Dear Abby, You started out well with your advice today to the 39 year old who has been in a hated job for 15 years and wants to become an elementary school teacher.

“You are not incarcerated,” you began which was great, but your answers too often feel terse and/or unfinished. I expect to read, “Take your medicine, kid, and shut up. Next!” as you spy the next letter in a pile of thousands. More than once in the last months since I wrote about a stepfather’s death (Archives March 2013), I’ve mumbled under my breath at your short, breezy answers.

So here I am to help with my grandmotherly time and advice no one wants to hear and you certainly didn’t ask for.

Dear Potential Teacher, are you sure you want to be a teacher? Have you taken career tests that match you to your best potential? Have you volunteered in a school and worked with children? If not, please do.

Having said that, get off your draggy butt and quit looking at your 39 year old face as though it’s today’s old. It’s not, and it’s getting younger. Haven’t you heard any of the controversy about medicare and the draggy butts of my generation who are your parents? Washington D.C. is talking about age 70 for retirement so prepare yourself.

An aside here: Not every old person is trying to live off the back of your generation. I’m believing I can be frugal enough with my one dress and two pairs of shoes to live the one day to 30 more years I may have, so let’s get back to the real issue: your happiness.

Let’s say you have to squeeze those prep courses into life wherever you can and it takes you 5 years to be certified in whatever you ultimately decide is best for you. That will make you 44. Throw in an extra year for age 45 because you need time to look for a job, too.

All right. Now here’s the important part my young friend. Subtract 45 from 70. You get 25. You have a good 25 to 30 years ahead of you to work, given the present working world conditions. Besides, if a heart calls, it should be listened to. Start looking for a school today and send me a graduation notice.

Dear Abby, You told her to do it. What I wrote is only a different answer than yours because it’s removed from the dream state of desire and fantasy and put into today’s career realities. (Yes, at this moment I feel like I know everything.) Potential Teacher needed a strong hand and yours went limp.

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11 Responses to Dear Abby: Switch Your Career Path

  1. Haha. I vote Dear Abby sign off and I believe you are a much better replacement. You have the aptitude for the job.

  2. souldipper says:

    Yah, WW – I agree with your comment. It’s a lot better being able to pick and chose our “loving observations”. We, of an elder statesperson status, know our specialties. But I like the help you gave Abby…wonder if she’d let you pick the ones to take off her hands.

  3. I’m sure you get the humor in now that I’ve got something to say, no one wants to listen. But, really no one was really interested years ago, either!

  4. gageier says:

    Aus den heutigen sonnigen BAD BODENDORF an der Ahr kommen ganz liebe Grüße geflogen und wünsche dir diebe Rebecca ein schönes und glückliches Wochenende mit ganz vielen lieben Grüßen Klaus.

  5. Dilip says:

    Interesting and useful too!
    Many thanks 🙂

  6. As I get older it seems interesting and useful are mighty complimentary. Thank you for offering them.

  7. Smaktakula says:

    Don’t get me started on advice columnists in general. It’s not even the original “Abby” anymore, is it?

    39 isn’t old any more. In ages gone by a person could expect to be both a grandparent and five years in the grave by that age, but as you point out (and Congress is noticing), people are living longer. My mom got her college degree in her 40s. A buddy of mine, though no one thought he could do it (and I have to admit, I was one of those people), became an LA County cop at 42 years old. While we’re at it, that 64 year old just swam from Cuba, and I read recently that the oldest professionally-ranked tennis player is 94. My grandmother is 91 years old, and she still drives down to my house every day (she lives just up the street) to play with my kids.

    • I think the new Abby is the old Abby’s daughter, but it’s not worth looking up. I agree about the change in our view of age. Your friends and family sound like people worth learning from. Locally, there was an article in the paper today of man, Larry Clouse, age 74 who just finished biking from Canada to his home in Mesa, Arizona. He kept a blog I might check.

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