Happy May! *insert Justin Timberlake meme*
Will that joke ever get old? Yes, it already is. Will I never stop using it? Probably not. Is it also the end of May? Yes it is. Whatever.
As we all continue to try to avoid accepting the current status of the world, I figured I could entertain* all my readers with a story (shout out to my mom for being my reader). I used to work at a retirement community in their activities department. By far it was one of the best jobs I’ve had. Now I know what you’re picturing after reading ‘retirement community’. You pictured a mothball smelling bingo room and an elderly people crossing sign like this one.
Well you’re not wrong. But you are wrong. The retirement community I worked at was in Broomfield, Colorado. Every resident had their own house and there weren’t any nurses or medication schedules we had to follow. We liked to call ourself an Active Adult Community. Which, realistically, was a cheap cop-out for not naming ourselves a retirement community.
I worked with the activities department – or Lifestyle team. We would plan events for the residents to attend. Our events consisted of sock hops, ballroom dance nights, summer concert series, New Year’s Eve parties, and many more. Our residents loved a good $5 ticket for events where they could enjoy adult beverages (more than you’d expect) and hang out with their fellow retirees. A brief detail I should mention is grandchildren, or anyone under the age of 18 for that matter, were not allowed to be in our recreation center or attend any events or club gatherings. We had designated days and times that minors could come and enjoy our pool.
When I first got a job at this retirement community, a lot of people would tease me about working with “old people” and working in the “old folks home.” However, working there allowed me to appreciate and gain a new perspective of life. The residents were so excited to be achieving new goals during their retirement that it showed me you can set multiple life goals as you age.
Those residents never believed they were too old to try anything new, pursue a new hobby, or get back into the dating pool. Yes. There was A LOT of dating going on. It was very refreshing to be surrounded by people who wanted to continue to live their best life no matter what age they are.
After 2.5 years, I started applying for new jobs. Upon my departure, the residents continued to remind me that change in life is difficult but it’s worth it and it is needed. I am very thankful for the support I received (and continue to receive) from the residents. I will always treasure that job because of the connections I made and the love and support I experienced.
I think back on that job a lot. The biggest thing that sticks with me is even though I was the youngest employee and person in the building, working at the retirement community made my heart young.
Cheers to all my “elderly” folk out there. Stay young and stay hip!
*Maybe it was asking a lot of you to be entertained by this…but were you entertained?