Sitting inside while the brambles attack the house..

by Scott / SouthDevon

Finished work two months ago, my own business & very stressful after 27 years. Loads of plans: lose weight, join a gym, attack the garden which had been neglected for several years -mainly due to us both having varying degrees of depression, blitz the house that had been similarly neglected, read more again, volunteer for something, catch up with old friends, etc, etc...

What am I actually doing? Not sleeping thinking about everything that needs doing, getting up late even though I’ve always been a morning person then feeling knackered all day.

Look out at all that needs doing & sit & have another look at the news channels. It’s all just overwhelming. Netflix during lunch turns into 2 hour sessions (followed by an afternoon ‘nap’). The only thing I really do is plan & cook the evening meal.

My partner, still working, is incredibly supportive but I can tell is getting annoyed at my lack of effort & who can blame him. This just adds layers of guilt to all the others.

The only time i’ve actually been the me I'd expected to be was 3 weeks in when we took off in our camper van for 2 weeks in Brittany. Slept well, read 3 books, went for walks voluntarily & drank a lot less. Home & back to the slob.

Realise there’s an element of depression involved & know all the ‘start on something small’ suggestions but just seem to be drifting rudderless at the moment.

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Encouraged!
by: Anonymous

Thank you all for your post and all the comments. I feel exactly like this after 18 months.

My time was extended because I had a life goal for this past July to work for, accomplished it, but now feel totally empty of motivation to get up and get stuff done.

My life was my work, and stress and challenges kept me going, to the detriment of my health and sanity.

i received the same advice from my therapist this morning: it's time to rest, adjust to a life without the need for stress, and that a rebirth will happen when it's time for it to happen.

Enjoy your slow time
by: Linda NZ

Hi Scott. I retired 3 years ago after 45 years of a varied and amazing career. I felt exactly like you describe, and so guilty that I wasn’t doing anything on my ‘to do’ list.

Slowly my perspective has changed. I have been able to travel, and love those moments, but in between, life was a drag and I had times of depression.

Then I realised that ‘everything’ I do on a daily basis is worthwhile and aligned to the rhythm of life. Be it going for a walk, or spending time reading, dreaming, cleaning, whatever I feel like doing in a particular moment.

Slowly, I have got fitter, lost weight, engaged in more meaningful relationships with friends and family.

Without guilt the garden gets done, the house gets cleaned and I am relaxed and happy. Ready to spring into action if needed or given an opportunity. I now give time to me instead of a business or employer, and I don’t care what anyone thinks, even my partner😊.

Relax, and enjoy.

Give yourself time to recalibrate!!!
by: Junebug in Deerfield WI

It took me a year to be comfortable in retirement. Do not fret about what needs doing...it will happen in its own good time.

I retired six years ago at 67. Took care of my elderly mother at the home we shared for 30 years. She passed two years ago. I am learning to care for our large ranch house (built in 1975), caring for 8 acres, mowing and gardening 3 acres and managing a 20x40 inground pool.

I do not get it all done, but am making progress and eliminating the superwoman mindset. Did. To pick strawberries or can tomatoes this year for example.

You will find your retirement mojo in good time. Do not be too hard on yourself.

We all tend to define ourselves by our careers, but dwelling on what is past does not help the future!

This too will pass
by: Margaret Johannesburg

The most useful piece of advice I received when I retired was, that after the stress of work, and the stress of the "goodbyes,' I would be very tired. I was tired for 6 months. I began to feel less fatigued after that, and only really got into my stride after a year. You need the rest. Take it.

I suggest that you do one or two small things at the moment so that when you are ready to re-emerge you haven't cut yourself off from everything.

Make one phone call to someone a day, and do 30 minutes on some project. If you feel like doing more, do so, otherwise read a good book, watch a fun show or something healing and relaxing.

This will pass, but keep it from being to expensive at this stage.

Doing what I'm doing
by: Laura in Vermont

We seem to have retired about the same time and have had similar experiences.

I had loads of things to do in retirement all stacked up to the sky. Unfortunately, two things I really had no idea were going to be issues came along and interfered.

I didn't work on a hobby enough to suit me because getting my income set up became more of a chore than I thought. I am not getting some physical work done because of a medical issue; it's also keeping me from exercising like I'd planned.

That's life.

But like you, I took these things hard. I found myself doing even less than I could and getting bored, feeling down. So I kept doing my minimum, deferred some things to be done later, and picked things I could accomplish now.

So while I can't dye wool right now, that being heavy work, I cleaned out a storage box instead for yarn when I get through making it.

Your brambles will quit growing soon and you can take them out a bit at a time. If I don't get all my hostas divided and iris replanted this fall, they'll get done next year. Whatever.

Don't get depressed over it, just do what you can and you'll find your capability increases over time.


Solution
by: Anonymous

Based on your own writing it seems like you might have a drinking problem. Health & Wellness is probably the main factor to achieve first before trying and accomplishing any meaningful projects in your retirement life.

Joe W.

Joy in your life
by: Wee-zer

Scott, retirement isn't easy, it is a huge adjustment. What we imagine we will do after retirement while working, doesn't always pan out like we thought. From what you have written you seem to have no motivation to do the things you had on your retirement to-do list.

First, you deserve joy in your life to fill your soul. Did you properly celebrate your final work days? Such as a champagne dinner and a night on the town? If not, it is never too late!

You love to read, make this a priority in your daily life. I am not saying to read the day away. But pick a good time and spend 2 hours to enjoy yourself. If you have a nearby library, see if they have a book club or a senior center that also has a book club discussion group. Join in.

Read some books that would be something you could discuss with your partner. Since you don't work, this could generate interesting conversation rather than one sided conversation on your partners work day experience.

Next, you say you do cook. Can you find a local cooking school to learn some new skills and recipes? This will get you out and bring some joy into your life.

As far as the brambles, that sounds like an activity that you are not looking forward to. Can you hire someone to attend to that. If not, can you schedule one hour a day for maybe three times a week to tackle that chore. Set a timer and when it goes off, walk away. You are done.

Can you and your partner plan some weekend getaways in your camper. Sometimes it is fun just to do a mini vacation. You could have the camper ready to go with food and supplies on a Friday. Maybe your partner could get out of work after half a day and you can go somewhere peaceful yet fun!

Only you can make your retirement work. This is the time of your life you have probably dreamed of and now it is here! No one is going to knock on your door and say come on, it is time to play! If you feel scattered every day, pretend your home is a business and you need to run it efficiently. Make lists and try to stick with them. BUT do not over load your brain or you will be running around in circles.

Have a nicely balanced weekly list you can stick to. If you overwhelm yourself, you will give up right away. You are like a baby now. You have to learn a little every day to crawl, walk then run. I think you tried to run in the beginning when you didn't know how to crawl yet!

Best wishes to you, now get out there! We are rooting for you! Stumbling is okay, just pick yourself up and start again. Just don't ever give up!

Maybe you'll outgrow it!
by: Now beyond veg stage

Maybe you are doing more than you think, deep inside.

Heretofore you have had to push through and get/keep going. Maybe you need to allow yourself a new start after you have had enough of inertia. Maybe it would be helpful to rename what you are doing in this phase to something that means to you a "preparing to begin anew."

Remove the pressure and judgement, allow inactivity, and you may find yourself wanting to get going, if you stop feeling it is mandatory.

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