Saturday, September 28, 2013

Well, I've Gone and Done it

Several months ago an old back injury came back to haunt me so, as of today, I'm officially retired.

The last few weeks have been very emotional, saying good bye to my clients, many of whom I've had the pleasure of serving for many years. Just as difficult was saying good bye to clients I haven't had very long, folks that I was just getting to know.

This job isn't just about the paycheck. It's also about the relationships that are built over time. I know personal details about some peoples' lives that I'm pretty sure they don't share with just anybody and I feel honoured to have been entrusted with this information. Telling my clients that I was leaving felt like I was breaking up with them and each telling felt like a knife in my heart. Many clients were visibly shaken when I told them and some cried. It was very humbling to know I meant that much to them.

I have a darling lady who comes every Friday morning for her weekly set. This lady is my hero. She celebrated her 87th birthday this spring. She still lives in her own house, drives, is mentally sharp and pretty darned spry for being 87. She had told me, several times, that she hoped she died before I retired because she just couldn't imagine anyone else doing her hair. She loves me and I adore her. Telling her I was leaving is right up there as one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. As if the knife wasn't in deep enough, her sigh of resignation was the death twist of the blade.

I've shed many, many tears since making my decision to leave the job I love; the job I wanted to do since I was 6 years old. I feel very blessed that I was able to fulfill my dream of being a hairstylist. It all seems surreal; that the career I wanted from such a young age and worked so hard to achieve, going to school and working part time while raising my eldest daughter on my own, is now over.

I've had days where I wanted to stay home because I had things to do, or because it was too nice a day to be cooped up inside, but not once did I ever have a day that I didn't want to go to work because of the job itself. I can honestly say I've loved every minute of it.


  1. There is a big difference between choosing to retire and being forced to retire. You are one of the lucky ones because you had a job you loved.

    It takes awhile to get used to being retired, but soon you will wonder how you ever had time to work! Just remember to get out of your jammies every day, no matter what. Very little gets accomplished in jammies.

    See you soon!

  2. Barb, so sorry to hear about your recurring back problem. I can't imagine how hard it must be to be forced to stop doing something you loved so much. Keep looking on the brighter side of things though and think about how much time you will now have to do all those things you have been putting off for so long. You will now have more time to spend in Mexico also, which is a good thing.
    Chin up, it's a whole new world out there for you now, think of the possibilities you have in front of you.

  3. That was very touching. The bond between you and your clients is an obvious testimony to the care and caring you provided. Congratulations!

  4. Theresa and Brenda, you're right. Being forced to retire is far different than choosing to. It was a tough decision and I second guessed myself for several weeks.
    I've been planning all the things I'll be able to do now. I totally agree on the jammies thing so I've never been one to hang around the house in them.

  5. Congratulations Barb...bittersweet, indeed. Thank you for sharing this and all the very best in the next wonderful segment of your life.

  6. I know exactly how you feel, and it DOES get better. Good job describing this life change.

  7. Thanks, Barb. It *is* getting better. I've been able to spend more time with the g'kids. That, alone, has made it all more bearable.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  8. Hi Barb, I know how hard retiring can be... Jorge and I have been trying to quit going into our college for several years now... we get closer but never quite make it over the hump. See you soon, I hope... maybe we can "hangout"

  9. It really *is* hard, isn't it, Joanna. You'll get there eventually. :-)
    I would love to hang out with you!
    Thanks for commenting.


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