I was listening to one of my NPR podcasts and Maggie Smith was being interviewed. As most of you may know she is famous for her rendering of Lady Violet, the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey--a woman born into aristocracy. The interviewer mentioned that one of his favorite quotes of hers from the series was: "Wh-what is a week-end?" Of course this is because she hasn't worked a day in her life and all days are the same, I suppose. But then that quote really resonated with me!!
I retired recently and it has given me a whole new perspective on weekends, so to speak. Rather, I now have 7 day weekends! Yipee!
I really thought I would have to work till I was 70 or till I just passed out on the job and they carried me out in a box. Maybe it is that nurse button inside of me that I have to work to save the world and everyone in it. Also partly the nurse inside of me that I must serve everyone else before I can take care of myself.
I had wanted to be a nurse since I was a little kid as I have detailed in a previous blog- NURSES CALL THE SHOTS
I have been working as a nurse for 40+ years, but I started the labor force when I was just a kid! My dad was a professor and somehow he decided that he would have his kids mimeograph and collate his class syllabus, about 176+ pages. Perhaps to prevent that "idle mind" stuff and make extra money. I am sure few of you have every heard of a mimeograph or ditto machine or any copying machine before Xerox. My mother would type up the stencils and these could be used for years to print with the mimeograph if handled carefully. Definitely a fine art. Had to watch the ink, etc. We also would print and collate his sermons for 1/2 cent a piece, which he sold for 10 cents at his meetings. We preferred his shortest sermon, "Secrets of a Happy Marriage" which had only 7 pages compared to one of the more theological ones with 15 pages. And we could gather those pages up quick!
That was just the beginning of many other jobs. Grade school janitor in 7th and 8th grade. Then on to kitchen cook and dishwasher, nurses aide, teachers aide, secretary, yada yada yada.The list goes on. "9 to 5"s been my theme song for years. (but there were a lot of 11-7 and 3-11's) I started thinking that I have been "working" for 55 years, when am I going to
"stop livin' at work and workin' at living!"
The more I thought about it, the more and more that sounded sooooo good. I don't need a zillion dollars. I don't need day-loads of stress. I don't need all the anxiety. I don't need the neck and back ache from focusing on the computer and cradling the phone. I don't need the weekly reports of minutia. I don't need the pressure and negative energy drain of the job.
I DO NEED TO FOCUS ON LIVING!!
I DO NEED TO TAKE CARE AND NURTURE MYSELF!!
I hit the "escape" button and haven't looked back!!
"Retirement, a time to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, where you want to do it, and, how you want to do it."