Catherine is the hardest worker I’ve ever known. Almost eighty years of age, she works full time, and travels for work several times a month. On top of that she manages properties on Long Island, a house two doors down, and her own home, single-handedly. And these are big properties.
Retirement is not even in her vocabulary. We’ve tried to persuade her to take steps towards retirement. One does not just go into work one day and say, ” You can take this job and shove it! I’m retiring!” No, retirement is a process. We are trying to start the process.
Even though she doesn’t seem to get a lot of support from her peers, after 45 years with the same company she perseveres. Take for instance this last week. She had a meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Two airlines fly into Harrisburg from Chicago. A five hour flight with a stop is $850. What does Catherine do? She flies into Pittsburgh, rents a car, and drives three hours to Harrisburg to catch this meeting. Why? To save the company money. The round trip, last minute airfare on Southwest from Chicago to Pittsburgh was less than $79. Most of her younger colleagues wouldn’t bother. They’d jump on that $850 fare. Who cares? It’s company money. AND time is money. Young whippersnappers- what happened to loyalty? If Catherine knew what LMAO meant, her company travel agent would be LHAO.
Now that it’s getting into the colder months, a kitchen remodel is in the works, and retirement for Catherine is not even a flicker of light at the end of that tunnel. Forty-five years with this company? She could live to 300 on her retirement funds. But what I like most about Catherine is that she never complains. Not about work, not about people, and unlike most “old” people and many middle-aged people I know, she never complains about her health OR getting old. A 5:45am flight to save the company hundreds of dollars, she doesn’t complain. I complain for her.
She just recently started to “let things go“. Let the lawn go another day and run barefoot chasing fireflies. Participate in the annual neighborhood Oktoberfest, with Hans.
Awards? She’s got a trophy case that Michael Jordan would envy. Not really. No case, these awards are crammed into boxes, crammed into the basement. Nowadays, she prefers consumable trophies like this. . .
At nearly eighty, Catherine has a very youthful spirit. She’s a good listener. She loves to entertain. She is very appreciative and accepting of others. It’s no wonder giving up a 45 year career is difficult. BUT we are shedding light on her new vocabulary~ retirement.
And by golly, I hope she lives to 300. What a cake that would be.