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If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

Money is out of the equation, because I am retired. I no longer have to work, and in fact, I never really did. I gave up a good job (and future) in public relations to stay home with my four children (in 5-1/2 years). I loved being a mother and have no regrets about my decision. My husband continued to grow in his career and earned enough to maintain our family without me working. That’s a blessing for which I am grateful.

Nevertheless, when I stopped earning money, I had a sense of guilt because I wasn’t getting a paycheck. I started working part-time when I was fifteen, and worked throughout college to help pay my expenses, so working and being responsible for myself were well ingrained.

When my youngest daughter was in first or second grade I went back to earn and M.Ed. in elementary education and began working full-time four or five years later, and worked until I retired two years ago. Teaching works well when one has a family. I still do substitute teaching and obviously get paid very little a year, but I enjoy it. I’ve always found kids and a school atmosphere invigorating.

I like having a schedule; I think it makes me use my time more wisely, so I try to have an activity each day around which to do things. I do volunteer once a week at the school I last taught at, and treat my library work like a job — I turn up when I’m supposed to and do 4-5 hours work. I think volunteering just to use up time is wasteful, so I try to be “professional” about it. I’ve volunteered a few times in the past for different organizations and found it was more of a chat fest than work, and didn’t like that.

I also take a couple of courses a year to enhance knowledge I have or find about something entirely new. Keeping the mind and body active in one’s later years is important — and I enjoy it.

It’s all about me now!

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