Not real happy after 2.5 years

by Tom T
(Cleveland suburbs, Ohio)

I've been retired since March of 2016. After 2 and a half years, I'm still looking for something to be happy about. Money is not an issue.

I'm an electrical engineer and worked for an industrial automation company. I liked my work and although I was not forced out, it seemed like the right time to go (I was 66 + at the time).

I tried volunteering at the local hospital but it seemed there were more people than they needed (possibly a result of the baby boom). I don't drive due to reduced vision, so most other opportunities are limited.

I've read many books and heard most of the advice but I just can't get centered. My wife and I bought a class A RV but I just can't get into traveling. I worry too much about things when we are on the road:the house, the dog, family etc. When we are going down the road, I see office buildings or manufacturing plants and wish I was still working; I feel like I should be still be contributing.

I do spend an appreciable amount of time looking after my investments which are considerable. I do enjoy that.

My other interests are "early christian history", the civil war and I'm trying to get back into woodcarving. i feel that I'm missing structure (which I valued as an engineer). I'm also thinking of getting an amateur radio license but that's going slow.

I find that I only had friends at work and don't really see anyone now. Anyway, that's where I am now.

I'm not giving up hope. Again; engineering teaches that there is always a solution.

Comments for Not real happy after 2.5 years

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by: Wendy,

Just a comment -- it's also true that those who remain working think retirement is wonderful freedom. AND it is.

BUT -- its different when you are still in the hustle and bustle of stressful workplace living and want freedom. Totally another thing when you have it all day , every day,

Younger co-workers and family just don't get it -- YET.

HOWEVER -- saying that, you will find retirement peace. Your own fulfillment outside office walls.

There is LIFE post-retirement -- we just need to figure out what we choose that life to be.

A shared experience
by: Sandy

Tom - wow. I did the exact same thing. When driving down the road, I used to look at office buildings and imagine how much I missed the environment.

Every time I had to go into an office setting, I missed everything - the smell, the windows, the coffee area, the chatter, the people saying hello and so many other memories.

And then when I told my son, he said, "Oh gosh, mom. You think the happiness is being in a 5X5 cubicle! You are only remembering the good things. Think about all the stress, the drive to work ,the unhealthy eating at your desk, etc. So that's what you think living is?"

I was very upset with him and bristled at his comments, but then I realized it was because he was right. So, although I still have a twinge of wanting to be in an office, I think I am "almost cured".

It has been almost 5 years for me - I hope you don't have to wait that long for your aha moment.

Life now is to be lived....outside of the 4 walls of an office building. Happy journeys.

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