I know what I wanted to do after I retired!

by Eldon Bryan Howard
(Wichita, Kansas)

I retired from teaching (in the public schools) after 35 years in May of 2016.


I had all these plans, that I still want to do, but I am finding it hard to get motivated. I want to fix my house up, and sell it, but that is going at a snail's pace. I have so much free time that my procrastination is at an all time high!

I am single/divorced and my friends all work so it gets lonely! (My daughter lives in another state.) I have started helping out at church by teaching Sunday School to kids, and that has helped.

I feel stuck! I wanted out of teaching so bad because things have changed so much, and not for the bettter, but I guess I just wasn't prepared for retirement, even though I thought that I was!

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What I wanted to do
by: Louisewt

Eldon,

Don't forget to check out your local senior center. I have not really joined stuff there but maybe someday I will.

I get the monthly newsletter and there is quite a variety of things offered. There is exercise, matinee's, movies, knitting, wood carving, lectures and lunch is offered.

There are also trips sometimes to places like Alaska and other day trips (luxury bus) with lunch included. There are lunch groups that gather and go to local restaurants. There are dinner groups that have pot luck suppers at different people's homes.

The senior center has partnered with our local hospital and they have discount dinners for seniors there.

Libraries also have things going on like lectures and book clubs. There is also this thing called Meetups and if you google it there are groups all over the place. If you like hiking, biking, treasure hunting, etc. there are clubs to join.

Read your local paper to see what is going on, even political meetings.

I can relate!
by: Sandi

I know what you mean! It is really easy to become a procrastinator because you're not on a schedule anymore and there's always tomorrow to do it....maybe! I have found to try to keep a schedule for myself, even if it is not a strict one. Sometimes that helps. But retirement is not an easy transition! It sure wasn't for me. Give it time.....because any change takes time to adjust. That's good you are teaching Sunday school. That's a good first step.

Baby Steps
by: Carol

Fixing up a house is an endless pursuit.

I find that making small "daily" goals is the key to getting anything done.

Start by making a list of what needs to be done before it will sell.

Rethink this list and decide what "really" needs to be done before selling.

Prioritize.

Be accountable to yourself.

Tomorrow it is reasonable for me to XXXXXXXX.

Then stick with it. If you are tired at 5pm and have an hour more before the goal is met... take a break and come back to it later in the evening.

Make small goals and if you are able to complete one by noon...move on to the next priority.

The feeling of accomplishment will give you a high.

If you have a neighbor or friend who is also "stuck", partner with him or her to complete a project at your house one day and a project at theirs the next. Working together makes it more of a social event and it is always nice to have an extra hand.

Having an appointment with another person will get you out of bed and get you to aquiring and preparing the materials needed for the job.

Daily goals are easier to accomplish than looking at the goal of "fixing up the house".

There might also be a young neighbor who can come by after school or on a weekend day. You might have skills that this person might like to learn,

A couple of ideas.

Carol

What I wanted to do
by: Louisewt

Eldon,

I know exactly where you are coming from. I was laid off two times in 7 years time. One job I was at for 18 years the other for 4 years. After the last lay off I could never find another job.

I worked at a food research company and a medical research company. Both jobs were exciting and I loved the jobs.

Once I got laid off, I had all the time in the world and to this day, 6 years later, I still don't get much done as you said I procrastinate due to too much time. When I worked I had to push myself knowing I only had small windows of opportunity to get things done!

Losing my jobs was like going 100 mph and coming to a screeching halt.

Since you were a teacher have you considered tutoring? That could fill some hours and would keep your brain busy with lesson planning for the kids. I have no idea what kind of teacher you were but maybe you could teach an adult education class.
You could help adults get their equivalency diploma's.

Do you have some subject matter that you are passionate about? You could do research and write a book and publish it. For instance, recently I came across a book on New England stone walls and how they created them, why, when, how. Seems like a dull subject but I find it fascinating!

Another book I recently bought was about a man made lake in my community. It is full of black and white pictures and captions. It was interesting but didn't have enough in depth stories of the people that had to move to allow the flooding of the valley.

There could be some genealogy research you could do on your family tree. Our town has a huge library book sale every year. It must be a big undertaking. Maybe you could join the group at the library that helps organize it.

Maybe some of the work you are doing at your house isn't your cup of tea. Can you hire someone to do it for you? Maybe you could go to Craigslist and barter tutoring for painting.

Start selling stuff on ebay. Get a part time job doing something other than teaching. Even if it is a grocery clerk job, it will get you out of the house. Drive a school bus.

I personally think a lot of people would benefit from stepping down from full time to part time then retirement. It is very drastic to have lots of time on your hands after working full time for 35-40 years.

I know what I wanted to do after I retired
by: Marilyn upstate NY

Eldon,
First of all congratulations on your retirement! Teaching 35 years in today's public school is no small feat, I know because I am still there for one more year. It is amazing how much has changed since we started. It seems that there was more respect for the profession then however now more times than not the students complain to their parents and the parents only care to hear their kids's side of the story. When I was growing up, the worst thing that could happen was to have a teacher call home! Now such a call is meant with defensiveness. Students allowed to have cell phones in school, sending texts and naughty pictures, taking photos of their teachers and photoshopping them to place on social media are the norm. Be happy your long service is behind you although I am sure it was rewarding as well.

As to moving on from this point and the problem you are having with procrastination, I get it.
I am prone to that also and am trying to do what I can before I retire in a year's time. As a teacher, you were used to planning and deadlines. There was no getting around it! Put some of those skills back into place. Make your new "lesson plans" and set yourself a deadline. It will feel so good once you start checking off what you want to do.

I know what you mean as far as being single and sometimes lonely. When we worked, we had a ready made group of young and older people we interacted with and that disappears. A big change! I know that is something I will contend with as well. For me, I think that's where the planning will come in. I will need to plan trips, volunteer work, maybe even a part-time job. It won't be the ready-made day of work, household chores, and finding time for entertainment anymore.

Like you, I don't want to be bored and lonely!
Best of luck and hope you post again on your progress.

Procratination
by: Susie Dirkx

Hi my name is Susie I'm 71 years old and I retired from my career as a registered nurse in March I still have two part-time jobs but they only amount to about 12 hours a week... I'm active in my church and volunteer at to nursing homes.

I married my husband is healthy and very active and I have 7 active grandkids that I see often but I still have more time at home than ever and I find that I sit on my you-know-what and watch TV or play on my phone a lot.

Sometimes I think I'm basically lazy there are a lot of things around the house that I can and should be doing but I have found myself procrastinating and wasting time too.

I think it's a big adjustment to go from working 40 plus hours a week to working so little and I'm sure that I will hopefully start to use better use of my time.

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