Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Retirement or Change Part Two

To say I'm getting a bit anxious is an understatement--or maybe it's the four cups of coffee I had this morning.
Whatever it is, I am feeling some twinges about being unemployed. I won't be one of "the very poor". I won't be living in the PT Cruiser and dining on cat food. My lifestyle won't change that much. My work-style will.

From 1968 onward I've worked full time, with breaks for childbirth and various surgeries. Notice I said childbirth, not rearing. I was the major support in the family and after the baby I needed to get back to work--quickly. In fact it was so fast the obstetrician was concerned about me --I'd had a C-section.

After my daughter was born I came to resent my job--I had to leave her to go to it. I worked evenings in the local hospital when she was an infant, so my family life was one day a week and every other weekend. I worked most holidays for the extra money. I really didn't want to advance--to become a head nurse or a supervisor--even though I was offered both positions. I wanted to be home with my little girl. I had to swallow the disappointment and walk from our small apartment to the hospital every afternoon--and back home at night.

Eventually, as Heather began elementary school, I got a job on the day shift and then with the visiting nurses. But by then I'd decided to pursue my degree.  When she was six I was working a full time job, going to college at least one evening a week, volunteering for the PTA and the Cancer Society, and working as a private duty nurse at least one night on the weekend. I was on the working-mother treadmill and I was getting used to the pace.

I stopped seeking a degree with the divorce--lack of money and someone to watch Heather at night. I also stopped the private duty work. Money was tight with no child support but we made it.
After a few years I decided I wanted to go back to my dream of being a writer and I took an adult ed class at the community college--a class on writing your first novel.
And so I embarked on another second job--one that I continue to this day.

In the last decade I've been the Director of Quality Improvement and then Vice President of Nursing of a long term care management company. Even as I got older I still found myself on that treadmill. Not with school, since a degree wouldn't get me any further than I already was. Not as a mother--Heather was grown and on her own. But with job increased responsibility and worry.

Soon I'll be stopping that treadmill. It won't come to a dead stop--I'll be working two days a week for a month. But it will be stopping.

And already I can see myself filling in the spaces with writing and building my writer's platform.

But I still have the twinges.
Twinges of change and going into the unknown.


Blogger B. WHITTINGTON said...

Good luck with your entry into retirement. I write and I would not change a thing. Other than health problems with myself and hubs we've had a good time at being home.
I write, he naps. Our agreement.
You'll love it! Just ease in gently and savor each moment.
Blessings, Barb
Writing: the ups and downs

7:53 AM  
Anonymous EB said...

You make me feel so encouraged, I am retired and look forward to what God has for me in the writing realm.EB

2:20 PM  

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