For some people, the beginning of retirement marks a challenging time to find one’s purpose. But not for Charlotte Wickenheim: This retired mom has dedicated the rest of her twilight years to finding the perfect kitchen backsplash!
“I wasn’t going to let retirement slow me down,” said Charlotte. “I’m still going to be a useful, productive member of society. So I’ve channeled my efforts into something worthwhile: nailing down the ideal backsplash for my newly renovated kitchen.”
For Charlotte, who worked for 47 years as an elementary school teacher, finding happiness in her retirement hasn’t proven easy.
“The first day that I didn’t have to go into work, I felt lost,” she said. “I could feel myself slipping into a depression. But then I thought, I just need to find a cause that would really drive me to wake up every morning.”
“I tried volunteering at the animal shelter, I tried reading to children at the library,” Charlotte added. “I even worked a few shifts at our local soup kitchen. But I found my true calling in the Lowe’s catalogue.”
And from solid granite all the way to subway tile, her long journey began.
Charlotte’s friends and family members are proud of the commitment she has to her cause.
“I hated seeing my mom so depressed after she retired,” said Holly Wickenheim, Charlotte’s daughter. “She hasn’t called me in weeks, so it’s clear that she’s really focused on her mission.”
“Charlotte is so admirable for doing what she’s doing,” added longtime friend Etta Norsey. “When I retired, I just started knitting. But last night she cancelled our dinner plans because she found an incredible lead, and I just said, ‘Go and do your life’s work, Charlotte.’”
“I don’t ever go in the kitchen,” adds her husband, Charles. “But I can’t think of a more noble way for my wife to spend her retirement.”
Even in her early seventies, Charlotte doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
“I will work tirelessly until I find the perfect backsplash,” said Charlotte. “I won’t rest until I find something durable, casual yet chic with a French country flair, one that won’t stain, even with tomato sauce.”
You inspire us all, Charlotte!