People, Silver Spring

“I try to be happy throughout the whole day”

Margaret G. sits on a curb at the corner of 60th and Silver Spring waiting for the bus.

The 52-year-old attended Cudahy High School and grew on on Milwaukee’s south side. “But I’m at a place, right now…a residential facility, right now, on this side of town – been there for a number of years, now,” she says. “It’s a psychiatric facility.”

Margaret is from a large family – she has five sisters and two brothers – but says she prefers being alone and was rarely at home, as a child. “I wasn’t there a lot; I was at other places…I like doing things on my own.”

After high school, she attended college in Madison for a couple semesters. Before long, though, life got in the way. “I ran out of money so I had to go back to work again,” says Margaret.

Margaret has worked in secretarial positions at Trinity Memorial and St. Francis hospitals and, though she isn’t a doctor or nurse, she says the work is “very rewarding.”

But, maybe, that simply says something about her approach to work. “When I get out of the residential facility…I’m getting a job,” she declares. “I don’t know if it’s gonna be part-time or full-time yet – I’m not sure – but I have my mind set on getting a job. A lot of those people, there, don’t want to work a job ever…they think they’re gonna be there the rest of their lives.”

That outlook just isn’t for her – work definitely plays a role in her idea of success. It has to be enjoyable, too, though. “You have to enjoy your job, the work you’re doing,” says Margaret. “You have to like it. If you don’t like it you should leave and get a different job till you find one you really like.

“And, happiness? Well, happiness…I try to be happy throughout the whole day, as I can. Sometimes, I get into situations with people and get down in the dumps but you’ve just gotta dig your way out of that, relax – have a cigarette, drink a soda or water, whatever – and enjoy yourself the rest of the day.”


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