Good, Bad or Ugly?

Spring has Sprung

I am having one of those super great days that runs along like a roller coaster

1. My meds are kicking in and My breathing is so much easier today! But, I am not loving the pharmaceutical companies that cannot create one single drug that does not cause headaches, vertigo, constipation, and/or diahrea! 🀦

2. Spring has sprung, the sun is shining, the air is warm, and the snow and ice are quickly melting! But, our vehicles are filthy. I get that Dan has been taking my little car to work and there is no avoiding the puddles, mud, and steel dust out at Evraz. No idea why the Jeep is so bad. It has not been going anywhere! 🀷

3. I went to the bank this morning. Banking is good! But why do so many (obviously retired) seniors want or need to go to the bank at ten o’clock on Saturday morning to pay all of their monthly bills – one at a time?!  (Like they did not know they had six of  them going in πŸ™„).  Seriously, once I am retired, I am never leaving my house on Saturday.  Wednesday morning sounds good. πŸ˜’

4. With all this springy weather, our streets are melting and drying off. I love dry streets! But why do dry streets bring out every lousy driver in the city? I put my signal on to move into the left lane. Some dough head took that as a challenge to boot it so he could cut me off – just so he had to slow down because he was turning left RIGHT THERE! 🀯

5) And finally…  Spring has sprung, I am feeling much better, I have places to go and things to – life is good. 😊. But, I have to return to work on Monday and with the way things have been there for the past two years, I would definitely rather not.  😒. 

153 DAYS TO RETIREMENT 😊😊😊

Building Memories

Acrovyn Crashrails & Corner Guards

This week I have been enjoying one of my first ‘lasts’ at work. The western sales rep for one of our biggest, and my favourite, supplier is in town. Construction Specialties manufactures many products (Acrovyn wall protection, entrance mats and foot grilles, hospital tracks and curtains, expansion joints, louvres, sunshades and more). I love their products, I love the quality of their products, and I love the people I deal with from this company – including and especially Peter.

Peter has been our rep for ages now and he is great to deal with. He is a great guy period. He knows the industry inside out and always has some interesting news for us. (This week it was paperless drywall – and the non porous reason behind it. It is a healthcare thing and way more interesting than it sounds). Peter knows his company and he definitely knows his products. If we have a problem or need support for anything, he is on it. He is respectful and decent. There is no question that he has our backs. We feel we can be totally honest and upfront with him and he is totally honest and upfront with us. It has been a great relationship for both sides from day one.

This week Peter is here for the annual Construction Specifications Canada tradeshow. He comes every year for it and spends the better part of a day with us. We (my boss Brian, Peter, and I) spend the morning catching up on news, go for a nice lunch, back to the office to discuss more business and then we meet for supper at one of Regina’s best steak houses. It is always fun. This year was special. This year will be my last for this get together. This year was also a bit of a celebration for one of my best years and definitely my best sale ever. It was an impressive sale by any standards and I was so happy to end my career on such a positive note. (For the record, I have never been one to spend my time chasing BIG sales. I take care of the little sales and our customers just trust me enough to bring the big sales to me.) πŸ™‚

I will have a lot of ‘lasts’ and ‘goodbyes’ in the next few months. It is kind of sad, but I know that I am fortunate that I get to make these special memories before I retire.

The Psychology of (my) Retirement

In less than six months I will be retired. I was so excited about the possibilities when I made my decision to embark on this new phase of my life. My family and friends supported me. It was all good!

Somehow the closer I get, the harder this has been getting. Retirement has not been looking that promising. Finally, in total frustration, I sat down and wrote a blog about my current struggles. I put it all out there. (Well most of it). I hit publish and went to bed. When I woke up the next morning, I suddenly realized what I was really struggling with.

For the past five decades, I have been in the enviable position of being a ‘caregiver’. I have had the physical, mental, emotional and financial ability to help and support others – husbands, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, employers, co-workers, friends and the occasional stranger. Now, I am suddenly planning for a life where my main focus is caring for me. It never occurred to me that such a change in focus would be a problem for me, much less others – especially those who I have done the most for over the years.

There are probably a lot of people who come up against these mental struggles when they are planning or kicking off their retirement. I wonder why nobody talks about them. πŸ™„

Jen & Danny with friend Dave. (Almost familyπŸ˜‚)
My Mother and I
Grandbaby Cason
Co-worker Kori
My Husband with Maddy & Prim
Mark & Erin and Dom

Getting My Retirement Back On Track

The closer retirement gets, the more it looks like an unavoidable train wreck.

In July 2019, I decided that I would retire on my 65th birthday (July 2020). This was not a rash decision. I gave it a lot of thought and took a number of factors into account.

1. I wanted the opportunity to spend more time with my husband. With his 24/7 shift work and my 9 to 5 Monday to Friday, our together time was limited.

2. I wanted the opportunity to spend more time with my sons and daughter and my grandchildren.

3. Although I have always seemed more youthful than I actually am, and felt I could easily work for a few more years, I decided I wanted to retire when I was still felt young enough and strong enough that I would have the energy to pursue new interests.

4. There were situations within the construction industry and the construction company that I worked for that made my job stressful and frustrating. I did not want retirement to be about getting away from what I was doing but I was ready to leave it behind.

5. And, last but not least, I wanted the opportunity to start enjoying the retirement life that my older siblings were already living. πŸ§˜πŸ§šπŸ„πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦πŸ’ƒ

I discussed my decision with my husband, my children, my boss and my siblings. Everyone was on board and encouraged me to do what I felt was right. I threw myself into preparing for retirementπŸ₯³

That was then, this is my now:

1) In recent weeks my husband seems to be less enthusiastic about my impending retirement. He has to work for another four years to get his full pension and he seems to resent that I will not be slogging it out with him. I get it. I really do. But I know this will be better for both of us. We will have more time to spend together. I will be able to carry more of the household workload. We will both be able to live around his schedule. I want to do this, but I do not want to go into this feeling guilty and resented.

2) I will no doubt have the opportunity to spend more time with my sons and their families. That will be nice. In August, my daughter kicked me to the curb and banned me from seeing her children. To say that I am devastated from the loss is a total understatement.

3) I am definitely not feeling youthful. I have been sick since October and I am exhausted. I look old and I feel old. πŸ‘΅ Retirement, as I see it now, is the opportunity to nap – a lot.

4) Even though I was definitely ready to leave my job, I wanted to go out feeling really good about the job I did and the contribution I had made to the company I worked for.  Things get worse every day.  I do not care how I get out. I just want to get out.   That is not how I wanted to begin my retirement.  I did not want it to be about getting away from where I am.  I wanted to be excited about where I am going. 

5) Finally, my siblings and the retirements they were enjoying.  I have a sister two years older than me.  We practically grew up as twins.  We have been best friends before bff’s were even a thing.  She had a kidney transplant last March.  She still, and will always, takes a handful of pills every day.  The side effects are brutal.  She was always the bright one, the quick one, the happy one. Now her life is so hard. My oldest sister has always been large and in charge. Not do much large physically, but definitely in charge. She has always been a hoot. She has been dealing with recurring cancer for years. She has been keeping it at bay and living a good life. She has been sick since before Christmas. She has been exhausted and losing weight, confused and weak. Last week she was diagnosed with aggressive, advanced Alzheimer’s. We are all heart-broken for her, for her family and for us.

I am less than six months from retirement. I should be more excited and relieved and happy everyday that it gets closer. I should be, I want to be, but to be honest I am struggling. I definitely do not want to stay in the workforce but these days I do not know if retirement is going to be any better. πŸš‚

173 Days to Retirement

My Hibiscus

Only 173 more days to go! I wonder if I am going to make it. It is not that I do not enjoy my work. For the most part I love what I do workwise. I am just tired! Tired of going to work in the dark, tired of being cold, tired of looking at dirty snow, tired of winter in general and tired of ongoing issues at work that are really hard on morale.

Today I decided I had to pull myself out of this funk so I started a new bucket list. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Bucket lists are good. Looking forward is good. Challenges are good. I got as far as 1. Defrost my freezer. That was not good. 🀦

In lieu of a new bucket list, I decided to go through some pictures of spring flowers in our yard over the past few years. I cannot wait for the months to go by so I can start planting again! I love spring!

194 More Days

194 Days until I am retired! I cannot wait for the freedom to get up and know I am free to plan my day around the weather and my personal whims 😊

I really thought that I would face retirement with some reluctance. The truth is, I am READY! I have enjoyed my career, especially my current position, but these last two years have been so frustrating and stressful an the past couple of weeks have brought so much miserable winter weather. I am just so ready to start this new chapter of my life. πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ