Retirement: emotional roller coaster

by Lynne Perry
(Knoxville, TN)

I've been divorced for pushing 40 years, no 'significant others (trust issues!!) and have been retired 2 months. Voluntary retirement at age 70.

I just couldn't stand the stress of the job anymore and was thrilled to leave. Plus the energy level at 70 sucks!

The first month was a combination of depression, anxiety, panic and euphoria!

Anxiety over money - big time as I've spent my life taking care of others so my 401k is very small, but have 2 pensions (one that buys 1 week's worth of groceries) and SS. The SS check is the largest.

I seem to have gotten over the panic at this point, but I don't want anything structured in my life anymore - no more getting up with an alarm, nothing that would demand that I have regular hours anywhere and I hate to go out of the house. Managed to stay home 4 days before I had to go somewhere! WHOO WHOO!!

My house is totally unorganized from family moving in and out over the last 15 years and having my floors replaced 2 years ago. Just didn't have the energy to work and reorganize too.

Now that I'm retired I know if I spend 2 weeks on the house and garage I'd have everything organized, but I've settled to trying to do two productive things a day, which I have been able to do.

Soooo the problem is I don't want to do anything. I want to enjoy sleeping til 9 am, having breakfast and coffee until 11, then thinking about fixing dinner. Spend time on computer with email, solitaire and jigsaw puzzles.

My problem? How long will my laziness last? Is there some a transition time before I'm willing to get on some type of productive schedule? should I worry about not being productive?

Comments for Retirement: emotional roller coaster

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Oh the laziness
by: Patty in Cleveland Oh

I'm into my 3rd week of retirement (my choice).

I've done a few productive things around the house, a little cleaning, laundry, sewing, cooking, eating, staying up late, sleeping in & of course, lots of TV & internet. I feel lazy, unproductive, & guilty for not being more gung ho to get out & do things.

I've rationalized that I need at least 3 weeks before a routine settles in.

I'm amazed!
by: Lynne Knoxville TN

I'm really surprised to see how many folks out there are going or have gone through what I am right now. I've had so many people say, oh you're going to love retirement and wish you'd retired years ago that I'm really surprised at the responses to my post. And so grateful to know that there's nothing wrong with me!

I want to thank all of you for your responses and giving me the boost I need!! Lynne

Take Time
by: Elaine/PA & FL


Give yourself time to adjust to your new life. It will take time. The amount of time is different for everyone. You will fall into some sort of routine but for now just go with the flow.

I agree, the energy level at 70 sucks. I always say that it takes me twice as long to do half as much.
For now do what you feel like doing when you feel like doing it.

Best Wishes
Elaine Dougan

by: Glo philippines

Im a widow before i retired 6 years ago. Having worked for 39 years in govt, ive been used to different pressures from home to office and community.

Now i have all the time i have and frankly miss the routine. Im free to do whatever i can and it seems time is too much i have to fill it up with concerns. sometimes though these are not valid concerns and merely meant to keep me mentally preoccupied.

Noe we should enjoy retirement. Its important though to have a social life. Interaction wd others is necessary to keep us mentally active.

by: Anonymous

There is nothing wrong with being lazy now and then. Just use the time to relax and get to know yourself. Become your best friend during the down times and realize you have been blessed with all these years and there is a reason for it. Enjoy your own company and appreciate, in yourself, all those attributes other cherish in you.

And as Wendy said: LIFE IS GOOD.

Company in Retirement
by: joyce

I hated it when I retired as it did make me get up go out and meet other people. since I got divorced my sister helped me join clubs also going on holiday now. shes passed on.

I have a smaller house and a garden to attend with I am on the computer a lot playing cards emailing jokes to friends . I am tracing my family tree, but I still get lonely three days a week so I phone friends.

today was asked to join another card club in another friends house as they say they like my smile!

you must enjoy life as much as you can as mine is slipping away fast

Retired in Feb. 2016
by: Sherry Wilmington, NC

Hi Lynne, I feel the same way you do! Everything you said; no structure. It is lonely. I am divorced; no one to talk to or do anything with.

I worked full-time and only so called friends.
I am doing volunteer work and enjoy that and help take care of grandsons one afternoon a week and cook dinner for family.

I wished I had a good friend to go places with.

You will adjust. I am adjusting and will be trying new things.

A New Order of LIving.
by: Elna Nugent , Lenox, MA

Dear Lynn: The way you are living right now is therapeutic because your body is balancing the stress of your former life style.. Doing things off schedule can be helpful.

The most driven of us may find this free casual way the most difficult. But I honestly feel that it will add years to your life if your mind is serene because of it.

I find that living alone gives me the balance I need. We tend to live our life for every one except ourselves....until the body says STOP!

The man who just wrote about his cat had learned something. . A cat seems to loll around all day and eat or sleep. BUT if a mouse appears that cat is like a coiled spring ready for action with the speed of a missile. Running around all day can't give you that kind of power. We also need to bank our energies.

I realize we aren't cats but they can teach us something. Your method of dealing with retirement can be life saving. When it is time for you to move into a more planned day, you will know it and greet it , or you may not. Your choice.

Retirement gives people a critical balance that can be life saving. But you can still walk a little or dance a little which also helps.Blessings

Been right where you are
by: Rose Raintree Arlington Wa.

Wendy it is okay believe me I too have lived alone now for 20+ years and love it. I retired at 68 and the first year and even two is an adjustment period.

I do suggest you find a hobby or activity that will keep you physically as health as possible. Just before I retired I bought a small dog to ensure that I would walk every day and after 4 years so glad I did. Not only is she a wonderful companion, never talks back and always agrees with me LOL. she keeps me moving which is so important to aging well.

Your day for the most part describes mine every day and I While I am an early riser, I spend the first 1/2 of my day on emails and computer things after our first early morning walk. I have my coffee, and don't even have a clock in my room anymore as don't need it I get up and go to bed when I want too.

Now I have learned and enjoy since I retired to garden and that too keeps me busy and active especially in the summer. I have cleaned my storage shed on my property out 3 times since moving here.

My home is organized to suit me and that is all that matters. I did paint the outside and all the inside over a couple years.

I have one good friend here that she and I visit at least once a week, and we play RD on the computer every night during the week.

Sometimes I don't leave my home except to take my walks every day for a couple weeks. That is retirement, we get to finally do what we want, when we want, with no hindrance. It is just important we choose what we do so we can enjoy our retirement as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

And some do not they retire and sit and that will cause you to lose your health and vitality very quickly.

Also the first couple of years is an adjustment after like you I worked most of my adult life and at first was not used to relaxing but now I love it.

Financially I did the same gave away too much to my kids and others during my working years, but I am living comfortably on my Social Security.

Thankfully I planned ahead so I knew how I was going to live my SS would provide for me comfortably and it is. And you soon find out when you have only yourself to offer who really cared and who just used you, but that is okay I don't regret anything I did that is on them.

Just hang in there Wendy you may find you will rediscover the person we often lose during those working years.

by: Lynne Knoxville TN

Thanks so much for your input. Makes me feel better that it's ok to relax for a while!

Not So Productive...
by: Wendy

Give yourself a break.. you've worked a lifetime, now it's time for you to re-new yourself. Let It Go...

It's only been two months, relax and enjoy!

Take comfort in the fact that you have no anxiety right now... you are learning to chill out. GRIN! Don't force yourself into an anxious state by thinking "this is what I should do..."

Soon -- you will want to clean up, at your own pace. You have all winter to do that.

Today -- go outside a bit. Sit on your porch, walk in the park, just get some sunshine on your face and just S_M_I_L_E that you are retired and doing fine.


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