Is Retirement an Ending or New Beginning?

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    advice from donna cardillo rn, ma:

    is retirement an ending or new beginning?
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    While retirement signalled the end of my nursing career, it was something I was ready for. I've never identified being a nurse as who I am. Rather, it was the job I did. Nursing never defined me as a person.
    My retirement has been the beginning for many new pursuits for me.
    While not as mentally challenging or as prestigious as studying for a degree, I've undetaken night classes in computing, photography classes, scrapbook lessons and workshops among other things. All interests I never had time for before when working. I love to go hiking. In summer months, early morning beach walks and breakfast at a beachside cafe overlooking the ocean. Ahhh, yep, retirement is wonderful and can definately signal new beginnings!
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    For me retirement from nursing was both an ending and a new beginning.
    Unlike you Grace, I did identify the "Nurse" thing as big part of my persona... I spent much of my life on call in various ways. I answered the phone with "sister speaking" for so long some of my friends actually call me that.
    My retirement was both planned and unplanned... that is to say as the workers comp stuff played out it became very clear how it was all going to end but despite very good legal support the final end was rapid and savage.
    Happily for my future a long time friend, who could probably see where it was heading before I did, convinced me to have a shot at a liberal arts degree part time a while before my actual retirement from nursing. With great fear and trepidation this ancient luddite purchased a second hand computer and enrolled to study history and political science 28 years after last studying history for my HSC.
    To my great surprise I not only loved it, I actually did quite well.
    Seven years later I have an honors degree in History and a job outside of nursing. I also felt brave enough both technologically and academically to enroll as Masters candidate at Monash this year so I'm now a distance ed student
    As part of the great legal settlement I also had ato do amajor rethink of my finances but happily that occurred when the city market was going mad so got enough for my inner city cottage to pay cash for a house further out of town. I was very sad to leave my cottage and garden but have always loved the coast and certainly love not having a mortgage as interest rates go up.
    There were a lot of changes all at once in my life and that was very difficult, I think my sanity saver was probably Uni. Sadly I seem to have lost contact with most of my former colleagues but I guess that defines then as collegues rather than friends.
    I work at a historic site just outside Hobart as a part time tour guide and also as a researcher so I guess I have reinvented myself as a historian.
    Its a great place to work, very convenient to where I live and probably, by default I must add, a very good way for me to deal with some of the PTSD or burnout demons most of us face. Any Australians reading have probably guessed, I work at Port Arthur Historic site and yes I was working at the Royal Hobart Hospital in 1996.
    I filled something in the other day and for the very first time I identified my occupation as historian which felt quite strange.
    As a career and a life choice nursing was very good to me but my departure for the profession was very crudely handled by the State Health Dept.
    Gosh this is a very long post to answer a simple question about life after nursing but I guess the answer is that it is in your hand, retirement can be either an end or a beginning.
    cheers
    P
    rincenina
  6. 0
    Your new lifestyle sounds rather lovely, Princenina. And after what you would have experienced in 1996, you deserve to have peace and happiness. This fellow Aussie thanks you for your efforts at that tragic time in our nations history. (((hug)))
    I wish you every happiness in the years ahead.
    Be sure to make allnurses a regular part of your new life directions!
    You'll get to know some wonderful folks here. The world of internet technology has opened the door for connecting to beautiful people we might not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet and become friend's with. I've even travelled to the USA and met a few of the lovely friend's made here.
    Good luck with your studies!
  7. 0
    God, I hope it's a beginning. I'm putting off my whole life, it seems, until the kids are all grown and educated and I've helped them all get cars and houses and I can quit working full time. I want to work half time until I'm much older and do lots of fun, interesting things that I've never been able to fit in with the other half of my time. Gardening, church work, sewing, playing with my gorgeous grandbabies, becoming a stock broker, a little traveling, who knows? Whatever I feel like?
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    We educated ours and helped them obtain cars, but the houses.... they can get those themselves! lol
  9. 0
    Hello To All,
    I agree with the frustration of Princenina who wrote about the painful events of retirement at the ending of her nursing career involving "...workers' comp...departure crudely handled by state department of health...legal settlement...". Some of my retired nurse contacts and I have also all experienced less than respectful events of retirement at the close of our nurse work. There seems to be a growing trend by employers to "weed out" many older nurses who have earned a level of the highest pay in order to cut budget costs!

    I also agree with Princenina about the value of rising above a painful ending of nurse work by seeking a new beginning in other work.Due to health changes, the new beginning for me currently involves becoming a part-time, child care provider. After working as a nurse for decades in pediatrics and neonatal intensive care, I got a "light bulb idea" to try post retirement working in the nursery at a day care center. This year I attended my first workshops for employees of child care centers, and I am continuing to learn from my co-workers about my new job path beginning. Sometimes, briefly I still have blue moments when I miss the nursing field which I worked so very hard to prepare myself to do. As some people say, it seems wise in some situations to "let it go" and "press on".


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