When we are in high school and college we are studying for the profession that we have chosen for our life’s work. It might take some people 4 years of college and some have to get a master’s or doctorate to do the job they love.
I was lucky that my training was just shy of a year to become a cosmetologist, but in that career you never stop learning. We have training several times a year to keep up with the changing trends.
When the computers became common place in the home and I got my first one and then started to write for the Rural Messenger I was very happy I had taken typing in high school. I can never thank my typing teacher, Mr. Martin, enough for having the patience to teach me how to type.
When I decided that I needed to quit standing on my feet for 10 hours a days, I got a job as an Administrative Assistant and again his training on a typewriter and the computer knowledge helped.
My last job before retiring was at Wesley Towers Retirement Community, where I worked in the Activity department and was also the medical driver. I studied and got my CDL and drove the 22 passenger bus on excursions with the residents.
During my time there I should have been quizzing the retired residents both in the Towers high rise and the duplexes on how to be retired. But being retired at home and being retired there are totally different. At the Towers there is always something going on or somewhere to go on the bus.
When you retire and are at home 24/7, it is a different story. We all worked towards the goal of retiring but none of us had a clue what it would entail once we decided, or our bodies decided for us, that it was time to retire.
There should be a book out there that we could buy that would lay out the steps you need to take and what you need to know before you retire. Is there a Retirement 101 Handbook out there? Or is there a course at the local Jr. College or College to teach you how to retire and maintain your sanity.
Here are a few chapters I hope are in the Retirement 101 Handbook.
Chapter 1: Internal Alarm Clock. (How to break the habit of getting up at the time you always did.)
It has been a little over a year since I retired and I still wake up at the time that I always did to get ready for work. When I look at the clock every morning there it is in bright red numbers: 6:30 am. Is there somewhere you can go and get the internal time clock reset in your brain? Surely there is a button or switch that can be thrown and the time set an hour or two later.
Chapter 2: What Month or Day is it? (How do you learn what day of the week it is?)
Is there a time and date button to push in my brain in the same area with the alarm clock that will allow your brain to remember what month and day it is? We don’t take the paper that would help with remembering the day of the week. I have to mark off each day on the calendar that hangs on the fridge door, to keep me up on what day it is. But I still have to ask when I write a check.
Chapter 3: Getting Ready (or Not) for the Day. (I can’t remember that I don’t have to dress for work in the morning.)
When I get up I get dressed in the clothes I laid out the night before and then I go into the bathroom to do my makeup and hair. Usually I am finished putting on my make-up and getting ready to pick out which color wig or style I want to wear that day when it hits me again that I don’t have anywhere to go. So now I am ready for a day of being retired. At least I look good for the computer, I guess, and any impromptu trips to town.
Chapter 4: What is the Hurry for Breakfast? (I wander into the kitchen at the same time I always did when I was going to work.)
I fix my breakfast, a glass of fat free milk and Ovaltine. Now that I have gotten ready for a day that I don’t have anywhere to go, and have had my breakfast at 7:30 a.m., what am I going to do with myself for the rest of the day?
Chapter 5: Nowhere to Go? (So now what do I do with the rest of the day since it is only 8:00 a.m.?)
For the next year and a half I guess I do have something to do but I haven’t learned yet that I don’t need makeup and my hair fixed and dressed to the nines to sit at the computer and write.
Chapter 6: What are You Going to do With Your Time? (Retired people tell me; when they retired they are busier than when they were working.)
Most are busy doing volunteer work for the church or community. Since I didn’t belong to many clubs and the word has not got out yet that I am retired, I don’t get calls to volunteer. But I still have jobs: 1.writing for the Messenger every week, 2.teaching the Life Story Writing class at the Towers 3.driving the bus, now and then, for Wesley Towers.
The 4th job is writing a book. The book will contain a lot of my short stories and a history about my home town of Mullinville. The history will cover the little town from the time it started in 1884 to present day. It will cover all the businesses through the years and my short stories will relate to them.
Well, a temporary change in my life since I started this story, I went back to work driving the residents to the doctor at the Towers three days a week. So for a few weeks I was part time retired, which is a little easier than full time. At least I knew what day it was and what I was going to do with my day.
But that was temporary; it was to be 2 weeks and I was there 7 weeks. I helped them out while they were short handed. There is a new hire that joined the Activity Director and she took over the three days of driving.
Now I will work with the new girl and help her get her CDL for the driving part of the test so she can get her license. Once she passes the written part then we can start to work on the driving. But that won’t take long to get her ready I am sure. She really wants to get it and is a good driver.
Now I am retired again (mostly). Where is the Retirement 101 handbook to help me find my way in this confusing world of retirement? Can someone please send it to me or tell me where to find it?! To contact Sandy: [email protected]