Meet Ann - accountant turned restaurant owner. We were friends in college. She was quiet and reserved and I was an introvert, so we gravitated together. After college, we lost touch. My mother kept me posted via her newspaper habit: “Ann’s in the Chamber of Commerce,” or “Ann’s running for school board,” or “Ann’s getting married!” Then her name popped up in the alumni magazine announcing that she had opened an Italian restaurant. My curiousity was piqued and I talked some friends into a roadtrip in exchange for a free lunch (that wasn’t a hard sell).
Before we even finished with the salads and breadsticks, Ann approached and said, “Do I know you?” (A question perhaps prompted by my disconcerting stare everytime she walked in the room.) Turns out she divorced, remarried an Italian man, retired from accounting and the two of them opened the restaurant. We congratulated her on the new venture. She explained, “I wasn’t ready to retire. I just wanted to do something different and this is exciting to me. I’m not behind a desk, meet new people all the time and I’ve always liked to cook. It was a learning curve, but this place is small enough for us to handle.”
Retirement afforded Ann an opportunity to try something she didn’t have the time or finances to do earlier in her life. It was an exciting departure from a long accounting career. In her own words, “I feel like I lived one life and now I’m starting another. Everything I’ve learned working with businesses over the years, I can apply here. And I’m doing it my way!”