Back in the day, I gave up a promising career on Wall Street. I did not sacrifice my career when I decided to leave. It was simply a decision that was made by me. I left to raise my children.
I swear to God. I had the same exact suit as the woman in the illustration. I have a photo somewhere and when I find it I’ll post it! I even wore one of those little bowed ties!! And the Sony Walkman. And I had that same Coach bag (which was better than the Coach bags now). And the Bean boots!!!!
It also helped that some 31 years ago, a two-income household was not a necessity. I was lucky that my husband had a career that allowed me to be home to raise our children. We gave up fancy vacations but really, not more than that.
And during my gig as a SAHM, I worked harder than I ever have in my life. It was fun. I loved being home because my life was centered around the kids, the two dogs and our home.
Yes. That is true!! Nap time was when ALL the housework was done!
Keeping busy is always a great thing.
Some days did seem like this but my home was always immaculate!
The kids got older and with life changes such as a divorce, I re-entered the workforce. It wasn’t easy but it was doable.
And when I moved to Pennsylvania, I started a job that I loved. But the economic downfall led to financial disaster and I lost my job five years later. The job market was never the same.
Add to that another job that ended up with a closure and, at 59 years old, I found myself in a position that I never imagined. Unemployed. Unemployed and not able to find a job as good as the ones I had in the past.
Nobody wants to hire an older person. It’s a rare occasion when they do. And in the two stints of unemployment I found out that it is much better to be employed than to be unemployed. And it’s worse when you are an unemployed, empty-nester with a mortgage and car payments and other bills to pay.
And trust me on this–there are TONS of older folks out there looking for jobs. I’ve met a great deal of them through support groups. It’s sad that the job market is faltering for the elders!
Don’t get me wrong. If I was in the glorious one percent, it wouldn’t be that bad to be without a job because I would be able to 1. Go to an expensive gym every day and work out 2. Go shopping all day for the expensive stuff 3. Go away on many trips and vacations.
Believe me. Life could be pretty darn cool if I were a princess!! I could get into the life of jet-setting leisure and perhaps own a kingdom!
Besides, the greatest thing about being home was that I could write posts for my blog—which I thoroughly enjoy and it has become my baby!
But—staying home without a job left me no sense of purpose. I’ll be the first to admit it. I miss having the kids around. Then the stress of looking for a job has an awful effect on me. I eat. And I eat some more. And I eat some more.
And I wasn’t eating the healthy stuff either. I made this for dinner after WORK last Friday! I’m improving!
And I become lazy—which is a very, very bad thing. And being lazy as you age is an even worse thing!
The lazier I get, the lazier I become!
The past few months, with a break at Christmas time, were a whirlwind of job interviews, a bad job that I stayed with for a couple of days, more interviews, having to be “on” during those phone interviews, and more face-to-face interviews. It’s taxing. One interviewer told me—and she was very nice about it that they had someone “in mind” who would be with their company for a long time. Shades of Grace and Frankie when they applied for a bank loan and were denied because of their age!
My girls Grace and Frankie–after they were rejected for a bank loan due to their age. Look at them–they look fabulous!!!!
Thank God I have Bonaparte. He’s always supportive and encouraging!
In all honesty, the day I came home after interviewing the job that I now have, I was discouraged. I told my husband that I didn’t have much hope because I’m sure I was too “old”. And a strange thing happened. A week later, I received an offer.
And here’s why I enjoy working while many of us are thinking about retirement.
Working keeps me busy. It makes me think. I’m using my brain to resolve issues and to learn new computer programs.
Hmmmm. I’m thinking. And it’s fun!
Working keeps me from eating. Yeah. I said it. I bring my little yogurt and fruit and sit at my desk during lunch time so that I can leave a bit earlier!
I ran out of blueberries so I’m bringing lemon curd to mix in with my yogurt for tomorrow’s lunch!
Work gives me the opportunity to meet new people. I’m not by any means a water cooler gal nor am I at work to make best friends. But—it’s always fun to work with nice people and to be a part of a team.
I’m social enough but not too much. Gotta get back to work!
Working keeps me young. And I don’t mean a throwback to my wild twenties. It keeps me mentally young!
Working gives me a new bit of self-respect. I get to spend time applying my makeup in the morning so that I look good.
Did I tell you about the makeup tip from Wayne Goss? Add a drop of oil to your foundation. It is life changing!!! See? I love doing my makeup!!!!
And I’m using more subtle eye looks too!
I also get to wear all my fun clothes all day. Yeah. I mean all day. When I was unemployed, I would get dressed to go to the store and to run errands. Once I came back home I changed into my sloppy clothing of either yoga pants or pj bottoms (but never out—especially to a restaurant) and a tee shirt. And when you become very comfortable in those clothes, it’s easy to become a slob!
This was my unemployment uniform. Funny thing is I’m wearing the same outfit now!!
Working gives me a routine. Some of us need a routine. I’m one of those who thrive on routines. It helps to keep my life organized. I’m writing a blog tonight. I’ll write another one on Thursday. I’ll film a couple of YouTube videos over the weekend and another blog post on Sunday. I’m very much into this time management!
I’m happiest when things are running like clockwork. I love a routine!
I foresee myself working well into my eighties if I’m lucky. And I’ll be a very youthful 80 some day!
The scary thing is twenty years ago I was 43 and twenty years from now I’ll be 83! I need to save up for a facelift! I better stay working!
In the meantime, have a look at what I wore last week to work. It’s fun to be back in the outfit planning and the office is very casual but I’ll still dress up a bit!
Last Tuesday was my first day at work. I wore my favorite leopard skirt. And lighter hair. And, BTW, my wigs are also very popular at the office!
Wednesday was gray day. I wore my Banana Republic blazer from many years back and Pixie pants. I wore my Carrie wig from Uniwigs LaVivid Collection!
On Thursday, I was mad for plaid in my favorite plaid blazer. Another pair of Pixie pants and old Tory Burch Reva flats added to the casual uniform. I wore my Justine wig and a red Tippi Sweater.
And on Friday, we are allowed to wear jeans. I ended up taking the sneakers off and wearing loafers because it rained and I didn’t want to get my sneakers dirty!
And I look forward to each day so that I can work to my best ability!
That would be me!
Anyone out there in the job market? Interviewing? Newly hired? Ready for retirement? Let’s tawk about it!!!! Comments please!
Here’s some Elvis Costello “Welcome to the Working Week” from the My Aim is True Album! A perfect Yuppie song!