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  • Writer's picturewaldoise

Retirement was never an option

Today, 1st July 2023, on the 5th anniversary of my career shift, I feel compelled to share this blog with you. A little insight into how I got here.

I've been told many times that even as a very young child, once the sole of my feet touched the ground I started running and I would never stop till it was time to go back to bed. I remember being told "but like you afraid to sleep, life will still be here when you wake up you know", as I really hated sleeping in the day and would never even want to go onto the bed in daylight.

But this behavior just fit so well into my family, as my mother, who had recalled these stories to me, was herself forever on the go. She was a teacher in and out of working hours, whole term and whole vacation. As a physical education teacher, it was no end of sporting activities encompassing nearly every type she had access to, not forgetting PE also includes dance, so let your imagination run. That site where the NAPA now sits was the former home of several sporting spaces, and sometimes felt like home to us too, we spent so many hours there. And that was not even the half of it. But that's food for a blog about Mum. However, all that didn't prevent her from getting into business which became her second career after an early retirement from teaching. Then there was JG who had a saying, "work and dead", that was his mantra and that was how he lived, working in the garden was his relaxation, so again you can well imagine. This of course led to even after retirement, where he himself had a whole other career which, to his words he did right to the end. And well if you know my family, my brother is no different there either. Though he may not agree with me, far as I'm concerned he has two full time careers, both of which bring him joy and I'd say he loves them equally. I admit to being curious to see what retirement will be like for him.

So, with all that in mind, to think that after 40 plus years of being in business that I would want to retire was a wasted thought. It just came naturally to me that I should have another career, but this one must be more of a joy, of a love, something that I wake up wanting to do! I must want to feel the ground below my feet! I must want to start running as soon as I open my eyes as I have done for so many years! I must not want to go to bed! For as long as is possible, sleep must be because I have to, because my health requires that I be at rest with eyes closed while not in control of my thoughts and actions. It must never be because I am bored, nor because there is nothing better to do.

To be crystal clear, it's not that I haven't been enjoying my career, it has been serving it's purpose well, and I pride myself on the fact that I was there from helping my mum get her feet wet as a 'door to door' sales person,... (younger readers may have to check Google or ChatGPT for that definition of sales person), to being there as the registered business was birthed, to bringing it to a point where I can allow myself the grace of career change at this somewhat late stage, as I'm sure the one thing that can hold you back from realizing your dream is finance. I measure the success of the business by the number of persons who remind me on a regular basis even now after almost 5 years of having downsized the retail, that there's a gaping hole left where we stood. Well I haven't stopped that business completely as yet, I just made it more manageable for me because there are a few things I love that just couldn't fit into that schedule.

What then does one do? Take out pen and paper and start to weigh options.

To be honest I never got to that, the points I had in my head to consider were:

№1 situation... this determines how much wiggle room we can allow ourselves causing so many persons to have to continue for as long as they are allowed, and not have the freedom to change.

And #2 the want factor, yeah it would need to be what I always wanted to do, or maybe something I stumbled upon along the way that just fits.

While I was busy deciding where do I start to make such a decision, the pieces just fell into place starting with my daughter deciding her career path, while not yet determined, would not follow mine. No I was not at all disappointed, as a matter of fact I felt quite self satisfied that I've brought her to this point where her confidence, and our communication could allow for this pronouncement. Then came COVID, devastating, in so many ways devastating! All was not lost though, as a matter of fact the sheer unpredictability of the time worked directly into the point of change of my career, so by the time we reemerged I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Nope there's definitely no retirement in sight for me. I'm taking this one as long as as far as I can. The speed of the feet on the ground may be more deliberate but I still want to run, sleep patterns have undoubtedly been adjusted but I still don't want to unless I have. Couldn't ask for better. I am an artist.

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