I wrote the following partly in 2012 when I first decided to write a memoir, and partly in the fall of 2010. And, here I am in 2016, living in a different city, Essex Junction, Vt., no longer an innkeeper in Louisville, KY, and having that memoir published at this very moment
Written in 2012: Owning the bed and breakfast has been a wonderful experience and taught me a lot about myself. Although it was a risk, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. To me, taking risks is what life is all about. And without that attitude, I would have missed so much. My life has been very full...with lots of ups and downs.
This memoir is a result of the many changes I went through in the past sixteen years and has prepared me to share my life with whomever...When I think about who might be reading it right now; it gives me chills and fills me with excitement. I am thankful that I have come to the point where I willingly and honestly am able to open up and do so. This was not always the case.
Written in October, 2010: It is almost fall, my favorite time of year. My birthday is in the fall and, as it happens, this is the fall of my life. I will be 80 on October 9th. I say fall instead of winter because there will be no winter for me. I shall forever remain on the cusp of winter...too busy to go there.
I love to work. I’m not exactly sure where I picked up such a strong work ethic, but it seems like I've always been driven by it. By the time I was 12, I was running my own neighborhood baby-sitting agency. This went on for a couple of years, then I got my first real job at age 14 in a local grocery store. At that time, many places hired 14 year-olds as there were not stringent labor laws for children. At 16, I was working for J L Hudson Department stores in Detroit, Michigan for the credit department. Later, I worked at a bank, a Vacuum Sweeper Co, doing PR, and at a General Motors plant, testing newly hired employees. I was always working.
By the time I graduated from high school and decided to go to college, I was working summers at a local swimming pool, behind the towel counter. I spent five years at Wayne State University, first studying Art for a year and then switching to a more practical undergrad degree with a double major in English composition and Education. After that, more education and working all sorts of short-term jobs, too many to mention here. I ended up with a Master's in Music and Special Education, and certification to teach music, English, Social Studies, ESL, and students with learning problems.
And what about retirement and that winter-of-your life thing? In my mind, life is a continual re-inventing of who you are, at least for me it has been. And who I am includes work. This is the way it has gone so far. And, if I have anything to say about it, this is the way it will continue to go until my last day.
I was prepared to do a lot of things. I was organized and had good planning skills and I loved to work. So it was feasible that I could actually have more than one career. And that's exactly what I have done. I was a teacher in the high schools of Chicago and simultaneously a teacher of English as a Second Language in a local college night school. After leaving the high schools, I taught at the University of Illinois and worked on a PhD in Education at the same time.
Now let me ask you, do you think a workaholic, type A, perfectionist could retire happily? Of course not. Well, she sort of retired, for a couple of months that is. But soon reinvented herself as an Innkeeper and started career #2.
Opening a bed and breakfast was challenging, fun, and cost a hell of a lot of money; more than I ever anticipated. Being a risk-taker, I went into it not knowing a thing about business, in retrospect; not too bright an idea. I made it work though, with a lot of tenacity, blood, sweat, and a few tears and have been a successful Innkeeper for 16 years,
It's been a great ride, but I am ready for a change now. I am ready for Career #3. Retirement you ask? Maybe I never will retire, because in my next career I plan to write. With bones aching and arthritis creeping up into every joint, I can thankfully still type on my computer. I will sit in a lovely overstuffed leather desk chair and happily document my life as an Innkeeper and write articles for Hub Pages and the other sites where I will continue to earn a little chump change and still feel productive. Retire?......I don't think so.
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