Holy Cow! It's been a rough road! What do I do now?????
Holy Cow! It's been a rough road! I hope I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel (or maybe that's the light on the train, right???)
I adopted 2 kids late in life (about 50). I later became involved in a lawsuit over them that cost me all my life savings, my house, my vehicles, my dogs and cats and horse, my livlihood (I was a chiropractor), and rendered me homeless and penniless. - not to mention being forced to give my kids to someone unrelated to them or me. It was illegal, but it was a good-old boy network blah blah.
Anyway, 2 years later, after a nervous breakdown, I did get my kids back because they were turning into juvenile delinquents. So now I had 2 emotionally disturbed kids and not much else.
I had married, but as it turned out, he didn't have much money either. Fortunately, my last living relative passed away, and for some reason left me some money, and I was able to buy a small house, where we now live. A great and unexpected blessing.
By now, I was about 60. I'd been struggling with how to make some money, wanting to do something I would enjoy…..First, I was homeschooling the kids, trying to get them back to some reasonable emotionally stable place, then I was just looking all over trying to find something I could do.
It took a while, but I finally realized that I can write, and I like writing, and been writing in some form all my life. Then I had to figure out what to do with it. It sounds simple, but I just couldn't seem to figure it out.
Meanwhile, my dog had died, both of my parents had passed away, I couldn't afford to get a license to practice the only profession I knew how to do, and geez…..enough, already, you know what I mean?
As an aside, I'd always had dogs, and they were a great source of comfort to me, but now I had none. As it turned out, over the next couple of years I rescued 3 young dogs that I anticipated to grow to be a medium size…well, NOT. They are all huge at over 80lbs! I guess we loved them too much! But they really helped me emotionally. Have you thought about adopting a dog? You'll save their life, and they'll save your!
Before we bought this little house, we had bought a very used motor home (RV) to live in until we decided where we thought we could afford to live. We still have it. It's been my husbands project. He's very mechanical, and since he is retired (and depressed about it) he works on it all the time and now has it in good working order.
So now I was thinking about writing and a business, and for the first time in years, I was beginning to recognize the little internal signs of excitement. I'd forgotten what that felt like, and I wasn't sure what it was at first!
I looked around on the internet and chose a couple of writing course to take….I didn't exactly realize what that was going to mean….I had avoided learning about all the social media stuff, and other electronic stuff like the plague. NOW, I found I had to be proficient in it, because the reality is many businesses are dependent on it. It's the way to do business today…….
Well, that presented a problem, because I didn't know ANYTHING about any of it. So I found I was going to have to learn the writing part, AND the computer/social media part. I was quickly getting overwhelmed by what I DID'NT know!
As it turned out, my husband had a good idea. He suggested going to the Small Business Association in the state and see if they could help me. Turns out, they could. I have taken loads of free classes that help you learn all the things you don't know how to do, and can connect you with people who can help you more, if you need it. This was great!
I also have met people who are interested in what I am now trying to do (more about that soon), and people who have helped me, and people to be friends with.
It's been a wonderful resource. Don't overlook it, as I almost did. I can't say enough good stuff about it. You do have to be friendly, and talk to people - ask them what business they are in, they love to talk about their new business, and the difficulties and joys - instant bonding!
So now I had chosen where I would BEGIN on my writing work…..there are so many, many ways to use writing for income, I found it hard to choose. Finally, I decided that because I was new at it, and because I didn't want to get in WAY over my head, I wanted something that I felt was small enough I could do without becoming overwhelmed (when I get overwhelmed, I just seem to stop at the freak out point, and never get going again).
For me, I chose email newsletter marketing for small businesses. I enjoyed it, it wasn't too big for me, I believed in it (so I could be convincing to others), and the best part was that I could do it from anywhere (more about that later).
Some of the best advice I ever received when I began this was - don't try to do it all by yourself, unless you are a pro at all of the details. Spend a bit more money, and get an expert to do all that stuff. Great advice. In the past , I tried to save every cent by doing it all myself, but it took forever, and I wasn't an expert so the results were'nt expert etc. The upshot here is that I hired a man to do a website for me. He allowed me to pay him as I had the money, and so that was great.
I got help from the SBA (small Business Assoc), and I have ASKED FOR HELP (this is hard to do for some people…such as MYSELF!). There are 2 people in the homeschool group that have volunteered to help me set up my social media stuff, and show me how to monitor that stuff. How great is that???
FYI There are actually sites online that will manage all that stuff for you, for a really nominal amount of money a month. At least it's nominal when you think about the stress and headaches you'de have trying to get proficient with all that yourself…and all the time it takes to do it! I want to WRITE! I don't want to have to spend all day doing that other stuff. Besides, I have a limited amount of time because of the kids, and the homeschooling, you see what I mean? Prioritize your time
Meanwhile, we have been taking about taking off for the winter to warmer, more interesting climes, while homeschooling in the RV. It appeals to me….I love change and adventure, even if it's just traveling around to new places. So I got to thinking……
What if I wrote a BLOG about traveling in an old RV, homeschooling 2 teenagers , and being retired……
BUT! I don't know how to blog…at all. So (and I'm beginning to get the hang of this) I scrounged a bit a money, sold a few things etc, and I bought an online program that teaches me how to blog! I'm thinking it might take a bit of work on my part to learn all the in's and out's, so maybe I won't be able to do it this winter (but maybe I will - hope springs eternal, as they say) And maybe that would be another source of income.
So these are the things I have come up with to make the whole retirement thing a new adventure, instead of an old depression.
I don't like being depressed, I'd rather be proactive - if I can figure out how to do it. It took me a while, but I think I have got it now. I still get worried that the whole thing will fail, and I'll be back at square one, and I won't know where to turn or what to do , and all that depressing sh_ _. But you have to start somewhere, right? Nobody's going to do it for you.
What other choice is there? Drugs? Maybe as a temporary stop gap to help you think your way through the hard stuff so you can make a plan…..
In fact, I had to keep telling myself "one step at a time…just one step". Then you'll be one step closer to what you want to do. I just have tried (and am still trying to 'just take one step'.
Now, 6 months later, I'm almost ready to launch my website, and begin the real journey…but I wouldn't have gotten there at all if I hadn't taken 'one step' as often as I felt I could …which, FYI was not every day. It was hard, and scary and because of that could be depressing…but I'm glad I kept at it. Now I've learned to ask for help, learned lots of new stuff, met some new people, and have more confidence in my ability to figure things out, and find a solution. WOW! That's pretty cool…at least it is to me.
So we are getting ready to do the old RV thing, and we'll try that out. It should be an experience. We've looked for free places to park, and there are a ton of them. There are LOTS of free things that might help you with your depression online!
Keep looking! Keep looking! Keep trying! Don't just sit there! What help is that to you???? Everything will just stay the same if you do that.
Well, from out of the pits of Hell, I feel as though I might be able to make a comeback - maybe you can , too.
Hang in there! Don't just give up.
Lots of retirees are finding interesting things to fill their time, and make a little income. But it won't fall in your lap. Just don't give up on yourself. Just because you are retired doesn't mean your life is over, and you are useless! It's just…..different. It's like a tell one of my kids who is pretty severely dyslexic…you are not LESS, you are just DIFFERENT!
It's OK to be different, but you have to get your mind around it - sometimes it hard to switch lanes, especially if you've been driving in the same lane your whole life……
Time to renew the old drivers license and change lanes! Good luck!
Wendy's other site... because Aging Matters!