from uncertainty to bliss
by Rose Raintree
(Arlington, Washington USA)
My name is Rose Raintree, and I was an RN for 35 years. I raised my children as a single mother put myself through nursing school at the age of 32 and returned to school at 60 and earned my BSN, MHA and last my MSN with plans to work until I was about 80 as I was blessed with good health, physically and mentally and loved my profession.
I really never saw myself retiring as actually did not see that I could afford to and maintain any kind of quality of life, as I had given much of what I earned along those years to my children and did not save or invest in any retirement. Therefore, I knew all I would have when I retired was my SS and thought perhaps if I worked another 15 years or so I could now save for when and if that time came.
Well, I began to notice age discrimination and nurses being pushed out after they reached maturity and this is so foolish as I was better prepared now than any other time to be a real asset to my profession.
After a contract position ended I applied for multiple jobs over the next year and realized that I was being passed over for younger less expensive and less experienced nurses.
So, my next plan was to take a tax course and thought I will do income tax and supplement my SS and be able to live comfortably. I completed the course and was hired by H&R block near my home that I moved into in 2012 to cut expenses. I purchased a mobile home in a senior park that gave me an opportunity if necessary to live solely on my SS income.
However, on my way home after being hired God had others plans and I got his message to me that I was not to work anywhere but be available now to my than 3 year old granddaughter that I moved closer to so I could spend quality time with her. This was not possible prior due to my work schedule and distance I lived from them, and now this door was open to me. If I didn't work I could keep her 2 full days a week and really bond with her.
Therefore, the decision was made not go to work and do just that. She is now in kindergarten so I keep her one day a week and next year she will go to first grade every day and I will not get to keep her any longer. Of course there will still be time spent with her on weekends since we only live 2 miles apart and we now have a strong bond that she will want to continue just as much as I do.
Now, retiring scared me for a couple of reasons, one that I would lose my energy and vitality and perhaps become depressed, and two that financially I would struggle.
So the first year I struggled between depression, anxiety, fear, and some joy, and was driving everyone crazy with my ups and downs.
Over the course of that year I realized that I had to be captain of this new journey. So I began to search out hobbies that I never had opportunity to do in years past due to raising children and work hours. I began to garden and work in my yard. The first year I think my neighbors laughed at my inability to keep anything alive or make it look pretty, but I kept at it and now at the end of 3 years my yard is one of the prettiest in the neighborhoods.
As my son saw me grasping hold and becoming the positive peaceful mother and grandmother I wanted to be and interested in this new venture, he came alongside me a couple weeks ago and has done some wonderful things in helping me finish my yard. He has built me a flower box, bought plants and flowers as well as landscape ties and placed them in the beautiful areas I have created.
Happiness and joy makes people want to be around you and share with you your joys. So my faith being so important in this process helping me avoid becoming despondent and negative as I did not want to grow old that way, I fought hard to be where I am today.
In addition, I got a little dog when I retired and she is my faithful companion, she and I walk every day two and three times a day. Being one of those special adventures every day I look forward to and has helped me stay healthy and active.
Moreover, I have discovered I have a talent for writing and post some of my journey's and thoughts on Facebook and have acquired some followers there and on Twitter that seem to enjoy what I write and my journey. I also have discovered that after spending so many years with people almost constantly that I enjoy my quiet and alone time interspersed with my family a few neighbors and friends to keep me from being too isolated.
Last but not lease, I am seeking out ways I can volunteer at least one day a week as I think it important to share the life experience and skills to help others along the way, especially seniors taking this journey as well.
I am single and most likely will remain that way as I am currently 71 years young and truly enjoy my life more than I thought possible 3 years ago and, financially surprisingly living quite comfortably on my SS income.
Realizing, if my health declines that could pose some challenge, but I live each day thankful that I have transitioned to retirement with a positive outlook, joy each day and love myself and others, who can ask for more?