Let’s All Be A Little More Jennifer
They say things happen for a reason and although I wouldn’t wish being told you only have six months to live on anyone, that moment has brought great things to my life. Things I’d never have imagined – not in my wildest dreams.
One of those ‘things’ (although I hate to refer to her as such) is Jennifer. An ‘ordinary’ woman from the north of England who came to one of my webinars. And a few weeks later signed herself up for my Bootcamp for Boomers. Jennifer is a leading light in my Retirement Rebellion tribe, an inspiration to me and many others and this is why…
Creating Jennifer’s blueprint for later life
“I’ve been a National Health Service nurse my whole life and brought up three kids on my own, so I knew my pension would be rubbish. I didn’t want to be a poor pensioner and, as there’s only me, I knew I needed to do something, so I set up a care agency with a former colleague, as our skills and characters complement each other really well. Until April this year I was running the business as well as doing my NHS work. But then, after the covid vaccinations, I decide to retire from nursing, so I could concentrate on one job, instead of two.
I found myself thinking about the next phase of my life, wondering what I’d do when I didn’t need to be so involved in the business. I’d have my health and finances, but no purpose. I was floundering. Wondering what would come next. What the next stage of my life would look like. That’s when I found George’s course, which, thankfully, ticked all the boxes. I love doing courses, developing personally, and learning and I was amazed by how much George knew, how spiritual he was and how everything he said was backed up by experience and study. I couldn’t believe how many books he’d written.
The course exceeded all my expectations and, as I said, I’ve done quite a few. George opened my mind to new things, things I just hadn’t thought of before. I thought I had ‘retirement’ nailed. That I’d work for two days a week and then spend the rest of my time enjoying myself, but George had other ideas. He knew that wouldn’t be enough for me – and he was right.”
I felt aimless when I signed up, but at the end all I felt was hope
“I came away from the course with a plan, a blueprint if you will, for the next chapter. But also, much more than that. George gave me focus and shifted my mindset, helping me turn negatives into positives. He made me see that if I hadn’t been through life’s challenges then I might not have had the strength to start a new business or the focus to see that I couldn’t just flounder in retirement, sitting at home wasting my time away.
You see, I lost my sister at just 51. She had a life-limiting illness and packed more into her last four years than many people do in a lifetime. I knew I’d got to live for her, as well as myself.
I also spent the last eight years of my nursing career in palliative care, and I can’t tell you how many times people told me they were “set to retire next year.” I know these years are precious and I have to make the most of them.”
As free as a bird… and bees
So, what did Jennifer do next? Well, first of all, she decided not to nail down her future right away and instead, explore life’s possibilities. She bought herself a camper van so she can travel through Europe to see her dad in Southern Spain.
Quite rightly, realising that the time to do this is now, not in ten years’ time when she might not have the strength or mental agility to take on such a journey. She also invested in a holiday home on the coast and is focusing on two new interests – bee keeping and wildflowers, in the hope that one day these things will become her passion and her purpose.
I said earlier that Jennifer’s an inspiration to me – and this is why. She’s taken my course and run with it – quite literally. Opening her eyes, her heart and her mind to life. Not prepared to flounder into ‘retirement,’ instead challenging herself to come up with a plan so she can grab the opportunity with both hands and squeeze every last drop out of every day. That’s why I think, in some shape or form, we should all be a little bit more Jennifer.
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- My American dream - September 15, 2019
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