My retirement experience
by Fern Phillips
(Cochrane, Alberta, Canada)
First, I felt forced out. I retired early because I could and also because of a deteriorating work environment and my health was bothering me. I didn't have any 'glory days' to finish out my work, but I had enjoyed the 'bleeding edge' technology experience.
I moved to an acreage and within a year I lost my husband to an accident. He was 63. I found that my retirement dreams died with him. In hindsight I should have planned for something like that.
Finally I sold the acreage because I found I hated the house. I had made a big mistake in buying it, as it had no privacy and poor neighbours. I bought a bachelor-style house back closer to my small family and after a year got a little rescue dog. Those were good decisions.
With the dream of land, I've hoped to 'fail harder'. So learn from my mistakes and learn to cope alone, and make new dreams.
Meantime my mom and brother died and my reasons for being here went away! Also the area is now busy and noisy, where it was quiet when I first bought it. I hate the thought of moving again besides do I move to someplace private or someplace where if I get sick I have protection?
I did some estate planning and decided to help out my granddaughter with her college fees as a result. I think that was a good decision, I feel good about it even though it didn't improve our relationship or bring us closer.
I feel good about my volunteer work but sometimes the conflicts exhaust me and I want to be away from it. I still get sick a lot and find that when I go out I get sick, when I stay home I tend to be healthier.
I have been disappointed that my art and writing have not found a market, and the effort seems more than I am willing to do when it comes to marketing. I found a few things I enjoy doing, so those motivate me, such as a facebook page to show my art, a brainstorming group on facebook, a blog, and joining Artella to share ideas with other artists.
I especially enjoy continuing with my computer work, such as family tree research, photoshop, digital art, fiction writing and facebook games. I am so glad I kept up my computer skills over the years and into my retirement, it is one way to safely stay connected.
I'd love to be a mentor for the new face of aging!