My classification is Retired and I love it. But before I tell you more, let me tell you how I got there.

I was born in a small town in England. Bromsgrove is between the cities of Birmingham and Worcester and its big claim to fame is that it is mentioned in the Doomsday book .

After high school I attended Gloucester College of Education. My intention was to teach Home Economics (cooking, needlework).

At the age of 15 , whilst visiting a friend, I had a soccer ball kicked at me by a neighbour of hers – David Golding. I was not impressed and had no idea this person would soon  become my soulmate and the love of my life. We married at 20 and  at 21 our daughter Helen was born. – so much for the teaching career! Two years later our son, Mark was born. In 1975 we receive approval to emigrate to Canada

 

We arrived on January 28th, 1976 on a bitterly cold -30 degree day with a 5 year old and a 3 year old. Within 2 weeks David had found work and we had rented an apartment. We moved from the apartment into a bungalow in Long Branch, Etobicoke  and for the next few years I stayed at home and raised our children.

A friend of a friend had an employment agency and called one day to tell me she had a job she thought would interest me. It was in receivables for a division of Reichhold Chemicals. The division provided inks and parts for large printing presses. My job was to approve orders, collect payments and generally make sure the accounts were in good order. I found I loved this side of business. A year later the same friend of a friend called to say she had a better job for me. This was as Credit Manger for Heathkit Electronics. I knew I was not qualified for the job, she knew I was not qualified for the job, but she felt I would learn quickly. The VP Finance who interviewed me was from Birmingham, England and we hit it off immediately. He knew I wasn't qualified for the job, but thank goodness gave me the chance. I soon found out that credit/collections/receivables was pretty much the same no matter where you worked, it was just the product that was different.

 I continued in Credit for the rest of my working  life, working for Heathkit Electronics, Zenith Data Systems, ITT Commercial Finance, Transamerica Commercial Finance, CIBC Inventory Finance and CIBC Wholesale Automotive Finance.

In October 1999, my life fell apart. My husband David died. With the help of family, friends and many Rotarians I got through this difficult period and picked myself up again. 18 months later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Again, with the help of family, friends and Rotarians I got through and picked myself up again.

On November 3, 2009, we were told that CIBC was moving the wholesale financing from retail banking to corporate banking and would not need us all. November 30, 2009 was to be my last day. I was mad, sad, and worried all at the same time.  (I have just watched Up in the Air and I sure wish it had been out before I was let go - I could have used some of those retorts!). 

Since November 09 I really have not had much time to reflect on retirement.  The first thing I did was go on vacation the first week of December (this had been planned for a while!). I sold my house in Mississauga and moved to Guelph, taking several vacations during the process.

I have 2 passions - my 2 granddaughters and taking vacations. When David died I wondered what I could do to make a difference in my granddaughters lives. Sure I could buy them stuff, put money into an education fund, but would that make a difference to their lives? I decided we would have "Grandma and me" weekend vacations. These started off when they were quite young with a day trip to Marineland in Niagara Falls and a sleep over. We have moved on quite  a way since then  as they now chose where they want to go. One of last year's trips was a week in Paris, France. This year I am  heading to England with Samantha for a week and to Forks, WashingtonState, the setting of the  Twilight series of   books with Katherine. I have begun scrapbooks for each of them detailing where we went, what we did and including photos and memorabilia.

I add in as many other vacations as I can to the Caribbean and to parts of the US where I have wonderful friends. 

I consider myself very fortunate -  I have loved every job I have had, with the exception of one, have had fantastic bosses and am still in touch with many people who I have worked with and who have worked for me over the years. I have a wonderful family, both of my children married amazing people whom I love as if they were my own. I also have the best friends in the world, many of whom were/are connected with Rotary.   

As I said, my classification is Retired. I love it, and like most retirees, have no idea when I had time to work. I would recommend it to everyone.