When you reach the age of retirement, filling in an “About Me” page can be daunting. I’ve had multiple jobs (only a couple of which I’d refer to as “careers”) and lived enough life that paring it down is a chore. Let’s just start with Las Vegas.
I spent 13 years as a professional dancer. The first four were in Las Vegas in “Casino de Paris” at the Dunes. I then spent 3 years dancing in shows and traveling through different countries, trying to assuage my travel bug. I spent time in South Africa, France, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Italy, Egypt, England, Finland and Sweden before returning to Las Vegas to finish my last 6 years as a dancer in “Jubilee” at Bally’s.
I spent the next 13 years in various jobs that paid my bills but didn’t bring much personal satisfaction, including legal assistant, operator in a hotel/casino, salesperson, administrative assistant in casino marketing and law office receptionist.
During the years after I returned from my overseas travel, I volunteered on and off for almost 10 years (spread over a 20 year period) in hospice. Eventually, I was hired to run the complementary therapies department at that same hospice and have been there now for 12 years. As a reflexologist, Reiki Master and Registered Aromatherapist, I also do hands-on patient care. It’s a great job that allows me the certainty of knowing, every day, that I made a difference to someone, and that what my department gives the patients and families is vital to peace and comfort. Most of all, I’ve learned that when you reach the end of your life, you won’t give a damn about the hours you spent cooped up in an office finishing a report; what matters are the people in your life, the love you’ve shared and the inexhaustible beauty of this planet.
Don’t get me wrong – just because I’m a senior doesn’t mean I’m done! I’ve zip lined in Costa Rica, ridden a camel in Egypt, built snowmen outside the hotel window in Finland, had a mama-san teach me the art of donning a kimono in Japan, had boyfriends on several continents, worked for a Mafia family in Italy, ridden horses at full moon behind the pyramids in Cairo, celebrated a birthday in Japan where the mama-san wrote “Happy Birthday Risa” on my cake, partied with Engelbert Humperdink and his crew in Thailand, roller-skated at a party Cher threw in Las Vegas and met all sorts of interesting singers, actors, writers and television stars – from Sammy Davis, Jr. to Smokey Robinson to Charlie Rose to Alex Haley to Shirley MacLaine.
In my spare time, I manage my own herbal and essential oil company, Scentsibility, intermittently work on my first play and throw in a few blog posts for good measure. Imagine what I can accomplish when the time is totally mine -all day, every day.