I begin my retirement Januray 1, 2010. What a way to start a new year! This will be a hugh change for me. After working 35 years on my job I walked into the sunset. Sort of, the office did give me a reception send off. Here is a photo of my cake. I did not think to ask anyone to take my picture, I don't want to post anyone's photo that I don't have permision to do so so this is it. I really was not expecting any send off I wanted to quietly just go, into the sunset. I appreciate the reception that I received. I also received a monetary gift. ( The amount of dollar green shall remain anonymous)
I also received two dozen white roses!
Today is the first day of the rest of my life and a new life for me, Retirement! It was a process for me to make this step a year earlier than planned. It all worked out! According to my caculations I planed to work until December 21, 2010 to make my pension reach a certain amount. When I called the retirement office my pension was want I wanted it to be by December 31, 2009! So here I am retired!
What does weather have to do with retirement? Everything. I love sunshine. I crave sunshine. Sunshine produces vitamin D in us! Now that is awesome! When I was gainfully employed, Winter was the most stressful time of the year for me. Driving to and from work after a huge snow storm was the absolute worse thing for me. I always braved the snow laden roads and was a emotional mess by the time I got to work. Stressed out before I started my day on the job! I never wrecked my car nor anyone else's car in the 35 years of working driving in inclement weather. I've been told I am a good driver in bad weather. Still I don't like driving in bad weather. I hated it! You have to put on layers of clothes bundle up in a heavy coat and boots! Just think when I was a kid I use to love to Ice Skate every winter. I haven't skated since before my youngest son was born that would be 25 years. Hum I might break something If I try to skate now. Never say never. We will see the winter of 2010. If I build up my calcium intake all summer long who knows? When you are in the employment field you did what you had to do. My job maybe closed two or three times in the winter in all my 35 years of employment. That only happened if we got almost 2 feet of snow. We had to get to work first. Then an assessment had to be made if there was enough snow to merit the office being closed. Those of us who managed to plow our way into the office was allowed to go home and the offices were closed down. That did not happen until after half the day was gone. I worked in Detroit The powers that be were in Lansing that determined if the offices were to be closed or not. If they did not get a heavy snow fall if they did not see the 18 plus inches of snow…Ha- ha the snow had to be verified before we were closed down.
In spite of that I think snow is beautiful. Since I started this website I attempted to get scenic snow pictures each winter. The winter of 2009 I had gone on sick leave in September and was house bound through the winter. I only went out when I absolutely had to, Doctors visits. The only snow pictures I took from my front door of my house and my kitchen window here are a couple of pictures I took. Ha-ha if I did not have to go out in the snow I didn't go.
On this date was when we got our first big snow fall. Doesn't the snow flakes look pretty? I was standing in my front door taking this picture above.
This Picture I took from my Sun room window, a portion of my back yard. I love to get pictures of trees with snow piled up on their limbs. It was really snowing heavily this day.
Hey I am offically Retired!
So now I love winter I can just snuggle up inside, turn on the fireplace. Hum I have to take a picture of my fire place with it lit. If I have no place to go let it snow! So I once again love all the seasons of the year, as long as I am living in Michigan. No, I have no plans nor have I thought of a place right now of moving from Michigan. Winter is quiet. The snow muffles the sounds of everything. Have you ever noticed that? Winter envelopes you with its quietness. You are sitting in your home you hear an occasional sound of car tires crunching the snow as they drive down the street. Or you hear someone gunning their engine, spinning their tires because they are stuck in the snow. Once everyone has plowed their snow scraped their windows and settled in for the night the snow buries you in it's white blanket covering everything.
Because of an on the job injury I went on medical leave before I retired. I went through weeks of constant pain a lot of ebbs and flows of emotions. It has taken me from October 1 up until now March 14, 2010 to even begin to feel better and to sort things out. Through the fog of pain I did feel elation once I turned in my papers applying for retirement, received my confirmation. Once It became official, through the fog of my pain and downright discomfort I was excited. On my job to retire you have to be at least 55 years old. Being that I did qualify, That makes me of course a card carrying member of AARP. I had planned once I retire to get another job. I thought I would perhaps build a second pension or 401K from that next job. For the past five months I have been too ill to even think about what job to go and apply for. Well our economy is hurting really bad in Michigan. Jobs are just not here. So I have put the idea of getting another job on the back burner, no on a shelf. Actually I put it out of my mind. I worked for a government agency that wants to get rid of the "older workers" as stated by our Governor. This philosophy did not help my sense of self worth at all. I was one of the older workers I'm gone, you are welcome Governor.
I love the way AARP has such a positive, upbeat attitude towards us members! A commercial was on television with “mature” AARP members talking about what they wanted to do when they "grow up". One person states he wants to own his own restaurant. Then others went on to name different things they wanted to do when they "grew up." AARP then stated we look at you as growing not growing old. As I was reading the AARP magazine it was suggesting things for mature people like me to do. Some of the things that they suggested, I either started or thought about doing. I have already started a hobby, making beaded jewelry, which turned into a profitable business even before I retired. I want to write a book. I have a few story ideas in my head. One evening I was telling one of my stories to my eldest son, 37 years old and granddaughter who is 14. They were captivated with my story. I’m thinking if my fiction story caught both of their attentions, I must write this book. I did not think it would interest both my son and granddaughter too! I’m getting started to write my book! I will get it published I certainly will devote a page on this website to my book. I will tell what I went through to get it published. Hopfully this may help someone who also have dreams of publishing a book.
Once retired suddenly you realize you are on a fixed income. So I did not spring for the day clock I have pictured above, . .. . . yet. It could hang on the wall in my kitchen. I could gaze at the clock while eating breakfast, thinking let's see what day is it? Not what time is it?. .Time does not matter. Am I going to be late for w_ _ _? Oh! No. . not late for anything! Maybe I'll get it when I make some more money on my jewelry sales. Instead of the clock as my retirement gift I made myself a retirement charm bracelet. Pictured below. I actually made it to promote my jewelry business. I made this bracelet before with different charms. One each for my sister and niece as a gift, a celebration for graduating from college. When I made the bracelets for my sister and niece I wanted one but could not think for what occasion. When I retired I thought ah-ha for the bracelet, this is what I came up with. I wore my bracelet while shopping. The sales lady who serviced me noticed the bracelet and complimented it. I let her know I had made it. So here it is. Because both my husband and I retired at the same time, the two hearts represent him and me. We will Live Love Laugh. Of course the Adirondack chair, relaxation beginning 2010! Each of the charms are 925 sterling silver. Pictures of my sister and niece's gift is on my page Shay's Gems.
I'll be back with exciting things I've done since I have come out of hibernation. Look for updates!
A word to anyone out there to anyone recently retired. I came to the realization that you may experienced a period of depression. With me it was more pronounced because of the events that led up to my retirement. I went on medical first because I blacked out at work, fell hit my head on the edge of my desk and suffered a concussion. Because I am predisposed to migraines I had head pain for six weeks daily then for the next almost year I suffered constantly with migrains. Take a look at My migraine page at http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/mymigraineexpirence.htm I was suffering from the effects of my concussion and a myriad of emotions. Generally this happens if you are cooped up in the house from day to day. You have to have purpose something you are passionate about. If you are not able to globe trot get out into your community to see what is there for seniors. I am not yet able to collect my social security so I am not yet quite able to globe trot like my Dad did after he retired. Let's see, he went to, China. Japan, I'm not sure if he went to Spain or not. He lived a long and full life. He's passed on. I have to look at his photo albums to see where else he traveled. His last request was that we not put him in a nursing home. We took care of him, granted him that last wish. He had seven children. We have grown children who were a tremendous help in caring for Dad/Grandad. My son being the one there when my Dad took his last breath. Take a look at my Taking care of parents page to see how we cared for him his last days. http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/takingcareofparents.htm
My Favorite Days Pre-Retirement
In the beginning of my work life when my job was enjoyable my favorite days were Friday after work and payday. I looked forward to Saturday to kick back and relax, the whole day off from work! Time to recuperate regenerate and renew myself. I also loved Sundays, attending church service. Then in the last few years of my job we had overtime work on Saturdays it was not mandatory but you were pressed to maintain your work and you could only maintain if you worked overtime. Then we worked overtime during the week. Then the days blurred together. Sunday and holidays were a time to sleep to try to get it together to go back to work the next week. Sunday nights I dreaded, I hated going to sleep to face work Monday morning. I use to cook on Monday holidays then that became too difficult because the next day was a work day. So holidays became just a stay at home rest day.
To my family, loved ones and friends and anyone reading this web site I did not mind working hard. It's all about if you enjoy what you are doing, working hard. Sadly the goal was to eliminate people from my former job pressing people to the point to make them quit. Admittedly the work was humanly impossible to do. I will not go any further into that. To me productivity and quality is what is most essential in any corporation, agency or business. I believe it is not a fair for a boss to power drive employees knowing that the job is impossiable to do. If the employee is not doing his/her job that is a different story. If you are not holding up your end of the job then of course you need to be let go. On the other hand the employees must be given the tools to complete the tasks. Be it enough manpower to complete the work needed to be done. I say give an honest days work for and honest days pay. I do hope those of you out there like your jobs. I Started my own business prior to my retirement magnetic hematite Jewelry while at work it sold well. You can see my pieces on my web store Shar's Gem. There is a link to my Etsy web store my seller name Sharonsom5. I use the same seller name on eBay. Because I do have an income I am not working as hard on my own business as I could. One, I am still having issues with migraine headaches which have intinsified since I had my work related injury. Okay plainly I am suffiering in this heat we have been having this summer. I am content at this point of my life. If am not feeling ok or I am not well enough to work today then I won't work at my jewelry. I am not stressed whether I have to work or not at my jewery making. It is my time to work when I feel like it or heal when I don't feel like it.
My Favorite Days Since Retirement
I have to admit for a while I had this crazy delightful relish of Mondays no offence to anyone. Reveling in the fact I don't have to go to work, it's Monday! This was when I was still using my sick time after I had made up my mind that I could not make it, working my job any more, turned in my retirement papers, gotten approved. This continued even past my actual sick leave. From September 29 2009 through January 1, 2010 I went nowhere but doctors appointments. I attend church after about 2 or 3 months. This delight continued for a while until my days began to run together. I don't have to go to work any day!My favorite day now that I am retired? Everyday! I love Sundays. I stay up as long as I like on Sunday nights. I still revel in Mondays. I wake up after a Celebration Sunday service and I can kick back and relax. Or I can go out to have my car serviced it is not crowded. I can sit, relax and wait while what ever is getting done is completed. I can take care of what ever business I use to squeeze in on Thursdays the day the business was open late. Tuesdays I can work on my Jewelry busines if I want to, or not. Wednesdays are great, after Life Enrichment Bible class I can come home relax spend time with my husband we stay up late as usual. There is no rush to get ready for work tomorrow. Thursday morning, I get my hair done. Hair done in the morning on a week day there is no traffic on the freeway! Every day is enjoyable for me now Back to that Day clock I think I need it so I won't miss Church services because I think it's Tuesday when it's really Wednesday or Sunday and I think it's Saturday. Epecially since the News Paper is not delivered every day. My Step Daughter Candace had to spoil it for me and said all I have to do is look at your cell phone, or in the lower left hand corner of your computer it shows the day and the time. But I need the clock for when I get up in the morning while I'm eating breakfast before I turn on my computer. No I don't take my cell phone upstairs, nor to bed with me. My cell stays downstairs on the kitchen counter or in the family room. I don't know what would happen to me if suddenly my former job called me and said. "we made a mistake, You have to come back to work because you really don't qualify to retire you have to work a few more a years." The way I went out on into retirement, that would be a real nightmare for me! I admire people who can keep on working more than 35 years ( I worked 35) because their jobs are doable. Or they leave one job and still have life and health and strength and work another enjoyable job for another 5 to 10 years.
Young single season of life
When I was young and single I "had no business", personal business that is. Notice how people talk to or about a young lady differently when she does not have a husband. Don't show anger at work even if it's justified. "She just needs a man" Well that was the way it was about 30 years ago. Now they say: She's just trippin." Ok here is the scenario. My parents dropped by my apartment unannounced. Married siblings/friends dropped over. 'Hey what cha' doin'?" Then stayed late, and even late on a work night. Ok, you out there, retired Ladies, been there? Your Moms were probably stay at home moms too. They did not work a full time job when we grew up. I remember coming home from school every day for lunch. I had planned on being a full time mother too like my mom. Ha! It never happened. Now because my mom was a full time mom she started out being my babysitter. I had the first grandchild. She of course did not take any payment for daycare while I worked. Then she wanted to get out of the house. Kudos to my mom. She had dropped out of school at 16. She went back to school, took night school classes at the age of 53 graduated, got her diploma not a GED and went on to Mercy College to study Gerontology. While attending School she got a job at of all places a Day Care Cener. Hey she got paid for it. She did babysit for the other grands as they came along off and on in a crunch.
Young married working season of life
When I got married, you now "have business" You have a husband or wife there is respect. No more 'pop up' visits. Being married is the season to enjoy this is the busiest, I'd say the best time of your life. If you have started a family, love your family. Love and enjoy those babies they grow up so fast. Young people make your plans, fulfil your dreams. This is the high time of your life. Take those family vacations.
To my single people out there reading this If you are not married yet enjoy your life just the same. Fulfill your dreams this is your season for to achieve that goal. Remember to put away and prepare for the retirement time of your life too. Put away money to prepare for marriage.
Retirement Season of life
I never got to be that full time mother. I retired after working 35 years at my last job! My husband retired with 38 years on his job! So that makes together 73 years of service! My generation of grandparents are different than my parents generation. I had a discussion with a coworker. We have about the same number of years of employment. We started out as girls in the same job. Her daughter did not marry but decided to have a baby and decided that 'grandma' my coworker is going to baby-sit before this baby is even conceived! I will call my coworker Diane (not her real name) emphatically told her daughter Diane Jr. "I am not babysitting for you*!" You are not married. You don't have to have this baby and I am not babysitting.*!" She concieved and had a baby anyway. Diane is not babysitting. My generation having to work, when we retire, people in general feel like they have to "give us some business because we don't have any." What people do not realize after working at a really stressful, full time job for 35 or more years you do not want to be pinned down to anything, certainly not babysitting. That is a job! You love the baby but not to baby-sit that is a full time job. Truthfully for past year well with me I had to recuperate from a concussion. I thought I would never feel well again. In a few days it will be a year since I have been off work. I still don't feel back to normal. People are looking at retires with the thought. "Since you don't have anything to do you can_____________." Fill in the blank with what ever they can think of. These are our Golden Years. Time for Us to sit back, relax travel and enjoy the fruits of our labor. All we want is peace and quiet. A laid back and easy, stress free life style. No confusion, no drama no stress, no pressure. We will do what we want to do. Not what everyone else wants us to do. We will come and go as we please. Yep we are really grown ups now.
I have my hobby my jewelry making. See my web store at http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/apps/webstore/ and my link to my Etsy store. http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/apps/etsystore/ I keep both web stores stocked with jewelry. Sometimes I sell on eBay my seller name is sharonsom5. My husband has the huge yard to take care of so we have plenty to do. Everyone who sees out yard says he needs a ride-on-lawn mower. He has a power push mower which is his exercise this summer. I have not been well enough to make it to the flee markets this year maybe next year. Actually I really want my jewelry sales to be all internet based. So I will keep working at it. Hum, it has been only since I have retired is when I have put my jewelry on the internet. It is my confort zone internet sellling.
In a few days it will be a year that I have been retired! I still cannot get over the novelty of it! Looking back on how I felt and how I feel now I really did suffer a serious concussion when I hit my head last year. I really did need to just rest. My husband and I did get to travel a bit! I did get a chance to do a several jewelry shows! In all I can say it was a good year even in my path to healing. It has been said that it takes 1 to 2 years to get back to normal just from a high stress job! I had a double thing to heal from. I cannot complain. It has always been a tradition to have a New Years watch service at Church this year we will not have one. I will be ringing in the New Year at home with my sweetie, my Husband. This old cliché: My Mom have always said whatever you are doing when the New Year comes in is what you will be doing for the rest of the year. Well I will be spending the rest of the next year with my Husband! Traveling not just staying home all the time, who knows, what other exciting things we will be doing!
I experienced a set back from the jewelry shows I did in December. I see what my limitations are now. I still cannot complain I am thankful for what I did accomplish. I am encouraged by what profits I did make.
On December 31, 2010 I posted this on Facebook I thought is is worth including it on my webpage as a timeless notation
Tomorrow 1/1/2011 it will be my first year anniversary of being retired. When I took the leap of faith, God supplied my "needs" for this year. His word states He would not suffer his righteous to beg bread. Psalm 37:25 " have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." I have been provided with what I needed. Yes I'll admit I would have like to have more. I wanted excess and abundance. I know in time more will come. My Husband and I, not being old enough to collect Social Security we took what is considered an early retirement. It was an adjustment going from paychecks and overtime pay to a fixed income. It can be done! You immediatley cut excessive spending! We have been mightily blessed of God with a reasonable portion of health. My husband received healing of his body! I even received healing of a minor health problem. We are blessed to be alive! So many of our generation have passed on this past year. Family members, friends, coworkers and public figures, to the point it grieves one's soul. We sometimes question why? We morn shed our tears pay respects and life goes on.
I had plans, expectations of what "I" wanted to accomplish this year. How I would build my business and so on. My health would not permit me to accomplish what I wanted. I did not meet my expectations or my lofty goals. But I am still Blessed! Actually after I suffered a concussion which lead me to retiring 1 year earlier than I planned to. I now know I simply needed to allow myself to heal and recuperate and put my "plans" on the back burner. I look back for the first few weeks after I had my accident my son Domany diligently came to visit me every week to see how I was coming along. After one year I can actually admit I needed to allow myself to recuperate. It has been a journey. I still have a ways to go yet to complete recovery. I am better than I was a year ago. That I am so Thankful for
Looking back over the year, it passed by faster than I thought since I am no longer working. It's funny that we say that time flies. Time passes at the same rate of speed no matter how we occupy it. This past year a lot tragedies and hardships have befallen people and regions of the world. We don’t know why nor understand it. My prayers and heart goes out to those that have experienced loss and suffering. It is a blessing of God that he has protected my children and extended family and I give him the highest praise for blessing us. I am praying in the new year. I look forward to the coming year with anticipation of great expectations and miracles from our God. I am also an active member on my REO team of my church I am expecting chruch growth, new members! I continue to pray for my family for God's protection, blessings and favor.
As a proud mother and grandmother I am looking foreword to the exciting accomplishments of my children and grandchildren in this coming new year. New jobs, purchasing homes, endless possibilities! As always I will have lofty plans of my own travel plans, business plans and new ideas of my own! Whatever God has destined for us! Go family!2011!
Prayerfully In Jesus Name
Ok I hibernated this winter we got the most snow in history of our state of Michigan. No I did not take any pictures. The snow storm of the century which occurred in February 2011 prevented me from taking a very important trip I am bitter about so I did not want any pictures to remind me of it.
I am waiting for spring to arrive! I will get back out in leisure sell my jewelry. I have taken almost three months hiatus from jewelry making. I did several jewelry shows from September through December which proved to be overwhelming. Since then I have made one piece here and there that is about it. It is more of a hobby for me at this stage of my life. I’ve had all these young ideas of getting another career/business after I retired. I came up with these ideas when I was much younger like 10 years before I retired, before the job took it's toll on me. I clung to those ideas up to retirement. Now I think I owe these ideas a conclusion. Everywhere I go I am being told by fellow retirees my doctors and even those who have not retied yet to relax and take it easy. I at first felt guilty doing so. After the marathon of jewelry shows I did from September up till the end of the year I became ill, I know I can no longer take pressure or stress. So my conclusion is, to sit back, take it easy and relax without guilt. I do have some items in my stores available I will keep my stores stocked. To stock and ship items are less wear and tear on me. So the plan is to do Shows quaterly, I will see how it goes.
Spring 2011 has come but it does not feel like in where I live. I had gotten so comfortable hibernating this winter. From the beginning of winter, well actually after I did my last series of jewelry shows up until the end of December 2010. From that point I only went out for Church services weather permitting. The marathon jewelry shows from September through December wore me out. Then in January 2011, I only went out a couple days a week or so to pick up my granddaughter from school and take her home. Other than that I attended church and hairdresser appointments I pretty much stayed home. I found great comfort staying home semi-hibernating this winter. If I did not have to leave the house I was so totally content not to do so. Especially when I looked outside my window and saw eighteen inches of snow or so on the ground. I found plenty to do to inside to occupy myself. I can spend hours making working on my web site, reading surfing the net and so on. I do have to admit I have burned myself out on my jewelry. I have taken a hiatus from my jewelry business. I still have a good stock of inventory to sell apart from my online stores. What I did though was I over did it with the marathon of shows from September '10 through December '10. I will pace myself better this upcoming year. I will not allow myself to be pushed into that again. I suffered the loss of a loved one in February '11. Besides taking a hiatus from my jewelry making, I have not been motivated to be creative. Take a look at my Grief page. http://www.allsharonsfavorites.com/griefhowtocope.htm I'm sure in time this lull will pass.
Under the circumstances that led to my retirement, the toll my job has taken on me, I know I cannot never allow myself to be in a crunch or stress or push myself or a rush situation doing marathon jewelry shows ever again. I will carefully plan and space them out. I will take it easy make it fun! Not stressful!
I will always have my web stores. Take a look at my Shar's Gem Web Store page and my Etsy page. My pieces are one of a kind, I do not make custom pieces yet. I am always shoping to get top quality simi-precious gemstones at the best possible prices. When I obtain bead selections oftentimes they are one time deals and I may not be able to purchase them again at the reduced price. Many times certain stones like clothing fashions are discontinued. The changes do not take away from the quality of the actual stone it is just the manufactures coming up with new stone cuts and dyes for the fashion trends of the year.
I got a late start due to illness but I've planted a flower garden. I installed a solar fountain, solar gazing ball and a fabric spinning flower that is also a rain gauge. Now that I have time to plant a garden I found it is a stress reliever. I also bought a small bistro set to sit next my fountain read and relax. Listening to the bubbling of the fountain looking at the flowers is so peaceful. I even had a humming bird come and visit me. It was a female Anna's humming bird species. She was a silver, green iridescent color. I did not have my camera ready here is a photo of one I found. I planted peonies in my garden which will not come back next year. They turned out beautiful, they have bloomed and spread out in my garden filling it in all summer long! I selected burgandy. fsuchia link lavender and a peach color for my flower slection. I have big plans for next year. Perennials, so I don't have to work so hard every year. But, the peonies are so beautiful! Decisions what to do.
This is the fountain.
The lavender peony my favorite color.
The dark Red one's.
Here is a picture showing more of the flowers.
I forgot to ask what the peach one's are my husband picked those out. Next year I have it planned out for blue purple and pink flowers in the spring and summer and orange, red and yellow blooming colors into the late summer to fall.