Burned out and anxious: 3 years to retirement

by Cindy
(St. Louis, MO)

So glad I stumbled on this website. I've been a happy, enthusiastic person for most of my life but now, at 61, I feel burned out on my job but that I need to stay 3 more years until I turn 65 and can get on Medicare.

I feel anxious almost all the time, and yet I'm taking positive steps.

My company is letting me go part-time and I will soon be filling some of my free time helping a couple third graders with reading (OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring).

I've been leading sing alongs at memory care facilities for three years (my mother died from Alzheimer's two years ago, and I started singing with her). I get satisfaction from that, yet I'm still anxious.

It helps to read other people's stories and know I'm not alone in these feelings, but I sure wish I could "snap out of it." Even as I'm typing this, I'm thinking, "Deep breaths."

I'm definitely a Type-A personality who likes to have control, and this aging thing feels like a lot of stuff OUTSIDE my control.

Thanks for reading.

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Thanks for your encouragement
by: Cindy, St. Louis MO

Steve, Tary and Wendy, I keep rereading your words. Steve, I can echo your comment "I never thought that retiring causes one to feel this way." And Tary, I too wake up anxious and dreading work and my stress level skyrockets with every new project, where I used to revel in work. Wendy, I hope my volunteer activities will help me get through the next couple pre-retirement years and that I'll embrace life again.

Thank you all so much for your words.

know the feeling for sure....
by: Steve

Hi Cindy,

May I say that I know exactly how you feel and what you are experiencing at the moment. I, too, have good thru the transition from working over 30 years with one company, being laid off, not finding another full-time job, then opening a store that I recently sold this past July. Whew!

I also saw the writing on the wall with my previous job - lay offs were happening throughout the company. Talk about anxiety and burnt to a crisp! My "turn" finally came back in '04. There is no loyalty in 'big' companies any longer.

Back to present - we, my wife and I, decided to finally sell the store as mentioned. It's only been two full months since. I still haven't found my niche in life - anxiety was/is at an all time high.

I have to find things to do on a daily basis in order to keep my anxiety in check. I have faith that these unsettling thoughts will pass with time. I never thought that retiring causes one to feel this way.

We're all different, I know, but it's also nice to read everyone's posts here. We, you, are not alone in our feelings. It's good to share your thoughts knowing that you (me - everyone) will not be judged.

Stay well, Cindy.

27 months and 2 weeks left!
by: Tary

Cindy I'm right there with you. I really love my job and what we do (I'm an Nursing Educator at a cancer hospital), but I've been nursing almost 27 years (18 years at my current facility). I'm tried. I've seen enough. My job can be very fast paced and stressful.

My husband retired 3 years ago which makes it harder. He's still sleeping or sitting on the sofa having coffee and planning his slow paced day as I run out the door to get to work.

Fortunately for me with my company I get full medical coverage after working for them for 10 years. That means I get to retire with medical benefits (my husband's company was the same) and full retirement when I put in my 20 years. I'll be 60 1/2 years old. WAHOO!!!!!

Like you I have my retire life planned. I'm a busy lady. I don't have time to work for someone else....lol. I love my job and love the people I work with and yet each day I wake up anxious and a feeling of dread about getting through the day. Every new project they give causes my stress level to skyrocket.

Everyone at works knows I'm counting my time, like someone waiting for their sentence in jail to end, but they don't know how really bad I feel, I keep smiling and going through the motions looking like a happy, enthusiastic, motivated employee.

When people ask me "how long, are you really going to go, it's such a great job and you do it so well?" I always say the same thing, "well really I just want to get to that DATE when I can say I can go if I want to, but honestly as the words are coming out of my mouth I know I'm lying.

I'm going to run out those doors. Emotionally I can't handle it any longer.

Hang in there. You have a plan. You have a goal. Try to do things to reduce your anxiety. I do yoga and listen to stress reduction recordings and practice focusing on relaxation breathing. I also try to keep my weight controlled and eat healthy, I don't want to get to reach my goal and not be as healthy as possible. I see to many people ignore their health, retire, and going to the doctor is their new career.

Good luck to you.

Wendy's Two Cents
by: Wendy


First, I really think you ARE taking control. You admitted the anxiety, you must have told management for them to agree to part-time, HUGE step in the right direction.

Many anxious retirees tell nobody, except here in a safe community, but even the family doesn't know... yikes!

Just one thought -- Love the Tutoring idea. Thats great for later too. Do it and do it well -- and through word-of-mouth (the BEST advertising) you'll get new kids willing to learn to read with you by their side.

You could branch out later -- be a paid tutor, do it online, voice-overs for childrens books, whatever.

Go Girl, Type A personalities can ROCK retirement too! Just watch me! :)

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