Retired Educator: Is that all there is?

by Carol Marshburn
(Knoxville, TN)

Today may not be the best day for me to share about my retirement; it's a blue day. Just got hit slam in the face with retirement depression.

It's been building since I retired last May, 2018 from a 30 year career in education. Everyone was so excited! I'd finally arrived at my so well deserved time in my life when I can just kick back and do whatever pleases me. Well, it has taken all the way to February, 2019 for the train to hit me.

What am I going to do with the rest of my life!

My career gave me purpose and meaning. It mattered if I showed up late or not at all. Someone expected me, needed me, so much so that they paid me for my time, effort and dedication. Now, not so much.

So what have I been doing for the past nine months? Well, from May till August was summer vacation (as an educator it was part of the schedule; nothing changed here.)

Then school started back and I was happy not to be joining the pressure cooker of the education world. I had things I loved to do; gardening, taking long walks, lunch, happy hour or dinner with friends, Yoga and Tai Chi classes, cleaning out house. Then there was Thanksgiving and Christmas with family.

Although I'm 70 years old, I do not have grandchildren which is a topic of conversation at every gathering with other retirees. However, I do have wonderful adult children whom I'm very close. But they have their lives. I thought I was doing okay trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow into this retirement thing.

Then the winter hit, cold weather, not as many opportunities for social interactions. What to do. Volunteer? Still exploring that. Find a hobby? Still exploring that area also. I love to workout, but it doesn't seem like a hobby but more a life style. It's what I do but not 8-9 hours a day. Go back to work? Considering this but part time. Have dreamed of moving to the beach and working at a gift or book store part time. If anyone knows of an opportunity, let me know.

Depression in retirement is real. I've cried most of the day and I never cry. I know I will work it out and I'm so glad to have found this site. I'm reading your stories and know I'm not alone. It helps.

Don't have any answers, but I feel stronger to keep moving forward on this journey called retirement which is just another passage of my life.

Comments for Retired Educator: Is that all there is?

Click here to add your own comments

Be a substitute
by: Elizabeth/Spokane

Hi there, I am wondering if you wouldn't be willing to serve in your school district as a substitute teacher. You can work as little or almost as much as you want and get extra money. Or, you could volunteer to read with those kids struggling. Just an idea.

by: Mitz

Could you volunteer at a hospital gift shop? Or teach English as a second language to immigrants or their children? Or tutor primary or high school students.

You have a lot to offer. Helping others is the best way to be happy ourselves.

Been There, Still There
by: Jayna from Ohio

I am also an educator who retired after 30 from a career I loved. I made a relatively quick decision to retire without really planning for my retirement. Mistake! By winter of my first year of retirement I had fallen into a deep depression. I felt lost and useless, and so unfulfilled.

With the help of therapy, some meds, and lots of work from me, I am doing so much better. My journey continues, but I am almost "there".

I am working part-time as an ELL tutor (12 -15 hours a week), exercising at least 5 days a week, reading voraciously, and reconnecting with friends.

You must get out of your house and find volunteer work or something that fulfills you and gives you a purpose. This can be hard work and you may have to really push yourself (I do on a daily basis), but it will pay off. Best wishes!

Retirement depression
by: Nancy

I was shocked to find out there was such a thing. Mine hit me the first year and it was bad. I have "acclimated" to retirement. The things I planned to do the first year changed as time went along. I found a hobby which is quilting. You are in the right place.

Not all there is
by: Elna Nugent, Massachusetts.


Don't you realize that you have made it to the big leagues.
You are alive, intelligent, and experienced in many areas.

Isn't there some way you can use some of your talents to help other retirees and vice versa.

Think back to your chlldhood and teens. Isn't there some thing you dreamed you would love to do when you " grew up" ?

Life is boring only if you don't know how you can be of help or use to others.

Perhaps just by telling them what you have learned "the hard way-- through the years" can be useful to others.

Write it down.. God Bless.

Future in your own hands
by: John A. /Tyler,TX

Retired teachers have always been in service to others; where they influence young minds, cared for childern, wiped away their tears and shared in their joy. This deems to be in the DNA of may deducted teachers.

To me it seems only befitting that you continue this service to others in your retirement years. Volunteering at some agency; whether a hospital, Red Cross, American Cancer Society, government agency or even back in the schools would provide a lot of personal joy and satisfaction. You will occupy your time and give yourself a sense of purpose in addition to helping others in need. People will truly appreciate what you do as a volunteer through their smiles and saying thanks.

When you see smiles on people’s faces when they are hurting, not feeling well or really stressed out because there it too much to do, you will then realize the true rewards of giving of one self in service to others.

The future is in your own hands on how you want to occupy your time in retirement years. Don’t let your talents go to waste by not being of service to others.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Teacher Retirement.