In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy talks with Nancy Vallee, a retired 911 dispatcher of 21 years. Nancy speaks frankly about transitioning from first responder life to retired, new career, and finding the new you!
Nancy started a career as a realtor before retirement, getting her license, selling homes, and preparing for the future. What she didn’t plan on was the barrage of emotional deflation. Newly married, new home, new career, all great things happening, you can’t help but think, this is going to be a fantastic new chapter in life. She prepared, being 55 at retirement, still young with a whole life ahead of her. She never expected the darkness she had seen before to come back. Nancy was preparing to leave the job; she didn’t know the job wasn’t ready to let go of her.
Nancy was a single mother, taking care of her children and then her mom. Working 60-hour work weeks, her kids were used to her not being around for school events, etc. The village of friends that helped her with the kids when she couldn’t be there was powerful. But what happens to the family when they are unprepared for your retirement? Sometimes, they become the silent partners of your demise without even knowing it. Nancy’s husband recognized first that she wasn’t herself. How do you tell someone you love that they have changed when the person you love doesn’t see it in themselves? You just have to speak up! Be there for them, and let them work to find themselves again. We can only do so much for our loved ones, but if they don’t do the job, then they can’t get out of the dark place. Thankfully, Nancy started realizing that she didn’t like how life was making her feel and that it didn’t have to do with the new chapter but had everything to do with the old branch. Family is there for you and more robust than you think. Give them a try and start having conversations.
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