In 2012, Jan was working full time and beginning to consider retirement. She started planning how she would use her long service leave when the organisation she worked for closed suddenly and unexpectedly.
Fortunately, she had already begun exploring her volunteering options, and had begun to represent her community as a Positive Ageing Ambassador with the Colac Otway Shire. Never-the-less, she found the sudden, unexpected transition into retirement difficult and remembers going through a time when she felt ‘not quite myself’. She says “There was a space of 6 months when I did little. It was a time of grieving. I had lost colleagues. We tried to meet, but it is different, and people move on.”
While she took up a short stint of part-time work, she gave this up to expand her volunteer work. She now manages payroll and interviews at the local Community house and Landcare group, and continues in her role for the council.
On top of this she continues to help run her large cattle farm, and has a passion for her vegetable garden which keep her fit. However, she adds to this, with a regular visit to the gym, something she has missed during the pandemic.
“I move a lot but don’t do a lot that keeps my pulse rate up, that is where the gym is handy”.
Jan feels she has found a great balance between time for herself and her interests, time for the farm and time for all the work she does in her community. “I am energised by interactions with people. I come home and I am chatty and busy. It is a good balance”.
“Everyone needs and deserves to feel valued. I never stopped working, I just stopped getting paid! Volunteering is a WONDERFUL opportunity. There is some activity, some group that will grab your attention and tick your box. You get so much more out of it than you expect. Take time to find the right group and the right role for you. Put THEM through the audition process.”
#lifechanges #keepmoving #stayactive #humansingeelong
Photo: Sophie Fisk.
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