I knew it would happen, but I didn't know why...or how to fix it!

by Joan
(Connecticut)


In July 2013, after 30 years of service as a licensed clinical social worker in a high stress job I decided to opt for an early retirement at 55, accepting a much lower pension with free health care, and I thought I had prepared myself adequately.


After all, I had a supportive spouse, was living in a gorgeous lake community in NW CT amongst many seasoned early retirees, meeting diligently with my financial advisor and an EAP counselor, who incidentally kicked me out of her office because I was the most stable, resilient, driven she ever worked with--I played in a local symphony, sang jn a professional choir, was an accomplished visual artist and poet. I also skied, cycled, kayaked and ran; "never let the grass grow under my feet", my counselor would say, but I was admittedly SCARED and no one was willing to listen!

I blissfully plodded through the first summer twitching each time I spoke with, or met a former colleague from work which convinced me that I had made the right decision.

However, as the days grew shorter I could not bear to bring myself into my studio to paint or write, I continued to sing and play flute as much as I could, and even worked and became certified as a alpine ski instructor--a dream job of mine.

But I still was deeply dissatisfied with myself for not using my free time to create. It took some time for me to learn that despite having been pegged a lone-wolf who challenged the status quo with spectacular results for clients and special interest groups at my former job I was NOT a self-starter.

I needed a strong boss to hold my feet to the fire in spite of my resistance. And subsequently discovered that when no one is paying you to do a job, no one really cares if it gets done or not.

This line of thinking set me spiraling down into a pattern of unproductive habits and poor choices in relationships which I am sifting through as I write. A mid-life crisis driven by avoidance and fear of losing my health, looks and status.

Your thought and feelings are most welcome!
J

Wendy: Yeppp, it happens. I always told co-workers I can easily retire and work my online business. I had "discipline"-- and I DID when i worked weekends or after work hours.

When I suddenly had all day free, I started thinking, well I could wait for tomorrow... unfortunately. that brings you to a never-ending "tomorrow" syndrome.

Figure out what you want to do -- and just do it. One tiny baby step at a time. Decide what you want to paint -- start a bit the next day, put music on and dive into your creativity. When you start to find that Sweet Spot again, its sooo good, time flies when you are in the creative moment!

Get back to the choir, or the symphony, or your art...
don't waste another moment, just jump in with both feet and make a plan.

Life is waiting for you!


Comments for I knew it would happen, but I didn't know why...or how to fix it!

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plp
by: joan

I am in the same boat, and I realize it's part of the discovery process--hated the feeling in my 20's and dislike it even more now!!! But, back the we didn't know any better.

Now, it's painful because we know all of the pitfalls--st0ps me dead in my tracks!!!

Your thoughts are appreciated.
Joan

Retirement
by: plp

I am finding that what I thought I would do, I have no passion for - at all. I'm void of passion for anything.

I am thinking I'm in a little depression for sure but I have no idea why?

I love not going to work - love it. I have a part-time job which I only do to get me out of the house 2 days a week, but that is very nothing to me.

I'm lost! AND I don't know why?

Wendy: I was kinda the same, felt like everything in life was perfect -- so why did I feel blue?

Two ideas:

(1) see a doctor for help... not a psych but your normal family doctor

(2) hit the coach link (bottom left) and let's talk... maybe
simply chatting a bit about it will relieve some of the feelings?

I knew it...baby steps
by: joan

Dean:

So true, I am slowly chipping away at goals trying hard not to beat myself up too badly in the process.

I was just so used to feeding off of the manic high from constant crisis at work and not having time to mull over decisions for too long. Also I find it hard to commit myself to new endeavors because wisdom tells me where I'll end up *lol*

Writing this out helps, because my friends are just too envious!

Joan

Baby Steps
by: Dean

Baby steps are the key. I've been retired a little over 2 years now and the key is to set small goals for yourself. Sometimes ridiculously small goals so you will do them.

Once you get started you may find you've developed a momentum and may accomplish more than you had originally intended. This works for me.

I usually find that once I'm engaged in something my drive to continue is restored.

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