Submitted by Sue Ruttenberg
Q: What was your primary career and what did you love about it?
A: I had several. I owned and managed my own restaurant and managed restaurants for others as well. Then I was a writer/producer for a full service advertising agency and was the same for a start-up television shopping show. And lastly, I was an administrator in the College of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine where I ran the departments of Dermatology, Physical Medicine, and the Department of Pediatrics Division of General Pediatrics and the Child Development Center. What I loved about all of these was the people I worked with and the creativity I was able to use in managing those jobs. I also loved learning in all those areas.
Q: When you retired, did you feel ‘finished’ or, for you, was there still something left to do?
A: I felt finished with the daily 8-5 grind, but not finished with my productivity or contribution to the community in which I live. I cannot just sit around. I have to do something relevant and productive or I am bored. I enjoy challenge but at this point in my life I do not want a daily commitment. I want to leave room for travel and other entertainment.
Q: What inspires you and why?
A: I am inspired by people and situation who need my help. I really would like to make people’s lives better. I appreciate all the good things that I have and have experienced and would like others to be able to do the same.
Q: How does your unique set of experiences make a difference for the community in your work now?
A: I like to feel that working in Your Experience Counts does make a difference in children’s lives. I may not change all the lives I encounter, but if I help just one, I would feel successful. Since I have had several careers in my life, I feel I can relate to those who need some guidance in thinking about their future. Plus with all the children I emphasize the love of learning for learning’s sake. I am continuing to go to classes and learn new things which information I can share with the children and others.
Q: What’s your advice for boomers who are about to launch their own “second act”?
A: The best way to be happy in retirement is to do what you love. Then every day will be a play day. Find some way to give back to your community. It is a rewarding experience. I tried something new when I first retired and found that I did not enjoy it so I stopped doing it. Then I searched the newspaper for volunteer opportunities. When I saw the little ad for YEC I new it was for me. I guess my advise is to keep trying until you find what you love and what inspires you and makes you want to get up in the morning.