Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Taking time for me

While most people made New Year’s resolutions about losing weight, getting fit, eating healthy, spending more time with family, friends etc. I have decided that my resolution will include all of that by retiring. After almost 40 years in the nursing profession and 20 years working at this wonderful hospital I have decided 2012 will be the year.

I have received a lot of the usual comments, such as you are too young to retire, what you will do with all that time, you will get bored, I wish it was me, are you going to volunteer here?

I have a few answers for them.

Why not retire when you are ready, before you physically have to, or don’t remember your name, or when you may be asked to?  Why not retire when you feel as if you have given to your profession what you intended to give and you still feel as if it is the noblest profession in the world?  I will be retiring with many blessings and experiences that have molded me into the kind of person I am today and with no regrets.

Why not retire when your 80-year-old Mom is still active so that you can spend more time with her and treasure her last few years making wonderful memories together? By the way she is so excited that she got us Season Tickets to Silver Dollar City to go to all the yearly festivals they have. I can just imagine us now with her on her red scooter going up and down the hills of the Ozarks. Reminds me of the day that she called me to say, “Guess what? I have a red convertible now;” I said “What?” like any daughter should say. She just laughed and said it’s my new red scooter and I can go super fast in it and it turns on a dime and I can always leave the top down.  We might just make a stop at Choctaw on the way; she has started to like the place. No, she doesn’t play the slots, they have free breakfast for seniors on Tuesday and she can sit and listen to the music while others play the slots. After one trip to the casino she calls me just a laughing. “Judy, I woke up this morning and couldn’t find my underwear and someone else’s teeth were in my pocket.” Still don’t know how that happened, nor do I think I want to know. Just like she said “what happens in Choctaw stays in Choctaw.”

Why not retire when you can take all those classes at the Senior Center without having to use a walker or a cane?  I spent all those days years ago taking the kids to dancing lessons, piano lessons, gymnastics, soccer camps, the list is endless. They are grown now; do you think they are still doing any of that? I’ve already checked out the website. Did you know that you can get in a van with the other seniors and they will take you to the Fort Worth Stock Show? They also have ‘belly dancing’ lessons. Now the belly may be like jello now, but doesn’t that sound like great exercise to jiggle the jello?

Why not retire when you can still bend to the ground and plant those spring flowers? For that matter, why not retire when your eyesight is still good enough to see them, while you can still hear the birds as they sing while you check out the spring blooms?

So they ask me, what are you going to do when you retire? I will go to the grocery store on a Tuesday with the other old ladies and young moms. I will not go to the grocery store on a Saturday with all the other people who are rushed and stressed from working all week. I will do laundry on a Wednesday. I will not do 5 loads of laundry on a Saturday so I have enough clean underwear for the next work week.

I will sleep until my body tells me I have had enough sleep. I will not wake up to the sound of an alarm.

I will wear my sports bra when I want to. I will not have to think does this outfit warrant what my daughter calls ‘a real bra.’

I will wear my open toed shoes, my Capri’s and my new fragrance. I will not have to think, Am I in violation of ‘dress code?’

One last question is: Are you going to volunteer here? My answer is I don’t look good in green; pink and purple are my colors.

Judy Flores is a nurse manager in the women’s services area at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano who is looking forward to some me time.

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