Retirement: An Extended Vacation, and Then What?
When I retired two years ago I thought it was the greatest time in my life. I felt like I was on an extended vacation and thoroughly enjoyed my first couple months of freedom.
I vacationed and did projects around the house that needed done for years. In the beginning the lack of having a schedule was liberating. Although I'd worked my entire life I never thought I'd miss it.
After the initial fun of having no schedule wore off, I started feeling a little down. This feeling continued to get worse over the course of a few months.
I decided it was time to talk to my doctor about it and found that it was pretty normal to feel that way. He suggested that I have a daily schedule, even if it meant scheduling household chores.
So I bought a daily planner and wrote down all of my weekly activities. I also started having weekly lunches with friends and former coworkers and even started volunteering for a few hours a week at my church. Having something to look forward to each day has helped me feel much better.
I've also started doing crafts, and gardening again in my spare time. I never had the time or energy to do those things when I was working everyday.
I was so used to having a schedule and it took some adjusting to get used to not having to be somewhere everyday. I now schedule all of my activities as if I have to do them. I stick to the schedule so that I feel I have more of a purpose.
Once I got into the habit of doing this my depression went away. I'm now happily adjusted and perfectly content in my life. And I'm now enjoying every moment of my retirement.