Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Health, Wealth and Retirement

Wow, this picture was taken about this time last year! It has been quite a year to say the least!  We were living in an Apartment in Layton, Utah when this was taken. I am NOT an apartment dweller...so, shortly after this was taken I made the decision to sell my condo on Okaloosa Island (my originally planned retirement destination) and buy a home here in Ogden.

I absolutely love Ogden.  It is very family friendly, and the scenery is incomparable.  It doesn't seem to matter what season it is, there is always something beautiful to look at here.  I hadn't worked since coming to Utah in June of 2013, and was enjoying my retirement.  However,  several incidents led me to look for a job here.  What an education.  It is very difficult for a 67-year-old woman to find a job in Utah!  Anywhere in Utah!  One of the quirks about Utah is that it isn't particularly job friendly for women...kinda behind the times on that.

The first job I managed to land was with a telemarketing group ...aauugghh! I'm definitely not designed for that!  In addition, most of the people working there were very young and very, very involved in Comic Con...  I really didn't know much about that until my experience there...geesh, these people are downright cultish about that stuff.  Needless to say, that didn't last long.

Then, there was a job fair for a large grocery chain here.  They were opening a new Marketplace type of store and the concept impressed me.  Soooo, I went and applied for a job in the Deli (since I have had quite a bit of food experience in the past).  I got the job.  Well, in the beginning I was quite excited about my new position.  We were schooled extensively in food handling, I even had to get a Utah Foodhandlers License..that was easy.  But, I didn't have any idea what I was in for.  The store actually opened on November 17th, a week before Thanksgiving! 

Now, if you can imagine a huge, absolutely fantastic (biggest in the area) grocery store opening one week before Thanksgiving, and the crowds that USUALLY shop for that - multiply it by about four to five times and you may have some idea of exactly how SLAMMED we were! OMG! I have never seen so many people in a grocery store in my life.  It was totally crazy.  The Deli not only cuts meat and cheeses, but has a huge display of cold salads, Pizza, Sandwiches, a Salad Bar and tons of shelves of prepared foods to keep "faced."  This was insane!  My "part time" job was going to kill me for sure!  For one thing, two weeks in a row I worked over 50 hours!  My feet, legs, and body in general were definitely not prepared for the abuse they were taking.  Standing on concrete floors for eight to ten hours a day, loading and unloading six wheeled carts of heavy meats and salads.  Stooping, bending and reaching..washing dishes...cutting chickens...aauugghh.

Then, there was the interesting problem that occurs when you have a few older people like me working with a bunch of younger people who have never worked in their lives.  I am hoping there are some youngsters out there a lot more ambitious than the ones I was working with.  They seemed to think that getting paid for standing around and talking was acceptable; and they were terribly disrespectful to those of us who thought otherwise.

Is this what I really wanted for retirement?  I found myself driving home late at night totally exhausted.  I began to wonder exactly now long I could keep up this pace.  I also began to wonder if life was any fun at all if this is what I had to do?  Did I really have to work? Would my hubby be disappointed in me if I didn't?  Was the small amount of hourly wage I was earning actually worth the pain, disappointment and exhaustion I was suffering from.  I began to feel like I had no life!  I certainly didn't have much joy!  Whew, this was not only physically taxing, but mentally.  One day I was so completely exhausted after a ten hour day that I couldn't even remember how to sign out on the time clock! Then to my horror, I couldn't remember my own house number...oh, I knew which one it was and how to get there (thank goodness), but not the number.  I realized shortly after that I couldn't remember ANYTHING with a number.  I called my daughter and she took me to the doctor.  My blood pressure was normal, so at least I knew I wasn't stroking out!  She took me home and put me to bed.  I immediately fell asleep, and after a good rest everything was normal again. Scary stuff!

Well, since then, I have spent a lot of time thinking about life after retirement and what I really want out of it.  I want to be able to enjoy my grandchildren...they give me such joy.  I want to live long enough to do that (and I'm afraid that if I kept up that ridiculous pace I wasn't going to be around long).  I would still like to travel whenever the opportunity presents itself (part of the reason I thought it might be nice to have a few extra dollars to spend).  I want to be able to participate in my Church, snowshoe on sunny days on the side of the mountain, cook dinner for my husband at night, and actually have the ENERGY to spend time with my hubby without falling asleep sitting on the couch!
Okay, end of job!
End of Story!

I have decided to work on my health, both physical and mental and actually take time to enjoy retirement.  No, I may not have a lot of extra money in the bank because of my decision, but if I am tired, sick and run down, the money won't do me any good anyway!

Hope this helps someone else in my position come to the right decision for them...I know this is the right one for me!  Hmmmm, smells like the roast may be done!  I love being a housewife again!



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