Retired Educator: Is that all there is?
by Carol Marshburn
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.