Working for A Living

Though I don’t talk much about it, I do have a real job (other than reading blogs and penning these little morsels for your perusal). I work in a small office of medical case managers, and my job position morphs between technical writer/executive assistant/receptionist. My attitude about my job duties undergoes a similar course of shape shifting, although most of the time I enjoy them (well, perhaps that’s not the right word). At least I find them pleasantly tolerable.

By far the best aspect of my job is the people I work with. In the six years that I’ve been here, we’ve seen a lot of personnel changes, but the core group that remains are really neat women. There are also some women who no longer work there, but that I continue to socialize with on a regular basis.

The owner of the company is a woman just slightly older than I – her two daughters work with her. There is no sense of entitlement about these young women, they are bright, energetic, and hard working. Oh sure, they get a few extra perks, but I’d do the same for my kids if I were able.

So, we have a good time at the office. We get our work done, we commiserate about our partners, we gossip about our clients (shh, don’t tell!), we go out to eat once in a while. It’s about the most fun you can have and still get paid.

What I’m getting around to saying is that I like working. And it’s a good thing, really. I recently received a little statement from the Social Security Administration. You know, the one that tells you how much money you’ll receive if you retire at age 62, age 65, and now, age 70.

Naturally, if you work until you’re 70, you get a lot more money.

So.

A couple of years ago, my dad went back to work. Nearly 80 years old at the time, and status post two angioplasties, back surgery, and most recently colon cancer followed by six weeks of chemo. He said he needed the money, and I really don’t doubt it. The cost of living in Naples is pretty high, after all. But I was upset about it. The thought of an elderly man, once a respected and successful business owner, now working in Walmart to make a few extra bucks -well, it bothered me.

But you know what? After two years, I notice he’s standing up straighter, his thoughts seem a lot sharper, he always has some stories to tell about how much better he could manage things over there (and I don’t doubt he lets them know it either!) And I remember how much my dad loved working at his business, meeting people, getting the job done.

Sometimes, working is good. It keeps us motivated, helps maintain our sense of integrity, and gives us a feeling of accomplishment that’s important to maintain, especially as we age.

While some might think -work until I’m 70?? No way!! I tend to think – work only until I’m 70??? What then?


How about you? How do you feel about your job and working for a living?

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11 thoughts on “Working for A Living

  1. I think my husband and I will probably work as long as we are able. I can’t imagine not having something to do….I know so many people who retire and within a year, they have read every book, golfed way too much and traveled all they wanted…then they are bored…
    Penny
    p.s. I used to live in Naples….moved to NC about 7 years ago. 3 sisters still live there.

  2. Good post. I loved hearing about your job. I love teaching. After thirty years I still love it. I don’t see me retiring any time soon. Since I became single again close to age forty I am still trying to pay off my house and am concerned about the cost of insurance. sigh! Things can sure change though. lol.

  3. I always loved working. I miss everything you speak of here from my daily routine.
    My dad, age 67, still works and has no plans to retire. I love his energy. Working keeps him alive.

  4. I agree that work is a good thing for the very reasons you given.

    I am amused that the SSA is still touting the benefits we’ll be reaping years down the road; I fully expect there to be nothing left by the time I reach retirement age. It would be lovely to think otherwise, but there are so many drawing on the system who have not contributed little or at all and people are living much longer than when the plan was conceived.

    There is much to be said for staying active, social and keeping those brain cells in use!

  5. Hi Becca,

    For some reason, I thought you were a young retiree and no longer in Michigan. If I have eggs for brains now, what will I have at 70? If working keeps you sane and lucid, I need to work till my clock stops ticking.

    I’d love to continue my life work, which is working in the non-profit sector, but I really have no attachment to the corporate world (my day job). I’d like to continue working because it is my passion and not necessity. Of course, I’d like to live the life of an artist and for me that means I’m prepared to live frugally.

    I’m pretty fickle though. Have you noticed yet? Ask me in a few years. Given my money managing skills this is likely a moot point. I’m likely to be working because I need the income, and if I continue to be blessed, because I love what I’m doing.

  6. Over and over again, from people all over the world, I hear the same thing: the key to a long and happy life is keeping busy and staying interested in the world and in learning new things. Good for your Dad! And as a writer, I expect to work as long as I am physically able! 🙂

  7. Kudos to your dad! I LOVED my job as a contractor for Apple Computer and it took 4yrs to accept retirement. Now the kids are gone the internet, reading and TV are what keeps my mind from turning into mush…scary! lol

    XXOO

  8. I’m so glad that you like your job and You’re right about people working in their senior years. I think that’s why my dad is still so sharp. He worked in my brother’s business until he was 89. I enjoyed hearing about your job.

  9. It’s my tenth year in my job, my first job actually after college. I love it because somehow it involves educating the young. Working is good, as long as it does not consume us. We work to live and not live to work.

    I admire your dad for working at 70. I pray and hope I’ll be blessed with much energy and enthusiasm when I reach his age. I am now 30 so I have 40 years more to look forward to =).

  10. I do crave routine, and I find I get a lot more done when I have a lot to do. And I’m pretty goal oriented and like the feeling of getting things done. So I’ll probably be working in some way or another forever. Though I hope that sooner, not later, I can say goodbye to some aspects of working, like the office politics.

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