I’m just like you. Only different. I want to write my blog because I love sharing. I philosophize, meditate, rationalize, analyse. I tell you what I think, what I’ve done, where I’ve been. And then I spend time at home, snacking, watching The Mentalist, obeying my FitBit to walk 250 steps every hour at ten to the hour. Then I check my mails, check FaceBook, check my bank account. Every morning I check my blood pressure before I get out of bed. Then I weigh myself after going to the toilet.
When Josef works early I make myself a shake for breakfast and aim to be at my pc by eight o’clock. The first week I read Lebensraum Ewigkeit, the German version of the book I am proofreading. The second week I read through the English translation. The third week I met with the author and we are back to final preparations of going to print. This is where we were two years ago. Two years ago!
After one of my two year stints at the UN when the IAEA could no longer employ me without recruiting me for an advertised position, I went into retirement. I was already 62, the designated age for retirees of the UN at the time I joined in 2009. I had already contributed to the UN pension fund for five years, the minimum amount required to be eligible for a UN pension. My boss decided to advertise my position. So, I had no guarantee, nor assurance, but a word, that I may get recruited. They did need me after all! So I received my retiree badge from the UN pass office in Vienna and left the Agency in October 2016. It took six months to advertise my position, to interview and re-recruit me. The age of retirement for Austrian women is sixty. Most go into early retirement. I could not understand why my sister-in-law was so proud to be a retiree at 58. She even asked me “How long do you still have to work?” I loved my job. I wanted to work. Of course the effect it would have on my meagre pension was also not to be underestimated. After-all Josef spent years at home with the kids without any financial security apart from my job in the Austrian economy and has spent the last ten years or so working “only” part-time in a call-centre. If we were materialistic, we would be extremely worried. Not so. We are idealistic. We both joined the Unification Church in August 1975 at opposite ends of the earth. We met in New York in 1982. We were recommended to each other as a “blessed couple” in December 1980 by Reverend Moon, who gave Josef a photograph of me, both of them (Josef and Reverend Moon) never having met me.
Wow! What a story! Yes, but that’s not what I was going to talk about.
I spent my six months retirement from the IAEA working on the translation of Lebensraum Ewigkeit. I was invited for an interview as Data Assistant for the Division of Nuclear Security. My boss called me up and asked if I could start on 2 May 2017, two years before my 65th birthday. I finished the book and went back to work. Then the author wanted a few more changes. I said, “Sorry, I’m back at work. Can’t do it now.”
Fast forward. So what did I want to do when I “retire”? I want to finish that book. My knees are really sore and I believe when I lose a substantial amount of weight, my knees should get better. I don’t trust that doctor who told me that I need two complete knee replacements. I think he just smelled my private Vanbreda insurance and saw a good catch. My private UN health insurance was a great blessing to me. It helped me cover my dental bills and paid for my new bifocal glasses. But on my short-term temporary assistant contracts, I could not afford to take time off work on sick-leave for fear of not getting another contract. I was already obliged to take a one month unpaid break every two years and then the rule was changed to 12 months, when they finally decided to advertise my position. Luckily, I was only out for six months before the recruitment came through. Not even my UN pension came through as a retiree for the six months, not until I was back at work, in my old office, at the same desk, with the same email account, doing the same job and processing all the assignments that had accumulated in my six month absence. But I was an International Civil Servant again. I was earning a good salary. My five sons had all left home. They were even financially independent.
My goal in retirement was my health and the book.
I went on a three week health cure. It wasn’t long enough. It was great, but even the doctor at my final check-up said I need another three weeks. So I determined to continue at home. That was the last three weeks. Why wasn’t I posting? Why wasn’t I blogging? One thing at a time. I bought myself that annual pool pass for all the swimming pools in Vienna with the intention of going swimming. That will come. I got home from St.Josef on Thursday 1 August, exactly three weeks ago. I began immediately with the ten minutes a day ergotherapy on the home-trainer. I continued going to bed early, not midnight as was my practice when I was working. I got up each morning in time to do ten minutes on the home trainer before we prayed together. Then most days Josef left for work at seven-thirty. On those days, I made myself my shake and had my vitamin supplements. When he was home he always made breakfast and we usually spent hours talking at the table.
So now, the next period begins. I thought I’d be posting a blog article once a week or so. Then I thought I have too much to say for a single article. Now I am finally writing again and I am going to post this article even though it may be a bit long. Perhaps I’ll divide it up into smaller articles and post one after the other? No. here it is. I might write a few smaller articles sooner. Smiley. 🙂