Freedom fought for, Freedom found, Freedom threatened?

by Pamela S

After half my life, 32 years, working in the same agency, I retired last June when the future there was looking gray, the same as far as the heart and eyes could see.

I was suffering physically from the repetitive motions required, mentally from the more or less redundant and limited intellectual challenges, and spiritually from the prospect of more of the same ad infinitum, with no chance of any promotion. This was certainly not the job I chose!

Perhaps I should have kept working, or taken a leave of absence (didn't even think of it!), but I just "had" to get out.

Initially I planned to work to age 70, but my boss of 29 years had been pushed out, I was reassigned, did the new job for 3 years and, after getting through one of the most miserable work periods in my life with a truly nasty new supervisor who finally retired, I climbed back into at least tolerating my daily work.

It was a huge struggle to decide to "retire." That was 7 months ago.

Now I am taking 1 graduate class, but feeling so threatened by the demand it makes on my, MY! time, that I want to quit!

I long wanted to pursue a Master's degree in this topic, but find myself feeling squashed and resentful and afraid I can't perform, or, even if I am capable, perhaps I am actually too lazy to do the work.

I have to choose whether to drop out (after 2 classes) or hang on, "save face," keep my dignity, and go on with another thing that runs my schedule and consumes my time.

I really like the content of the class, find it interesting, but I just don't feel impassioned about spending my precious, hard-won time on it right now.

I wish I could get to a place in my mind where I could relax about it, enjoy it, but so far I have a loud nagging voice inside, "You have to get an 'A'! "You are no good unless you get that degree!"

(And I will be at least 70 by the time I am finished, work the thousands of hours required for licensure IF I pass the exam.) Is it pointless?

Is it just too soon? I thought I was ready! Part of me wants so much to do it, but part is so resistant. Am I just lazy?

Anybody have any ideas? Been here, done this?

Comments for Freedom fought for, Freedom found, Freedom threatened?

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Free to finish!
by: Anonymous

Being persistent and thanks to folks' comments and encouragement, I stuck with it and finished the course. It was amazing! I learned so much and had a great workout for my brain.

I think I got a pretty good grade, but I have to wait and see.

And I have to figure out what to do next! More courses in the same vein? Different? Do nothing? Get a job? All are possibilities; I am so lucky!!

Thanks for the help!

by: Bill Hartford/Durango. CO

What it all means is this: If you really want to do it, then by all means DO it. If you decide you don’t want to do it, then DON’T F**kin’ DO it.

Wendy: Ummm, OKkkkk. :)

Check this out
by: Elizabeth, WV

I have been retired for almost 3 years, after 37 years with the same company, worked until 81. Still trying to adjust to free time.

If you want to take classes at your local college, see if they have a senior monitoring program. You can attend the classes without the pressure of earning a grade. True, you do not earn credits for a degree, but the interplay with the students is there plus the enjoyment of learning. Give it a try.

Wasted degree
by: Anonymous

in 2008 I got a master's hoping to get a full time job with it. Until 2016, I hung on to that hope, instead only being able to work on an hourly basis part time.

My master's cost me personally a LOT of time/money (and I was working part time hourly), and I NEVER got that full time job.

In 2008 I quit the part time hourly job. I say quit, not retired, because it had no retirement. I was 65 when I quit. So for me the education was NOT worth it. I could have attained the knowledge on my own just as well if knowledge, not employment was what I wanted. I wanted a full time job.

That said, now that I am not working, I study French online with Duolingo and Rosettastone every day. It takes about 45 minutes whenever I feel like it, and if i am grumpy, it uses a different part of my brain, and i am no longer grumpy.

Best to you.

Calm Down Girl
by: Ed/Florida

As I was reading your comment I found myself getting agitated. Clearly you are in no position to be making any decisions at this time.

What do you really need in my opinion it's time to just sit and reflect. My experience is that I have changed my mind several times over several years. I would suggest that you allow yourself the time to figure out where you would like to go and who you would like to be

Take a break
by: Laura in Vermont

Sounds like you're interested in your studies but not up to the grind of them yet.

It would be a waste not to finish the class you're in now, and you might feel worse if you up and quit. But after this class, take off a semester or two and just be yourself. If, after a time out, you decide to keep going, then do it. If not, don't.

Your field of study leads to licensure, but there are jobs that get you "into the ballpark" that don't need all that extra study. Look around while you're off, and see if you can find jobs that don't require the degree but also have to do with what you were studying for.

You might find you could work or volunteer in the field without the license. I entered mental health case management without studying the "right" things, and work with licensed counselors daily on complicated cases. My brother got into environmental systems engineering and is largely self-taught. He just runs everything by a professional engineer for sign-off as needed.

And if your second career turns out to be with the master's, then great! I work with mostly older licensed people who are in second and third careers and just starting over in this one. They are so much wiser than the kids we've had.

Best of luck, whatever you do!

Thank you kind retirement travelers!
by: Pamela S

I deeply appreciate your comments, and the time you took to generate them! Thank you!

I love the range and good reasoning behind each one.

I am not decided yet on whether to stay in the class, but I am letting go of the agony and THAT is the important part for me now!

Enough forced marches!

At our stages,haven't we done enough of that?
Maybe we can put more joy in the world by first being happy ourselves.....

Please know that you have helped by sharing!

by: Kaylee/Florida

In response to your dilemma, I am 69 and retired for a year from a long career which seems to have similar resemblance to what you describe.

Over the past year, I notice that I am paying more attention to the value of my time and how I spend it. I am just now accepting the reality that I will not be able to achieve all the things I would like to do and/or had been sure I would do in my life.

During my college years I was adamant that I would join the Peace Corp and put my nutrition knowledge to good use as this was my profession. Now I find the desire not there. It would involve too many lifestyle changes, just not desirous of closing up my Florida home and getting rid of my beloved pets and risking my health for this once "must do" I had in my twenties.

Another trade off keeping me at bay is whether I want to pursue a part time "job" working for somebody else or would it be be better to devote those hours to rolling up my sleeves and trying to create my own niche which may or may not be very lucrative but which I will truly enjoy more.

Yes, retirement sometimes just seems filled with "too many options." And maybe I will have to scratch off my trip to Anartica, Lol.

Good day.

by: Anonymous

I know a man who got his degree at seventy and has used it to help others. I worked on my own MA when I was middle aged but never finished the thesis because I was asked if I would like a very interesting job using my skills to benefit others.

To Do...or Not To Do; That is the question!
by: Guinn

Hi Pamela

No you are not lazy. I taught 30 years, retired now for about two years and am finally enjoying not having to do anything...unless I want to.

I at first thought I was useless unless I was doing something outside of home. I felt that I always had to be busy so my time could be taken up by all such business in my life.

Pamela, if you want to take the classes, then do it. But if it doesn't satisfy or bring you joy, then reconsider. Nobody can tell you what to do.

I feel that God gives us retirement so that we can make this time work for us by learning new discoveries about ourselves. We can do something small; something big. Our time is ours to do what we want and are comfortable with.

Good luck to you on your retirement journey. May God bless and guide you...................Guinn

Is it ok to be lazy if retired?
by: Anonymous

Hi Pamela,

Well my answer to that question is yes sure, you are not working for anyone and have no superviser but yourself.

I'd say though finish this one class as it does no harm and may even be great to learn more in a field in which you are or have been interested. So complete this class and then decide if you want to take another one (you can work toward the degree slowly if you want who cares how old you are when you finish if you finish?) maybe one is enough for you.

Good luck, sounds like you enjoy retirement which is great.

TO Class or not to Class, that is the question!
by: Wendy,

Hey, just gotta say -- I LOVE that you resent the class taking up "MY! TIME"... grin1

That means, to me, that you like your retired freedom!
That's fabulous! Go Girl!

So -- do you finish your degree or not? Will you seriously use it? Depends...

If it's a lifetime goal, maybe it's worth the time and effort for you and you alone. If it is not, if you only want that degree because a bad mindset says you need it -- think twice.

What will you do if you don't attend class? Do you like chilling out? If not, do you have projects, hobbies, interests to pursue? Will you work part-time or volunteer?

I think it's important to simply have some type of purpose in life. WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?


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