Retirement: Not as great as I thought it would be!
(Grand Prairie, Texas, USA)
In March 2014 I retired at the age of 63. I couldn't wait for full retirement age.
After 40+ years of office work I was burned out, fed up, tired, depressed and ready to be able to stay home and do what I wanted.
At first it was fun. Getting up when I felt like it, not having to contend with rules, bosses, co-workers. I thought yes now I can paint again, play the piano again, play my favorite computer games for as long as I want but it hasn't turned out that way. I've picked around at a few things but nothing seems to hold my interest for very long. I've played my computer games so much that they are no longer fun.
I am somewhat homebound due to severe osteoarthritis in my knees and have only been away from the house a couple of times over the past few months.
I have been exercising and trying to lose some weight and that seems to help but exercise only takes up a small portion of my day.
I am fortunate that I don't live alone. I own my home and my daughter, her husband and my grandson live with me. But they have their own lives.
I am not married so I don't have a partner to grow old with! My husband and I divorced after a few short years leaving me to raise my daughter alone. I was busy back then working full time, running my household and being active in my church. But now I don't have those responsibilities and I don't know what to do with myself.
I have read many articles about how to have a happy retirement but I often end up feeling more depressed because I am limited financially and physically. I was diagnosed with clinical depression many years ago and took medications but I don't want to go that route again.
I have realized though that I am probably being much to hard on myself. I feel guilty for not having some wonderful hobby to keep me busy. I don't have to do much around the house other than my own laundry and keeping my room clean yet I still feel this sense that I must do something productive everyday. I think that comes from all the years I've spent being the provider and caregiver.
I did read that retirement is a time to reinvent oneself but I am at a loss to know how or what it is that I want for my life.
I suppose it is a journey, one that starts with small steps. I just need to figure out what path I want to take.