After crossing the threshold of the ripe young age of 57, I have finally come to terms with doing less.
And accepting that it is okay to do so.
It is not easy, to be at ease.
I have had a job and worked since I was a young lass of 13 years of age.
And I still work, to be sure.
But albeit a little less.
It all began babysitting for .50 cents an hour, to delivering the Sunday Sun newspaper, to dusting furniture at a furniture store, to packaging plastic sample cups(!) at a plastics factory, those were some of the starter jobs that garnered me a little bit of spending money, and I liked it.
Selling ladies clothing at the local mall, and selling some Christmas roses at a local department store, were all rungs on the ladder of my work life that taught me a good work ethic, I believe, and what it takes to earn a little walkin’ around money.
Minimum wage back then, in the ’70’s, was about $2.65 per hour, if I recall correctly.
The current $14 per hour seems like a windfall.
After graduating from college with a Legal Secretarial diploma, I started my first career related job at a big law firm in Toronto.
Getting up early and taking the GO train every day was very exciting!
Working in the thrilling City of Toronto, was, at the time, the bees knees! I was a professional! I had to dress up nice every day, be punctual, show up and do my job before going home at the end of the day.
When I left that job after 2 years, my then boss wrote me a very nice reference letter, which included the fact that I was very punctual and never had a sick day, or something to that effect.
When wanderlust struck, I packed up my Ford Mustang and moved to Montreal. I was very fortunate to be able to find an English speaking job in that very tumultous time during the ’80’s when Bill 101 and the Referendum were dividing the English and the French like parting of the Red Sea.
I worked as a secretarial assistant at a construction management firm. A far cry from a law firm, but working with professional engineers nonetheless, and again earning some okay money and finding my first apartment.
Paying rent and buying groceries were real eye openers.
Never having to do that before as I had lived at home with my family up until then, there were months when there was not much left at the end. I had to sell my beloved Mustang as that was a luxury I could not afford. But I learned to cope, learned to budget, and even managed to save a little too.
After 3 years, I decided that the office pool was not my dream job, and so I moved back home to Ontario and went back to college to study journalism.
I moved back home to do that, bought another car, and graduated with a Broadcast Journalism diploma.
My first job at a local cable television company was a great way to cut my teeth in my newfound career. I found another apartment to be closer to work, moved out and discovered that I was making a bit more money now, and even started an RRSP.
They were long days, but great days, and looking back, I had a lot of fun with my cable team mates.
I cast out some resumes, and had the fortune of being hired at CKVR-TV in Barrie back in 1993.
And so began the most gruelling but most rewarding career of my life.
During those 17 years, I worked weekends as anchor of the 6 and 11 newscasts, early mornings for the Breakfast Television news updates, (getting up at 3:30 a.m. for a shift that began at 5 a.m.), and weekdays as a reporter. It was the best of all worlds. (Although I still wake up at 3:30 sometimes).
It was a great career, and one that took a lot of energy and committment.
During my broacast career, I had also acquired my real estate license, working two jobs for more than a decade.
It was a very full plate.
When I resigned from broadcasting, I pursued my real estate career full time.
I work with a real estate team these days, doing some admin work, and fill the rest of my plate with volunteer activities and other pastimes, ones that give me great pleasure, and have lots of variety.
I have a little fun side hustle as I call it at a ladies clothing store at the mall (how history repeats iteself!).
I volunteer with the Red Cross helping dispatch their Meals on Wheels program.
I am a contributing writer for a monthly news magazine.
And I host and author my own blog site, writing articles about whatever I want, whenever I want.
My daytimer is usually filled each week with different things on different days. And I find that extremely fun.
And I feel it is okay now to stand down a little.
To let go of the need to fill my days with a full time career and other activities.
I can now enjoy my time a little more, enjoy my pastimes and mini-jobs, and they all come together like a big puzzle to fill my plate.
I at first felt very guilty for not having such a full steam ahead, career filled plate.
It has been part of my entire life.
But perhaps, just maybe, the universe is letting me know that it is alright to be at ease.
Just maybe I can settle slightly into a more unorthodox medley of jobs and fun things to do.
And relax a little.