|Enjoy this beautiful bluejay I photographed in our backyard a few years ago.|
I've wanted to retire for quite some time. I hesitated because of memories of past experiences that haven't faded. I worked for several years at Sears in the late sixties and early seventies. I was promoted to department manager of draperies and linens. At the time, I didn't have the confidence to feel comfortable in that position. I chose to walk away from the job. My self esteem plummeted.
I didn't do well without something to do. Fortunately, a neighbor invited me to a class at the YMCA. I know we took a pool exercise class and perhaps also did exercises in the gym. In those classes, I met racquetball players and runners. Soon, I was playing racquetball, running and feeling good about myself, busy and enjoying life again.
I worked part time jobs and in 1978, Jared was born. I had never felt like I would be a good mother until a grade school boy, Jim, in our neighborhood started coming over after school everyday. He stood at my elbow while I worked in the kitchen. We bonded as we chatted while I made dinner or folded laundry. His sisters, Janice and Jennifer, spent time at our house too, pretty regularly. Knowing they chose to hang out with me boosted my motherly instincts.
Lon and I decided to start a family. Of course, being a mother to our son, Jared, was a joy. Lon was a wonderful father and I got the hang of mothering in no time.
My parents were reliable and, of course, willing babysitters. That made it easy for me to take dental assisting classes at Blackhawk Tech. After graduating, I worked for a general dentist, an orthodontist and finally at the office where I remained for 28 years.
As I mentioned, I considered retiring several years ago, but feared I would struggle again as I had in the past.
One day in September this year, I realized I really needed to retire. I gave it much thought and informed my boss on October 1st that I was ready to retire ASAP but would work until the day before Thanksgiving if necessary. I contacted a previous coworker/ friend and she agreed to work a few days a week for me until Thanksgiving.
With more time to myself than I've had in years, I joined the Y again. I've taken several classes already and have even played racquetball. I'm excited to get back into exercising, something I truly enjoy.
Thankfully and happily, I'm not afraid of retirement anymore.