“I’ve been planning for my retirement since I was like 30, and when the time came and people were asking, ‘what are you going to do now?’ I would say; ‘I’m going to do nothing! I’m going to have a holiday forever!’ I used to start work at 5:30 am every morning for 42 years. Now, I’m just going to roll over in my bed at that time. I will meet friends and relatives who I never had time for. I will say: “I can meet you at 11 or at 2 or I can meet you at 6 pm if that’s suits you better? I used to do my shopping in 20 minutes, now I can go shopping for two hours if I please. Thought that I will have time to get my knee done, finally, and I will able to look after myself properly. I retired in July, and August was wonderful. I went off for the weekends down the country with my friends. I went to see my relatives in England. I went on a cruise ship with my mother and my daughter. We never had time for these sort of things. When I came home, I was prepared to have my knee operation. I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive but I was okay with it. I was like, I will watch TV I will read and I will relax! Well… I had to learn very quickly that being at home alone isn’t as much fun as it’s cracked up to be. It was getting into the winter by then and I got bored and lonely in no time… My daughter was doing her intern work with Inner City Helping Homeless and kept saying how busy they are and that they don’t have enough people to do all the jobs… At some point, I asked if I could help out one afternoon…. and the rest is history. I am retired but really I just started a new job. I became a part-time but in reality a full-time, volunteer coordinator with Inner City Helping Homeless. I am a fixer. I love to figure out things and create new systems. I never knew how much I loved to be around people, and here I feel like I’m a part of a big family. Even though I enjoyed my work life in the banking sector, I was always working towards my retirement. Now, for the first time, I have a passion for what I do and it made me realize that being retired is not really for me actually.”
Ann was nominated and shortlisted in the Dublin Hero category for98FM‘s #BestOfDublin Awards. You can find out more and vote for your favourite Dubliner HERE!