WHY I RETIRED ON FACEBOOK INSTEAD OF FLORIDA
Oh yeah, there is that whole “it takes money thing,” but more than that, it was because I am a definite Type A personality, from childhood to the grave looks like. So here I am in the Midwest, the Heartland of America, living on the curve just off Highway 61 with woods in front of me, pasture behind me, in a little stretch of road called Ricker Hill, not to be confused with the mail I get addressed to “Richer Hill”.
I had just retired for the third time, and was ready to be a full time writer. I had no problem continuing to work a minimum 40-hour week, although doing it all on the computer was really different. There were no casual lunches with peers, no gossip overheard in the women’s restrooms, and no ‘cornered prey’ in the halls at work to tell my old stories too( ignoring their ‘deer in the headlight’ looks. ) Nope, it was me, the computer and the old balding man with the two greyhounds who shares the house with me. Hmmmm, what to do?
As a writer who has content just ‘flow’ freely, there is never a problem with fulfilling my hours writing; but I got lonely. I ventured onto Facebook after prompts from various members of the “Gang of Eleven” (my grandkids). I have to admit, checking up on them and embarrassing them with posts on their sites when their friends, or my grandchildren seem to have ‘inappropriate posts,’ was a great deal of fun. It gave me a sense of fulfillment. I was ‘policing’ their cyber lives thus ensuring their ‘safety and futures’.
Then I was besieged by the withering sense of withdrawal from ‘Adults and Controversy’ which had been a major factor in my life for more than forty years. I ‘friended’ a few, and responded to a few friend posts requests. Lo and behold, I seemed to have no friends who minded if I was in my pajamas. (I always assure everyone I change my pajamas daily whether I need to or not.) Last came the old need that had controlled me the bigger share of my life. The old “Need to be Needed Syndrome.”
NOW I HAVE IT ALL. I can go on my Facebook and enjoy friendly posts, enlightening commentary, political tripe which allows me to delete the opinion with a click of a button, and most of all, my new friends, and some who are old. People I went to grade school with in Oklahoma, friends from my old days in Texas, and high school and college friends, have found me. I found cousins I had “lost for 30 years”and even had a reunion in Texas with them. I have been able to continue my advocacy/counseling for victims of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault, and still worked on writing 15 books, took up photo journalism, and worked an underground mail system for victims. Whew. .
One fun thing has been to meet on Facebook many authors, editors, producers, and the “wanna be” and “will be” authors on their way to fulfilling their dreams. I have had such lively discourses on the Facebook site to the point I now have to send a “warning” post to ‘new friends,” that mine is an eclectic site that reflects ‘all’ my friends: Political (Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Naysayers), Straight and Gay, Liberal and Conservative, Religious, Atheist, Agnostics (Yes there is a difference), Young and ‘mature’. Many are those I met through the years while working in the inner cities with street people, addicts, prostitutes, police officers, legal folks, and just plain about any and everyone. Many I have never met personally, and may never meet in this lifetime.
Now I never lose touch: I continue to make friends on Facebook I never knew before. I am happy and content to be a listening ear, a caring heart and a person who knows that God Don’t Make NO Junk, so we’re all worthy to be heard and loved. And in the interest of full disclosure got caught up by a couple of n’er do wells out to scam me and created a false Facebook site having stolen my profile, pictures and siphoning off friends until I caught it and sic’d Facebook on it.
Therefore, if at my retirement I was given a gift, I believe this one, Facebook, would be the best. It keeps me engaged with people, and people have been my life. It keeps me in touch with my grandkids now scattered from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio. Daily I know they are okay. It allows me to keep my sense of humor, and to keep my mind “sorta” sharp.
So if you have been mulling over where to retire, just remember you can retire anywhere, but for me, RETIRING ON FACEBOOK, tops the list.