It is another very long Wednesday. However, my online Korean practice class has been canceled due to technical difficulties. I therefore opted to stay late at work to mark two batches of quizzes.
A thunder storm broke loose as I was working in my office. Fortunately, a kind and helpful staff member of our department lent me an umbrella for the walk home. The help and kindness got passed around, as I just gave my old kettle to one of our residents in our residential association. Obviously, I am at home now and he was at the door a minute ago.
I’ll have errands to run and more school work to finish tomorrow, so I was relieved to have the chance to get some of the school stuff done tonight. I also have time for writing some messages related to the Japan excursion in August, and my duties with KOTESOL in July.
Several students visited me today, as they have been doing every day since last week. They are catching up with overdue tests and assignments, though a few are inquiring about scores they have received.
There was one extraordinary visitor. V, the Italian guy, has been very friendly with me lately, and popping by to chat. I overheard him talking with a colleague and he was saying he has a job opportunity in another country. He came by my office to tell me more about it, and explain that he still had to make up his mind. He may take off by early summer if he decides it is the best thing to do.
He is unsure, though, particularly because he is in a very secure and privileged position where he is at right now. The thing is, though, that he has been in this country for several years and a change might do him good. It is risky to make the switch and head off to a new country to start over. For one thing, his leaving would likely break the relationship with this employer and put him in their bad books after he has been their favorite son for a long time. That is especially so because he would be pulling out of his present contract early, if he left, and breaking the employer’s rules about giving proper notice.
I think he is young enough and has a good enough track record that he will land on his feet wherever he ends up. He is smart, well educated and very sociable.
For me, it is quite different because I am much older and nearing what is generally accepted as “retirement age”. I need to save money for my old age. It is more of a struggle to keep a steady decent income coming in. I must secure a place to live. I must be prepared in case of ill-health through my old age. Also, I no longer have parents around who can shelter me during period of transitions, making it very costly to be lingering without income for long. V, on the other hand, can fall back on his parents’ support at least with respect to finding shelter should he need it.
I’ll never have enough money for retirement because I started saving so late in life. Plus, I like to do some living now in the present because the future is unknown. I don’t know how much more “future” I have left. It is said to think that some of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances worked hard and had many plans, but did not make it to retirement age. Regardless, home-owning, health care, private transportation and other basic aspects of life have become so expensive that saving is futile. I know I may have to give up this carefree prosperous life that allows me so much opportunity for travel and adventure and settle to live out the rest of my existence on meager income. I think I am building a reserve that can allow me to secure housing as I continue to work and pull in an income, and I will probably resettle in Canada, though I have reflected on settling somewhere more affordable like Costa Rica or the Philippines. I hope that I will at least be able to do volunteer work that permits travel with shelter, and new experiences. If that is the case, at least I will have done a lot of travel, stored some memories and kept lots of mementos. I would happily accept the situation, and put my body and soul into writing and activism, which would be very fulfilling and interesting, anyway. This positive thinking project is to give me a perspective to enjoy life and reap the benefits wherever I am and whatever the lifestyle.