Key Takeaways:

Cyndi figured out how to slow down and enjoy retirement. She now feels like the "most blessed person in the world."

Cyndi.

Cyndi never planned her career as an x-ray technologist. Her career began as a Health and Physical Education instructor at a public school, which meant she constantly worried about money but also loved teaching kids to be healthy and happy. It all changed when a friend who worked as an anesthesiologist said, ‘you look like an x-ray person.’

 “I remember thinking, ‘what does an x-ray person look like?’. But after a few trips to the hospital to learn more about x-ray technicians, I was hooked. I wish I would’ve done radiology right off the bat, but those kinds of opportunities weren’t available in career fairs at my high school.” Cyndi always enjoyed helping people stay happy and healthy. With a job at the hospital, she got to pursue this passion in a more economically sustainable way.

“I am inspired by seeing other people happy and laughing. Seeing people smile is what I live for.”

It is this love of joy that drew Cyndi towards teaching again. “After 30+ years in the healthcare business, I started to think about retirement. One day I was reading an AARP magazine and saw something about teaching with GetSetUp. So, I contacted them."

Now Cyndi teaches around eleven classes. One of her favorites is ‘Count Your Blessings’ because it challenges both Cyndi and her students. "It's hard to get people talking but every once in a while a learner will say, ‘Thank you for being here on a dark, depressing, dreary, day in my life. I’m glad to be having some fun with you guys.’ It’s a great feeling to be able to offer a class to someone who is feeling lonely,” Cyndi explains. That’s really what it’s all about. The learner’s words mean the world to me. I’m just a silly person doing game and technology classes, but it really means something to people who don’t have a lot of things going on in their lives. In these classes we learn, laugh at each other, and I get to laugh at myself.

“It’s almost been a year since I’ve retired. Quite frankly, it’s taking me a year to learn how to enjoy retirement. All I've ever wanted to do is spend every day with my six rescue dogs and now I can do that. They are a hoot. I live in a nice neighborhood and love to take them on walks and talk with my neighbors.” 

When asked to advise people trying to live happier and healthier lives, Cyndi says, “Stop and try to see the good in everything. Don’t isolate yourself. That’s the one thing that will drag you down faster than anything. If you are in a place with healthcare issues so you can’t go out, zoom is the way to go. You can meet people, learn things and still feel like you are a productive member of society.” 

Since retirement, Cyndi has focused on gratitude and keeping good relationships. With classes to teach and dogs at her side Cyndi smiles and says, “I feel like I’m the most blessed person in the world”.

This feature is written by GetSetUp Journalism Fellow Jordan Evans, a student at Florida State University.

May 19, 2022
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