I was 25 years old when I started working at ExecuTrain as a computer trainer. I was tasked with teaching adults about how to use Windows, Microsoft products, and other such things. After working there for about 3 months, our network administrator left and my boss said, “Hey Michelle. You said you like technical things, right? Well, here’s our network. Take care of it!” Continue reading
I’m gonna be an artist when I grow up.
This is the answer I would have given to that age-old question that adults always ask children. I loved to make things out of paper and paint and wood and clay. I didn’t necessarily like coloring books, but I loved art materials. My first memory of Kindergarten is of making a scribble picture on construction paper and then coloring in the created spaces with crayons. Continue reading
The lack of a clear career path kept me from following through and going to college. At first, I wanted to be a clothing designer but I had none of the natural skills to make this work. I thought about being a veterinarian because I loved animals, but I couldn’t get excited about the necessary years of schooling. Continue reading
Would you believe that while growing up I wanted to be a housewife and mother? I lived in a wonderful place with a group of stay-at-home moms and housewives. They made this sound like such a fulfilling, relaxing, and happy life. This was in the fifties and women that I knew didn’t work out of the home. We lived in an Ozzie and Harriet atmosphere. Continue reading
When I was a little kid, I always wanted to be a teacher. I loved the idea of imparting my wisdom to others and knowing more about things than my students did. I always looked up to my teachers and wanted that admiration as well. As I got older, I decided there was no way I was going to be able to teach little kids. I love little kids, but their goofiness can get tiresome. Middle school kids are too hormone riddled to handle and high school kids are too close to adults and many show teachers no respect. So where did that leave me? Continue reading
I thought my time for “starting over” had passed. That idea turned out not to be true. At the end of April, I went back to work. I decided to re-evaluate what I was doing. Retirement was great and yet I felt the need to fill some gaps. This time, I chose a completely new field. It was the right thing to do. My work was going well. It was time to stop the drain on my retirement funds and to add a new purpose to my life.
I quit my job, my career, that activity that defined me as a person for 30 years. Since I’m over 55, I guess that means that I’m “retired”.
But what DOES that mean? I was doing the responsible thing by sticking to my “chosen” path for so long. Retirement sounds like my grandma who played Canasta with the ladies every Tuesday afternoon.
For the last two decades, I’ve sacrificed my energy to a career that was dependable, reliable, and safe.
My aha moment came many weeks, months, after my retirement last year. I realized it after 56 years of working as a paralegal/legal secretary for the same firm my boss retired and the office closed. It is hard to break old habits, like cleaning at night and on weekends, never having any free time without feeling guilty, and being able to have some free time for myself. My aha moment came when one day many months later I realized, while I was on a road trip with a friend, that I didn’t have any real-time constraints other than my family needing me to come back for things such as cleaning, cooking, driving grandkids around, you know, the usual. We were driving along and I thought aha, I am on my own at this moment and don’t have to go to work. No one was expecting me to get out a will, do divorce papers, real estate documents, correspondence, and the list goes on. Continue reading
I don’t remember ever being told that I needed to get a job, but when Lisa was 16, she had a job, therefore, because she was my hero, I had to also get a job at 16. It also followed, that because she worked at Larson’s Family Restaurant, that I had to work there as well.
When I was a little girl, I always wanted to swim well. I took lessons at the beach. I had to forge my permission slip and promise not to tell Dad because he was deathly afraid of drowning. I scraped my nose trying to dive and almost drown trying to tread water. This was not going well.