Retirement: An Extended Vacation, and Then What?

by Joanie

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.

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Retirement thoughts: not uncommon
by: suzieh

You are so right. I have a friend who was totally at a loose end because he had never thought beyond the vacation. The he realized he actually needed a purpose.

He made learning new things his new life and then uses those to help his community. This purpose has delighted him and his city.

We took the favorite parts of our careers that we loved and now do those almost for free and also negotiate time to go off and do other things like travel. This works great for us.

Come look at 'Start a New Life Blog'- adventuring & meeting people all over the world;

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