It's that time again!!! Unwritten and some 1000 other blogs participated last year, and this year looks to be even bigger! Just like last year, I've opened up the blog to host 26 fabulous writers, with each day of the challenge representing the letters of the alphabet from A-Z. I've asked each writer to focus on something that is personal to them, so we can learn more about each other.
Please check out some of the other blogs in the challenge here:
R is for...Retirement
by TJ Marshall
The day after my high school graduation, I woke up to a very stern father staring down at me. With blurry eyes and a fuzzy head, I sat up in my bed and stretched, yawning away the sleep that still lingered.
“Okay, I’m up.” I said, expecting my father to walk back to the living room and continue whatever he usually did in the morning. Instead, he stayed; standing like a behemoth, with narrowed eyes as if daring me to move.
“What is it?” I was a bit worried by this time, thinking I may have been caught in one of my many misdeeds. Although my ceiling fan cooled my room, sweat still found a way to bead against my skin.
He didn’t say a word, only pointed at my lap where five brochures had magically appeared. I picked them up and read the headings: Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Coast Guard.
Finally, my father spoke, “You need a ride?”
At the time, I was bewildered and a bit upset that my father wanted me to join the military, and expected me to do it immediately. But if it hadn’t been for his (oh-so-subtle) hint, I may not be the person I am today.
That event took place twenty-four years ago.
Since then, I’ve served in the Army, and for the most part, I’ve loved it. It gave me experience, financial stability for my family, and the knowledge that I can do anything I put my mind to. As the years passed, though, I’ve found myself having more and more difficulty keeping up with the youngsters who join.
So, with my head held high and honor intact, I recently submitted my paperwork to retire from theArmy at the end of March 2014.
With that submission, an old foe appeared, one I hadn’t thought of in over two decades – Uncertainty. My mind is plagued with it: What do I do next? How do I make that happen? What should I do if my plan fails? But it all bears down to: how do I take care of my children after I get out?
Fortunately, I do have a plan. I actually have more than one, along with a myriad of contingencies for those if they don’t work out right. I’ve spent countless hours in one briefing after the next, learning how to prepare, and have more scheduled for the coming months. My calendar is full of job fairs, work seminars and resume classes. I’ve bookmarked so many job market websites, I’ve had to create a new folder to hold them all.
Despite the briefings, every mile walked at job fairs, and the countless hours spent browsing the internet; retirement still remains a frightening uncertainty. It’s a nagging, slightly demented, psychopath who whispers disaster in my ear, as it laughs at my futile attempts of preparedness.
Some days, I think it would be nice to wake up with my father standing over me, brochures in hand, and offering a ride.
TJ Marshall is first and foremost a father. His two youngest girls act as his motivation, muse and at times, proofreader. He is preparing to self-publish his first novel titled, Finder Tome, due to be released in June 2013. Most days, when not at work, he can be found in front of his laptop, arguing with one character or another about the next scene he plans to write.