My wife retired from full time employment last Friday after ten years at the local YMCA. I’m celebrating her accomplishments with this blog post (among other things like dinner, wine, flowers and chocolate!).
She started her working career in high school, as so many have, at McDonalds. Didn’t enjoy coming home smelling like hamburgers, so switched to retail at Sears. There, all the older ladies smoked so she came home smelling like an ashtray. Pick your poison, I guess. ;-)
Put herself through school on that job at Sears – at a private Christian college outside of Chicago, no less! With a few grants and a couple of gen ed courses from a community college, she graduated with a BA in Elementary Ed without taking a loan. She’d started saving for college in the eighth grade!
We got married at the end of our junior year, had a baby right before graduation, and then we moved to Philadelphia for my seminary. There she taught 2nd grade at a private Christian academy in North Philly in exchange for about 9k a year! We were living large.
After the birth of our second child, we moved to western PA, where I served as a pastor. She entered the field of social work with a position at Family Preservation Services. She also did a bit of retail again; part time at a Hallmark store so she could buy me Star Trek ornaments on discount!
A full time mom and "pastor's wife" (sans piano playing), my wife earned her MEd at nearby Slippery Rock University. (Yes, such a place exists! And we're still on their mailing list despite asking them to save a tree.)
When we moved to Kansas twenty-six years ago, my accomplished life-partner continued her career in non-profits with positions at Early Head Start and Mental Health Services. She then transitioned to becoming the Director of Operations at a private special education clinic and school, serving in that position for ten years.
At this point, her interest in ultramarathoning and physical fitness led her to obtain her nationally recognized ACSM certification for personal training. (And when I say interest, I mean passion! A few years back I crewed for her as she completed a few 12- and 24-hour events as well as a 50 miler or two!)
With certificate in hand, she joined a local branch of the YMCA as a trainer, working her way up through the ranks to Senior Program Director. She has now concluded her career there and is retiring from close to forty years of full time employment.
Man, time flies since I first fell in love with that teenager I met orientation weekend in college! She’s as beautiful today as she was then and I’m so excited to celebrate her accomplishments. Even more excited to enter this next chapter of our lives together.
Well, on February 1 we’ll announce a new website, Facebook page, Instagram account, etc. (expanding to YouTube, TikTok, Twitter and more as time allows) in order to focus on travel, transformation, and wellness.
Not planning to be social media influencers, per se, just sharing our journey into this next wonderful era of active living and encouraging others to live the good life along the way.
And we’re moving!
But more on that next week. Until then, join me in celebrating my wife’s successful career path that has led to a much-earned change of pace and transition to a new phase of life.
Love you, babe. Congrats!