Retired and Free to Be.. Who?
(Western New York)
I have been retired for a little over two years and I am still finding it hard to adjust.
I retired a little earlier than I planned due to a change in leadership at my organization and some very negative treatment as a result. So I left under difficult circumstances. I was looking forward to pursuing a second career in consulting and spending more time with my aging Mom, grand-kids, traveling, pursuing old and new dreams.
3 months after my retirement I was visiting my sister in Florida after having attended an exciting conference. I was feeling hopeful and even a little excited. The day I was flying home I got a call from home saying that my Mom had been taken to the emergency room in the middle of the night and was not doing well. I flew home and drove right to the hospital. Two days later we put her in the hospice wing of the hospital. Four days after that she died alone in the early morning hours.
This was the beginning of my depression. A major part of my retirement plan was to spend much more time with my Mom in the nursing home where she had lived for the last four years. I had recently made a group of friends there who were also daughters of moms living in the same facility. I never went back to that nursing home after my mom died and I went through a wretched grieving process.
Two months after my mom died my wonderful sweet 12 year old dog, Jake, a great dane, died suddenly on a Sunday afternoon. I had recently spent $4000.00 for an operation to help him breathe more easily. As he was recovering and we re-started our walks together I prayed hard that I could have at least one more year with him, a year to get me though the loss of my mother. The hoped for year turned into a few short weeks as we discovered that the operation had caused a blood vessel to burst in his brain so that one Sunday morning as we awoke he suddenly staggered to his bed and had a seizure. We rushed him to the emergency vet where I and my daughter, my sister and my son in law made the agonizing decision to have him euthanized. The vet tech who was assisting us explained that Jake would never regain the use of his legs. so as we all held him and sobbed Jake left this world. So as I look back on it I had three huge losses in six months.
I joined an online grief group which helped a great deal. Now two years later I am having a setback.
I still work part time doing consulting work to supplement my income and my dwindling retirement savings. I like the work I do, it is challenging and rewarding and gives me a lot of autonomy.
Six months after I lost Jake I adopted a wild, cuddly little terrier mix from the animal shelter. He makes me laugh, gives me exercise as we walk every morning, and keeps me warm in bed at night. I also joined two book groups and have a small group of lovely girlfriends.
I am often lonely however. MY oldest daughter, her husband and my two grandchildren live about 4 hours away and I seldom see my youngest daughter and her husband.
I have no interest and little motivation to do all the mundane housework type chores that need doing. My recent setback has been caused by several physical difficulties which have hindered my ability to be active and by the fact that my identity has been stolen. Also i have had one of those times when for the past six months I have had multiple problems with my laptop, printer and cell phone.
So right now I feel powerless to make anything work for me. I feel unmotivated and find I spend a lot of time at home alone avoiding doing the things that need to be done. I guess I am in a slump. Thanks for listening
Wendy: You might be in a slump but you pulled yourself out of worse before, and I think you will again. You know you aren't right, you need to talk, here I am, listening...
Now -- Give yourself a good old-fashioned "Kick in the pants" and figure out where life is headed next.
As we age, physical difficulties happen... and we must carry on. If you are lonely, seek out new friends... or pick specific gals from your clubs and make arrangements for lunch or dinner. If your retirement monies are being used, consider some type of work that you can do at home.. so that you use less savings (leaving it for years from now), and especially the the identity theft, maybe even a website income like this site. I love my stay-at-home work!
Bottom line: I think you sound pretty darn logical and well on your way to the next adventure in life,.. you KNOW there is one just around the corner!!
I wish you well!