What does it mean to "Let Go?" Really let go and enter a new phase of your life. Retired sales executive Rosemarie Vertullo, is our new guest blogger. In her three-part series, she writes in an up close and personal way about her life after retirement. In her first post Retirement or Reflection? she gives us a peek at her new life. In this her second post, she writes about the "New Me" - basically a discovery about her new identity. In her upcoming third post, she will write about "Where Will I Go From Here?" Hmmm. Interesting question. Stay tuned.
I have never, ever in my life felt that I didn’t have an answer to the question, “What do you do?” Even when I was a young stay-at-home mom in the late '60s and early '70s – a time when they called us “homemakers” – I proudly answered that question. I used to say, “I work as a developer of emerging youngsters who are my sons, and I am grooming them to one day become productive contributors to society.” That answer always perked up a lot of people and led to stimulating discussions.
When I entered the corporate workforce in the late ‘70s, I loved my career and loved telling people what my title was. It was an exciting time when women were beginning to make their mark in the work force as more than just "the assistant to….” I soared through the ranks to the top, and competed with the best. I proudly answered the question “What do you do?” with my newest title, and could always engage in a discussion about my industry and my exciting job.
But...how do I answer that question nowadays? Exactly what do I do, anyway? Who am I, anyway? This is such a new transition. I really don’t want to respond, “I’m retired.” That not only sounds boring; it sounds old, as if I've given up and reached the end of the line. Nothing could be further from the truth! I am a vibrant woman in my late 60s, and I am just beginning to discover the new me! I’m a jogger, zip liner, photographer, telephone talker, exotic vacationer, wine connoisseur, gourmet cook, modern grandmother who teaches her grandchildren to be free spirits, partner to someone I love, and caring friend. I have also embarked on blogging, through this Spirited Woman site!
This is quite a transition, moving from corporate life with all its responsibilities to full-time personal life, where I can focus on what I want to do. After all, spending almost 35 years in corporate America is nothing to sneeze at. That was more than half my life! Yes, it is proving difficult to let go of a life that I loved, one that gave me intellectual stimulation, financial freedom, personal self-esteem, challenges. I could go on and on.
I will never be a retired person who has no interests, no friends, and no "spark." I’m way too energetic for that to happen. Now that I'm retired, though, I know how great it is not to have a schedule, a to-do list, deadlines, work pressure, and accountability to a team. But sometimes that's exactly what keeps you on- track and motivated. So, while I'm sure I made the right decision about retiring, it looks as if I'm going to have to be patient and see what unfolds in the future. Then I can confidently give a clear answer when someone asks me, "What do you do?" I can answer with many different responses, depending on what my interest is at the time or I could say, “I am an artist who is painting a new life canvas and exploring new pleasures!”
I can’t wait to explore all this! Be sure to read my final post in this series, “Where Will I Go From Here?”
Rosemarie Vertullo, email@example.com
Rosemarie Vertullo is a retired sales and marketing executive who lives in Napa with her partner of five years. She is a self-made woman who is incredibly proud of her life. She raised two sons as a single parent, during a time when there were few support systems for “spirited women,” and she managed to put herself through college. Rosemarie graduated with a BS in Biology from SUNY Stony Brook in 1978. She joined the pharmaceutical/medical industry as a sales representative and successfully climbed the corporate ladder eventually heading up sales forces for two companies.