Friday, January 31, 2014

Some Thoughts on My Retirement!

I made the decision to “retire” in October 2013 when I was not getting well from an upper respiratory infection and had to take time off work to just get better. Radiation takes so much out of you that it leaves that opportunity for every little germ to catch hold and develop into something. There was a lot of conversation between my husband and me during the month of November, and we began planning in December. I would give notice the first of January and end my working days on January 31, 2014.

I wanted a good four weeks to be able to contact and see every one of my clients. This job is not about “folders,” in a file cabinet; it’s about people. Many were sorry to see me make this choice, but no one blamed me for making the choice to choose ME.

The two of us in 1983 when
the ladies at F&M gave me a
baby shower.
My situation is unusual in that I am working for an individual that I began my working career with in February of 1976. (I did have a job before that, but it was in another city and lasted a very short time) Ellen and I worked together at the former Farmers and Merchants Bank. I was a teller and she was a secretary and opened accounts. We are 13 months apart in age, so we were 22 and 21. We have said many times how our time at the bank was like family, something we couldn't see then. Many of our coworkers have passed on, but there’s a unique bond among those of us who remain. Some of us are on Facebook and keep in touch that way. I see them at athletic events. If I needed advice at any time, I could call any one of them.

I quit work to become a stay-at-home-mom and that opened another chapter of my life. Fast forward from 1981 to 2003 when I found myself in a position where I needed health insurance and Ellen had moved up in the world and was a manager for another bank. My interview began with “When can you start?” There was no need for asking the stale questions attempting to determine my honestly and integrity for a job like this. Ellen knew my balancing record, and my old-school values.

The job at this bank did not last long, but it was never about Ellen and me. I knew five weeks into my employment that I didn't want to work for this organization. I left in early 2005, and Ellen left the following year. I can’t even think of a way to describe my feelings. I was ecstatic that she had “escaped” too.

Here we are today
January 2014
She became the Executive Director for the Fairborn Senior Center, which I knew would be a great fit for her. In 2008, she called me to talk to me about a part-time opening in care coordination, but I was not ready to work part-time. However, she encouraged me to get my Social Work license, which I did in October 2008, something I never regretted.

In the summer of 2012, she approached me again as she had someone else leaving. This would be a thirty-hour position and I thought maybe I could do that. So I began on July 25, 2012 as a Social Worker for the Fairborn Senior Center. I enjoyed this job very much, but only planned to work until I turned 62 and could draw Social Security. My husband is older, and I choose time with him.

I never planned on the breast cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2013. Although I have a great prognosis, I decided that again, I choose time over money. I choose to have the freedom to spend more time with my grandchild(ren). I choose to do other things that I love to do, and have the freedom to be more spontaneous.

And so, I end my working career with the same person I began with. Not many people can say that, and certainly not through three separate organizations. She supports my choice and knows that this is hardly goodbye. I will continue to be involved with the Senior Center, as I am a “Senior.” And, Ellen will ALWAYS be my friend, first and foremost.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

A New Thing!

How do I get inspired to write this blog? With “Connection Intersection,” the highest priority is keeping with the mission of people relationships, which over a lifetime can take many, many forms; or of issues relating to “people of a certain age.” I’m being nice about that. I could say Baby-Boomers, but after 45 years of hearing about “us,” I am a little weary of it.

Usually I get an idea and it rattles around in my brain for a while. Sometimes a good long while. Then I start typing and see where my ideas take me. Then I let it “cook” for some time and come back to it. I have a new thought and I want to edit.

On the blog home page I use what I call “Labels,” which are handy if you just want to read about my Fitness Journey, which I admit has been stalled, or my Cancer Journey, which I never had the slightest intention to write. It just happened.

The fastest entry written was "The Circle Will Not Be Broken.” It took twenty minutes to write and publish. I have written about our 40th high school class reunion and I hope to be around to write on the 45th, because there will be OTHER stories. I have shared my opinion on various topics, and I do encourage comments. Then there are just funny things that happen in my life. I just couldn't resist “This is living in a Reality Show.” It’s all true!

As I look towards my retirement, which means cutting back financially for a period of time until I collect Social Security, I have an idea for a new blog. This will NOT be a label, it will be entirely new. I am going to be exploring ideas to save money, within the context of a household of two. It’s all different from when the kids were at home and there were several other kids in the neighborhood in the house too. Our needs are different and our resources are different. However, we can still practice thrift so that we don’t waste here and can enjoy something special over there!

The difference in this blog is that it will be ideas, not coupon-stacking links, but real ideas to use what we have and eliminate waste in all forms. It will explore giving away. It will not be the Cheapskate’s Guide to anything.

I definitely want to encourage ideas and comments from others. I cannot be everywhere at once, although I will do research. I’ll experiment and share my successes and disasters.

It’s about thrift and as I will explain later, thrift does not mean cheap. We have reached the age where we can do with fewer things, but we’re tired of mending and fixing. I do believe in quality.

The difference with this blog is that I will allow Google to advertise on it. I have never wanted that with Connection Intersection, because it just didn't seem right. When a person just clicks on an ad, I get paid, so read, and click away! Haha!

I am still mulling over the title. I have tried to Google “thrift for older adults/retired/seniors” and I get things like insurance and services for seniors. There are many blogs about savings for families and they have some good ideas; but I have found nothing for those of us whose household has shrunk. I want the title to Google accurately, so I want the word THRIFT in it.

Eventually, I will introduce this blog through Connection Intersection, but it will be self-standing. This means if you want to subscribe to it, you will have to do that separately.

Stay tuned and please feel free to comment below, especially if you have an idea for a title for the blog or a subject you have info on, or would like to see explored. Guest blogs are always entertained!