Finding myself after retirement, or who am I now?
(KENLEY, SURREY, UK.)
Gran Canaria 2012
I am writing this in the hope that this will be therapeutic and enable me to find some clues as to my new identity!
The main problem I have is finding something that 'fits' me after retirement as I found my original job by accident as a computer operator in 1965 and loved every minute of it. I enjoyed running huge mainframes and got on much better with the machines than people and could happily spend a whole twelve-hour shift making sure everything was running correctly.
I am an adopted only child, married without children as my mother was a midwife and I was put off childbirth by her graphic accounts of screaming mothers and their inordinately long and painful labours. As a result I have no close family so do not fit into the mother/grandmother slot.
I am very independent and have travelled extensively with my husband by motorcycle through most of the world and get very restless if I am not travelling somewhere.
My last job was with Shell in London and as I was a contractor I left when the department closed in 2009 after nearly 20 years with the company in various incarnations so really miss the people and daily banter and just being useful.
I live outside London in Surrey, am financially secure and am finishing off my third Open University degree this year. Despite all this I am at a complete loss as I am not someone who joins groups readily, but just needs to find a milieu in which I feel at home.
On the surface I have no problems or worries. I constantly battle with depression, feel useless and need to have a structure to my life. In dealing with depression I seem unable to get on with ordinary everyday things and just spend time in cafes people-watchIng.
I am 68 now and last year I went to six funerals so the thought of mortality is not far away. In 2004 I was diagnosed with stage 1 grade 1 breast cancer so I'm always wondering about that coming back.
I have tried voluntary work which is not for me, nor is staying at home staring at the four walls so as you can see I'm thoroughly confused. I never thougt retirement would be like this and keep hoping to find more fulfilment in my life. I feel I am squandering time, but the more I try to organise it, the harder it is. Maybe someone out there has a suggestion or two to clarify my thoughts. Thanks.