OH!…..MY!….. WHAT HAVE I DONE!!!!
The path to retirement
(Excerpt from my diary 2015)
My retirement started with a broken down sewing machine! I bought some lovely brocade to make curtains for my lounge and dining room. I cut them, matched the pattern, pinned them, sewed two inches of seam and….. nothing. My clever DH took the machine apart and found mangled remains instead of cogs inside. I googled the model number to see if I could get parts and had a good laugh when my previously trusty machine was described as “vintage 70’S”!!! Time for a new one I think!
For a few months now, I have been feeling unrewarded and unloved at work; downright stressed even. It has gone through my mind more than once that there has got to be a better work-life balance than retail currently offers me. As store Manager,I generally work a minimum of 45 hours and regularly over 60, am on call 24/7 but am only being paid 39 hours at a very poor rate of pay. I lunch al-desko whilst catching up on paperwork and am frequently late for tea, for the theatre, for parties.
My DH is taking early retirement in a few months time and is looking forward to it very much. But I cannot imagine not having the structure of going into work, of talking to different people every day and of feeling that I have a purposeful life. I also like to get dressed up, put on my make-up and work through a to-do list.
Then a friend of mine told me about a vacancy for a part time job in his office and before I knew it, I had applied, been interviewed, got the job and handed in my notice. I was so undecided of what to do that I was very surprised when I heard the words “Oh yes, thanks, I would love to start in four weeks time” coming out of my mouth! But it looks as though I have semi-retired almost by accident! I am very fearful that I have done the wrong thing; that I am being a fool. But I also feel relieved that I have bought back part of my life. I will still have structure, but also some leisure. I will no longer work weekends, when the rest of my family are off, or bank holidays, or late nights when I should be in front of the tv, snuggled up with my DH. I will enjoy Christmas instead of collapsing with fatigue after ten straight days work running up to Christmas Eve. I can go to classes, to the pub, make new friends, see my family!
But what to do with all that free time??? Hmmmm.
And then my new Brother Innovis NV100 sewing machine, bought from the very helpful J&B Sewing Machines in Newport, was delivered. If you think of my old machine as a bi-plane, the new one is the Starship Enterprise! It threads its own needle, sews buttons on, overlocks and does very many decorative stitches. I am totally in love! I immediately set about making the top I am wearing in the photo above. The curtains had to wait!
To hell with retail!
Have you considered (or resisted) cutting your hours or retiring altogether? I would love to hear your story.