by Debra S. Elston
(Washington, DC, USA)
So....I fell in love with this great guy and we enjoyed traveling together. I was already considering and planning retirement a year before we met. I live 3,000 miles from the guy who I considered the "love of my life" and we were in discussions about what post-career might look like. We are both very independent people.
The day before I retired from a high-pressure executive position, he broke up with me saying he needed more space. I told him I needed to cut off communication while my heart healed. A month later, my niece sends me a photo of him and his new squeeze on a weekend trip.
First, I didn't have my job to give my life structure and I was debating not retiring right up to the minute I walked out the door for the last time. Two weeks before I retired, he and I had taken a fishing trip together and he had told me he was crazy about me and loved me as much as ever.
Second, I had worked for 27 years in the same field and climbed the ladder only to feel lonely and often misunderstood and wrongfully judged. It was time to leave, knowing that I had contributed and made a difference.... My career years existed of work and work. Not much of a personal social life. I wanted to find who I was outside of my work and the title that went with it....and, after all I was HAPPY with the "love of my life."
Third, I had purchased a second home near my family as origin and kept my city row home as an airbnb. Decisions about what to keep in the city house and what to move to the four-square house in the mid-west has been organized chaos, at best.....there are 2,000 miles between the two houses.
I had an airbnb manager all lined up and that did not work out... now, how to get the house cleaned and ready for the next visitors is causing anxiety when I am out of town.
Fourth, my health and wellness needed some attention after long hours at work and in front of the computer...I slept with my ipad and phone by my side. My first surgery was two weeks after retirement.
Then, four other medical procedures followed in the next few months. I am still not out of the woods.
These are the four pillars of my Transition Avalanche. I wake up with my heart pounding and a tightness in my chest. I am looking for "HOW" to mend my broken heart from being dumped. I am struggling with where I belong. I am overwhelmed with doctor visits and what city should I seek medical treatment. I feel disconnected from everyone and everything.
I know that I will be fine....but, that does not change the fact that I am in the throws of massive transitions.