Regardless of how humble we become over the decades, I think inside of every one of us, it’s there. That desire, no matter how great or small, to be able to say, “Yes, I earned this.”
Earning the golden years
Until I reached the age in which I could finally retire, I spent my entire life in a small farming community outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Well, except for the four years I attended Georgia Tech University. It was during this time that I met my wife, an Atlanta area native, and promised if she moved back home with me, eventually, we would make our way back to the big city.
I had waited to live like this since I graduated college. There were several days throughout my career the dream of living in downtown Atlanta was the only reason I found my way to my office.
I am proud to say that every 55 hour work week during the last thirty years, all of the saving and going without to plan for the future, was well worth it.
I don’t want to give the wrong idea. We lived good and spent well, far better than most anyway. But my wife and I had always made sure we were saving for the years when this time would come. We were city slickers now. The sound had a nice tone to it.
I had spent the last thirty years working as a physician in our small town. Sure, there were plenty of job opportunities elsewhere. But, I was able to open my wife’s eyes to the fact that our small little town was the perfect place to raise a family. In our community, there was no such thing as a stranger.
Everyone not only knew who you were, they also knew your family’s story. Once my wife saw how simple life was where I had been raised, she instantly fell in love with the small town. I am sure I could have made much more in a bigger city while I was still working, but we would have missed out on sharing life with the friends and family my wife grew to love.
Our children grew up safe, received a great education, and both my son and daughter returned to our small town after they had finished college.
Learning a new way to live
Although Atlanta is a huge place, our condo is in a building very similar to the small town we were accustomed to. Everyone knows each other by name. We are familiar with our neighbor’s routines and enjoy the life we have with one another.
Regardless if we are spending an afternoon at the pool, starting the day with a morning workout, or heading for a walk through our part of town, everyday we run into people we are starting to consider family.
I’ll admit, I began growing a little anxious before the move. I had heard stories. I read articles. I knew we would be close to things I had only seen in movies or on television. I choose not to let that bother me though. I think you could find negativity in any small town or big city. It all depends on what you are looking for.
Jeffrey Stevens is an influencer marketing pro with brownboxbranding.com who is passionate about building authentic relationships and helping businesses connect with their ideal online audience. He keeps his finger on the pulse of the ever-evolving digital marketing world by writing on the latest marketing advancements and focuses on developing customized blogger outreach plans based on industry and competition.