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    What is important to you?

    This is the question I've asked to myself.
    Who lives by yourself or alone? I do. since my injury.

    I came to USA in 1996. My initial plan was staying here for one year and learn English. Tow month later, I got a car accident and became C-5/6. complete.

    Since then, I lived alone. New years day, thanksgiving day, Christmas day... I've always stayed alone and eat a TV dinner. Didn't get any financial support from others. I invested all money I had and studied CS as a second BS. Got a good job as a software engineer in 2000. Got a Long Term Care insurance from the first company and the insurance company started to pay to care givers. I was very fortunate to have this insurance and am still using it.

    Got a MS degree. work. got a green card (permanent residency). keep a job with decent salary.... Now, I think I've achieved some degree of success. But.... I am not sure where my life is.

    What if I take one year of break/vacation? What if I go back to my home country and spend time with niece, nephew, friends, sisters, and family?

    I am not rich at all, but in worst cast, I may be able to live with SSDI if i don't get a job after I come back.

    What is important to you for your life? How much money do we need?? I just want to hear about your point of view toward the life. Can you share it?
    (I should have posted it on Life section, but started to write it after reading "Money" posted below. )
    Last edited by JK; 27 May 2013, 6:54 PM.

    #2
    Food and shelter are important to me. SSDI might not cut it. Can you get a sabbatical type leave?
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

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      #3
      What is important to me is being happy. I worked many years and there came a point where I wanted to try something different. I made a plan of what I needed to do so I would be ok financially and then I quit my job. When I quit I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do but eventually I decided I wanted to go back to school. I love being in school, it's a lot of fun and I've met some really fine young people. I mainly went to school for the experience, I may not get a job in my field (teaching) but I'm not worried, I'm sure I'll find something. And then who knows maybe I'll get married. In any case I dont need a lot - I have a house, a car and just enough stuff to make me happy. I'm content with where I'm at, I just wish time wouldn't move so fast.
      A dolla makes me holla, honey boo boo! - borrowed from Honey boo boo child

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        #4
        To me if you have food and a place to stay warm figured out, (and a few toys) then its all about how you live and how you feel. I think that having human contact is super important to us humans, but I know people who hermit up, and I have done way to much of that myself. So I guess what is important to me is human contact and friends. Do you ever call your family back in the old country?
        T12L1 Incomplete Still here This is the place to be 58 years old

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          #5
          Thanks all for the reply.
          wtf. I did similar things to what you did. After working for several years, I decided to go back to school because I enjoyed staying at school. I still think I enjoy being at school. When I went to PhD program, my goal was just enjoying the study without thinking about future too much. In fact, going to PhD at my age/career might not be the best choice, but I thought I could enjoy the school work more than work for a company.
          Anyway, I enjoyed the school and did well but that were not good enough for PhD "student". After two years, I decided to get a job again and make money. (So, I would not be available for sabbatical type leave because of my length of employment at the current company) Someday, yes, I would like to take more classes for fun and may teach at a community college....

          For food & shelter...... I think I can afford food and home for myself because I think I don't need much, but my friends at my home country said "it all depends on what kind of food you want to eat.. So, the definition of 'much' is very different" Well.... that is also true.

          flying. I call my family & friends, but it is not same if you stay too far for too long time. I agree that human contact & friends are important. Probably, that is why I consider going back for awhile.
          Last edited by JK; 28 May 2013, 8:47 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by JK View Post
            Thanks all for the reply.
            wtf. I did similar things to what you did. After working for several years, I decided to go back to school because I enjoyed staying at school. I still think I enjoy being at school. When I went to PhD program, my goal was just enjoying the study without thinking about future too much. In fact, going to PhD at my age/career might not be the best choice, but I thought I could enjoy the school work more than work for a company.
            Anyway, I enjoyed the school and did well but that were not good enough for PhD "student". After two years, I decided to get a job again and make money. (So, I would not be available for sabbatical type leave because of my length of employment at the current company) Someday, yes, I would like to take more classes for fun and may teach at a community college....

            For food & shelter...... I think I can afford food and home for myself because I think I don't need much, but my friends at my home country said "it all depends on what kind of food you want to eat.. So, the definition of 'much' is very different" Well.... that is also true.

            flying. I call my family & friends, but it is not same if you stay too far for too long time. I agree that human contact & friends are important. Probably, that is why I consider going back for awhile.
            First I want to say. You have accomplished a lot for a c5-6. My hats off to yah.

            Second. Don't quit what you're doing. You're doing great. I think you need to look at finding new friends and support system. Because it's been to long since you been home. The family and friends have moved on with their lives without you there. It won't be the same. They will have other interest. They won't have time to fit you in like you wish. Sure they still love you.

            I think your best move would be a vacation home. This way your family and friends can all share some quality time together and then get back to there regular routine.

            Comment


              #7
              To fix SCI, not necessarily for myself.

              Comment


                #8
                I agree, you have accomplished a great deal for anyone in their lifetime. It did make me sad to hear that you spend your holidays alone. Some people like solitude, but mostly as others here noted, we crave connection and direct contact.

                Figuring out what is most important to you is a big step and it might involve taking some risks. I don't think there is any amount of money that could replace the people I love. Perhaps taking some time to go back home and reconnect could be a very important move, even if it means cutting back financially.

                For me, material things are not so important. I have lived both a middle class life and managed without the benefit of consistent electricity and water. Of course I prefer greater comfort when it is available. It is most important for me to make some kind of tangible difference that improves other people's lives. I want to contribute to social justice causes that I care about, and I want that to be my life's work. Because my body doesn't work so well, it is important to me to lead an active 'life of the mind,' so to speak and I would ultimately like to do this by getting my masters degree, perhaps a PhD. In the meantime, I try to use the time I have each day to learn as much as I can and reach out in a positive way.
                In our world constituted of differences of all kinds, it is not the disabled, but society at large that needs special education...to become a genuine society for all. -Frederic Major, Former UNESCO Director General

                Comment


                  #9
                  Happy is waking up in the morning and not seeing my name in the obits .

                  I guess I've lived a pretty full life, all things considered. Had some success, some failures. Like others have said, I have food & shelter and some discretionary income for toys and travel. Good enough for me.

                  JK, I agree with NikkiMaya, don't spend your holidays alone! Volunteer someplace, like a food bank or senior center, join a church or other community group and spend time with them -- on holidays and other days too. Being alone sucks! And it is not necessary if you don't want it to be.

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                    #10
                    What is important to me because I think I have to lose some weight and eat, drink and watch movies, but most importantly, a significant health

                    Comment


                      #11
                      TheRainman & NikkiMaya. Thanks for the recognition
                      Leif, chris-k, & terrareklam. Thanks for the input.

                      For the last 16 months, it wasn't easy but it wasn't too bad except the first 2~3 years. I still do my best, but I don't have much life. Some people may think I work too much, but as a quad & as a person who speak second language, I have to spend much time and focus on what I am doing to do better job. But this attitude sometimes makes me hard and make me think about my life as getting older.

                      TheRainman, what I learned from my life is people cannot have everything. To get another thing, I need to quit something or let something go. I think it is matter of choices instead of quitting. Nevertheless, as a person, it is not easy to let something, which I currently have, go for other thing I may or may not get. I am still not brave enough and this make me still hesitating.
                      You also said " It won't be the same". Yes, sadly, that will be absolutely true. So, I try not to expect anything from anybody. (I think, this attitude is very dry and sometimes sad. )

                      Thanks all for your great feedback.
                      NikkiMaya: "Perhaps taking some time to go back home and reconnect could be a very important move, even if it means cutting back financially. " Yes, I really need this kind of understanding/support.
                      Last edited by JK; 30 May 2013, 8:44 PM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by JK View Post
                        TheRainman & NikkiMaya. Thanks for the recognition
                        Leif, chris-k, & terrareklam. Thanks for the input.

                        For the last 16 months, it wasn't easy but it wasn't too bad except the first 2~3 years. I still do my best, but I don't have much life. Some people may think I work too much, but as a quad & as a person who speak second language, I have to spend much time and focus on what I am doing to do better job. But this attitude sometimes makes me hard and make me think about my life as getting older.

                        TheRainman, what I learned from my life is people cannot have everything. To get another thing, I need to quit something or let something go. I think it is matter of choices instead of quitting. Nevertheless, as a person, it is not easy to let something, which I currently have, go for other thing I may or may not get. I am still not brave enough and this make me still hesitating.
                        You also said " It won't be the same". Yes, sadly, that will be absolutely true. So, I try not to expect anything from anybody. (I think, this attitude is very dry and sometimes sad. )

                        Thanks all for your great feedback.
                        NikkiMaya: "Perhaps taking some time to go back home and reconnect could be a very important move, even if it means cutting back financially. " Yes, I really need this kind of understanding/support.
                        There's no doubt you're brave enough. Your past accomplishment proves that. I think your gut is telling you what you're hoping for might not be there. And if it doesn't workout, it could be much worse.

                        I just don't think the risk is worth risking. I would try a vacation home first and feel it out.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          JK,

                          Integrating into American life and culture is not easy. I have worked with a lot of people who came here from other countries to build new lives and I have seen how difficult it can be. I also lived abroad twice, and had to learn a new language to function in one of the countries where I was living. I didn't even live away for that long and it was tough. I have immense respect for people that choose to immigrate. It is a daily struggle to complete work and education, adjust, and deal with life away from friends, family and everything that you knew to be normal and right.

                          A lot of people I helped integrate eventually saved money and went back home periodically for vacations. One of my friends moved back home to the Balkans for about five years because she missed her family so much. It is like being caught between two worlds.

                          I hear your struggle in trying to decide what to do and your frustration at having to let something go either way. I hope you can come to a decision that achieves some kind of balance and that feels right for you. All the best.
                          In our world constituted of differences of all kinds, it is not the disabled, but society at large that needs special education...to become a genuine society for all. -Frederic Major, Former UNESCO Director General

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Good question. I have no idea, I sort of live sporadically. Even work is sporadic now, I tutor here and there but I live like there's no tomorrow. I don't think I'm going to have kids and get married, so I think I'll just roam the planet for awhile. I have a TEFL and no fear of going places alone. I guess this is kinda it? I don't know. Been thinking a lot about it lately. I do know for sure I don't want to go back home right now.

                            Maybe I think because my life expectancy has been shortened, I should probably see and experience what I've always wanted too before I leave unexpectedly. It beats living at my moms or living alone and doing the same shit every day the "routine" was making me feel like a caged eagle missing out on something I damn near lost. Enjoying actual life.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by TheRainman View Post
                              I think your gut is telling you what you're hoping for might not be there. And if it doesn't workout, it could be much worse.
                              You are exactly right. My gut tells me it won't be same as what I am hoping for, but at the same time, it would be worth to go and build some 'life' there instead of keep thinking about it. If I don't try, what benefit do I get? Probably, I will have $100 instead of $50, but with my life style, I may not really need more than $50, which I may already have. Only hard part is knowing if $50 is enough.

                              Originally posted by NikkiMaya View Post
                              A lot of people I helped integrate eventually saved money and went back home periodically for vacations. ...... It is like being caught between two worlds. ........ I hope you can come to a decision that achieves some kind of balance and that feels right for you. All the best.
                              Frankly, I am not sure if I can save money more here. I get more salary, but pay more tax (compare to the country where I came from)
                              Yes, it seems I am standing on the boundary between two, which could be good or bad at the same time. Thanks for the wish!

                              Originally posted by Imight View Post
                              I live like there's no tomorrow.
                              Maybe I think because my life expectancy has been shortened, I should probably see and experience what I've always wanted too before I leave unexpectedly.
                              Enjoying actual life.
                              I think my problem is thinking too much for tomorrow. Because of my personality & how I was educated, I think I am too responsible, too be prepared to enjoy actual life. I feel like I should get out from my own standard, especially when I also think about life expectancy you just described.

                              Thanks all for the great feedback!

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