The Black Cat

by Robb
(Linn County Oregon)

Many years ago an old wise man told me that I spent a lot of time looking for a black cat in a dark room that is not there. It was a heck of a lot for me to think about. It came down to always second guessing myself over important decisions.

My retirement was a very big decision and prior to my retirement I was constantly searching for the "black cat". It was just unnecessary fear.

Yes I had to do SOMETHING and by that I mean I had to stop not believing in me and get out there and get back into life.

I traveled at first then I helped out others with their needs and finally I am beginning to settle into retirement with pure joy... it turned out it was everything retirees had said it was times 100!!!

Prior to retirement the "unknown" was more fearful than the reality of the moment. I have been retired now for 5 months and I can not, for the life of me, understand why I got so crazy at the end of a very exciting career. I am just a nobody now living this exciting life (my life).

As the old wise man used to say to me, "you can be happy or sad in the same pair of breeches"......he was right!

Good luck and enjoy...robb

Wendy: I love that old wise man... interesting thoughts for sure! Thanks for sharing!

Comments for The Black Cat

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Transition to nobody important
by: Nobody important

Three month retired now. No regrets. It was time. The job was evolving into something I didn't want to do anymore.

Haven't quite made the mental transition to being nobody important but well on my way. It is a bit of a journey. I now enjoy most days immensely.

Black cat
by: Plp

Wonderful story.. I do feel lost on some days. I ask myself what the heck did it all mean? And what the heck does life mean now? No answers so far. Maybe that black cat is still in the dark room!

Retirement can be wonderful.
by: Liz in Georgia

Robb, think "The Black Cat" is very familiar to many of us that get to be retirement age. Looking forward to retirement is one thing but when the time comes think we're all a little dubious or uneasy to say the least. However, think it is the fear of taking entirely new paths after all our years of working and being told what to do and whatever and then we find we're the masters of our destiny. But, like you say, what a joyous time of life it is if you make the most of every day and above all try to help others that need us.

You are so right.
by: Irwin


That definitely is or was a wise old man.

Let's face it, if there were ever a time that we were truly in charge of what it is we want to do with each day, it is when we are retired.

We can wake up and be miserable or we can wake up being glad we are still alive and attempt to enjoy every moment we have left.

Sure, we all have bad days but hopefully they are few and far in between those good days. I know I have had my share of some rough times but I decided to think about how good I actually have it compared to how others might have it and in doing so, I realize just how lucky I am. So, I try my best to smile and face each day with a positive attitude.

Besides, negative attitudes do nothing but bring not only yourself down, but those around you. And frankly, I prefer to laugh and smile than sit around being an old grumpy.

Let me add to this, the fact that I know firsthand that others may not be as fortunate as some of us are now that we are retired and my comments are - in no way, shape, or form, intended to take from their unfortunate circumstances. What I am merely trying to say that now that we are retired, we are the masters of whether we spend our days smiling or being old grumpies. Me, I would rather be the one to smile - I hate being down and that is all that being grumpy does - make us feel down.

So, here is hoping that everyone reading this can find something bright and happy to think about thus setting those dark feelings aside. Hopefully the day will seem a bit brighter upon doing so.

Makes a lot of sense
by: Nancy

I like the analogy of the black cat. I too obsessed over whether I made the right decision to retire. It took a lot more than 5 months for me. I'm 2 years (almost) into retirement and I am just now finding joy in each day. 5 months into retirement I felt a strong sense of regret over retiring. Now, I wondered how I withstood all that stress. Thanks for sharing.

new life in retirement
by: diane

I have chosen to look at retirement as an opportunity to build a life that i want without all of the old responsibilities.

Something Robb mentioned got me thinking about the work life and is it a mask we all wear to get through our careers. I think of the volunteer work that i am doing now and feel that my real personality is comming through..i am friendly and bubbly when meeting people. in my work life i had this so called important job that didn't allow for a lot of bubbly prsonality.

I guess my point in this is that relax and let retirement bring out the real you.

Makes a lot of sense
by: Nancy

I like what you said about the being a "nobody". I am fine with being a retiree now instead of having a "title". It took me longer than 5 months to be happy, but I have arrived, I believe. I have joyous days doing just what I want. At 5 months into my retirement, I was mired in regret. Now I get up every morning and marvel at how I navigated the stress of every day when I was working. That story about the black cat is a good analogy. Thanks for sharing.

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