My retirement has been very busy. I stopped working full time almost 17 years ago in February 1996, I was 51. At the time I was managing a Crabtree and Evelyn store in Brea. Daily migraines made working a daily struggle. Frequently while driving home at the end of my day, I'd have to pull over on the freeway, and vomit. Not pretty. I'm sure passing motorists thought I'd been drinking.
Bob and I talked it over and decided I should just stay home. What a relief that was. The next month, I stopped by a local merchant, and she asked me to come to work for her. She owned a Fast Frame franchise; no, she didn't want me to be a picture framer, she wanted me to design picture frames for customers. I told her I needed about 3 months to do somethings I'd been putting off, and I'd call her and see if she was still interested. When I called back she'd hired someone else, but wanted me to work part time. It was perfect.
I worked two days a week; I got to be creative and help people. I also took care of her major accounts, the City of Long Beach and Boeing. Just over two years later, I was 54 and Bob had retired and we were ready to move to Murrieta. I told the owner that if she still wanted me to work two days a week, I would. I'd drive in from Murrieta Monday morning, work, stay overnight at my Dad's house one week and at Sharon's house the next, work, then drive home to Bob Tuesday night. I did this for another year. Then the owner called and cut my hours to a day and a half, I told her that it wouldn't work for me. I was retired, again.
As soon as that happened, Sharon called and asked if I'd come one day a week and take care of Oden. She was going back to work, and Grandma Jean, both my daughter's childcare provider, could take Oden four days, but not five. So, I was back to driving into the Long Beach/OC area, once a week, just on different days. Bob and I play dominoes on Thursday evening. After dominoes, I'd drive into Sharon's, spend the night, stay with Oden on Friday, we had great fun, then drive home to Bob, when Sharon got home from work.
On day, Bob and I were shopping at Barnes and Nobel, and he said, "You should really work here." I'd never considered it, but he'd planted the seed. I waited until after the Holidays and applied in early January. I was hired and started working on January 30th, 2001. Just before I started working at B&N, Sharon called and fired me. Grandma Jean's schedule had opened up, and Oden could go to her house 5 days a week. Talk about perfect timing.
I've worked for B&N, for almost 12 years. When I was 57, I thought, I'd work at B&N until I'm 60. At 60, I thought, well maybe I'll stay until I'm 65. At 65, I thought, maybe I'll work until I'm 70. At 68, I know I'm ready to stop working. I gave B&N my two week notice yesterday. It's just the right time. I know I'll miss working around all the wonderful books and great booksellers; but my life is so busy, I really don't want to go to work anymore.
I'll spend more time quilting, taking photos, reading and much more. I'm still going to NYC, next year, I'm still a book blogger, if not a bookseller.
Thanks for reading my long post.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing my life with me,