapter. I will then turn the page and start a new chapter. I can work on becoming the Tater that works best for me. I can work on becoming the Tater that doesn’t dread the start of a new day. I can work on being the best Tater for the people I love. I don’t really know who the next tater is yet.

The first couple of weeks hope to be the Tater who detoxes from his current experience by doing nothing more than reading and watching TV.

After the holidays, I will see how Blogger/Writer Tater works out for me. Blogger/Writer Tater will spend the morning writing and working on a book about his jail experience and then the afternoon cleaning/cooking/volunteering.

At some point I might decide I need to do something that actually pays money. At that point maybe I try to become Substitute Teacher Tater or Gig Worker Tater. I like the substitute teacher option as I like working with teens, it has flexibility and I get the holidays and summer off.

I will still stay subscribed to Indeed and Glassdoor job alerts. Maybe a job pops up that seems perfect for me and I go back to being some sort of Full Time Employee Tater. Hopefully, in a full time job that has a normal Monday – Friday 9-5 type schedule with limited contact with the public.

At some point, Mrs Tater will retire and then I hope to become Traveler Tater.

The best part of writing a new chapter? It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure book.

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Every End is a Beginning

Regular readers of the blog know that I have been in an unhappy situation. I felt stuck. I was depressed. I knew I needed a change but I wasn’t sure if I was able to make a change. Today, I have news.

I started talking to Mrs. Tater way back in June about the possibility of me leaving my job. I was unhappy before the pandemic. I was even more stressed and unhappy during the time I was working completely from home. I knew then that things would not be great for me when I did return to in-person work. I was correct. Most of what I liked about work was gone. All of what depressed me about work was still there and magnified. I started to feel physically ill at the thought of a new work week. I was depressed. I started going to therapy to deal with it. I knew deep down I would never get right while in this situation.

I had talked to my wife several times about it. I had pretty much given up hope of her being on board with me leaving my job with no landing spot. It is a giant leap of faith for someone to be OK with losing part of the household income for an undetermined amount of time. I wrote up a plan for how i would spend my days and how I would try to spend my “sabbatical” trying to write something that could be profitable. I did admit that I am 99% sure that I will not find a way to make money writing, but at least I would have the opportunity to know for sure. Then there were weeks of nothing. I would occasionally ask about the email and she would say she had not had a chance to consider it. I was losing all hope.

Sunday evening we went for our daily walk. I decided to bring it up one last time as I was already getting more and more stressed out about the end of the weekend. As we walked and talked she surprised me by saying that she agreed that leaving my job was the best thing for me to do. I made sure several times that she was really saying what I thought she was saying. She was telling me to leave my job. I called my kids when we got back to the house and they were both happy and in support of my decision. I texted my brother and sister to tell them. They were also happy and supportive. I told a small circle of my friends. Same story. I guess they all understood how unhappy I was.

So, Monday morning, while feeling like I was going to vomit, I wrote and sent my letter of resignation to my boss and HR. After 25 years with the same organization and years of doing the safe thing I took a leap to the unknown. As of December 12 I will officially have no job. I am taking a chance on myself that I will find the right place for me moving forward and that I have not doomed myself to never finding another job.

Life is too short to be miserable.

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