Trouble Transitioning


My plan was to work to at least 65 but job stress and anxiety became overwhelming with the company being acquired by a large Asian many changes and expectations.

So, after 44 years, I exited earlier than planned at age 63. I am in good health, financially sound, and should have been able to transition to the next chapter of my life. Not so..... there is sooo much time and my mind has not been able to get over the loss of routine and identity.

It has only been just over a week and I have days of feeling lost and anxious.

I know I need to get out of this 'funk' and that I control the choices that need to be made..... just so much easier said than done.

Comments for Trouble Transitioning

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by: Jeanne Savelle/Atlanta

Transitions are a normal part of life. Think back to other transitions you have made in your life and how you managed.

When we enter a transition, it's an act of leaving one place and moving to another. Think of a caterpillar (your old life) who spends time morphing into a butterfly (your new life.) The time in the middle is messy but you'll come out more beautiful than ever.

Give yourself time to adjust, explore, rest, and revive.

Detox from working takes time
by: Anonymous

For some of us, like me, it takes a while to mentally "detox" from working full time all your adult life.

You'll probably go through stages of elation and relief that build into a permanent state of being. The sign detox was approaching completion for me was finally putting away the thoughts that I might go back to work, might look for a job in my former specialty, and unsubscribed from all the online job boards.

This took about two years, believe it or not. Lots of travel before Covid, lots of catching up on incomplete projects, lots of trying things and trying to learn new things.

Just had this nagging feeling I should be working or something like that. No mas.

early retirement
by: Cindi H, Ohio

Don't be so hard on yourself. You've only been retired a short time. You will not figure it out that quickly. There is no need to rush it.

I second the idea of starting to take walks - it stimulates the brain and calms the senses. Take time to notice the world around you at more than a glance.

I think the hardest lesson to learn is that in retirement, unlike work, your life is not all about producing vast amounts of work. At work, the more work you get done, the greater the satisfaction.

You will learn to get satisfaction from other things. From interactions with others - taking time to make life easier for other people who are still in the rat race - holding doors open, letting people in front of you in line.

Just imagine what you would've liked to happen when you were too busy to breathe.

Trouble Transitioning
by: Anonymous

You will definitely be fine.

I retired 1 year ago at 61 after working 36 years.

Develop a routine of walking, devotion and catching up news in the morning.

Gradually find some volunteering in the afternoon 2 times a week. Decide to give the rest of my time to myself.

Soon you will develop a routine and appreciate this last phase of life. Just take it easy.

Your situation is normal
by: Nancy

I had a terrible terrible time transitioning like you said loss of identity.

I found Wendy and this group a year and a half after I retired. That was absolutely the best thing that happened to me in retirement. Stick around. Reading the stories that others wrote was so helpful, as was writing my own stories.

And then the second thing that helped me was finding my retirement hobby which is quilting.

Wendy: WOW! Thanks Nancy!

by: Sherry/NC

Wendy is right, just breathe.

Walking is great, I love the sunshine on my face and smelling the air, and feeling a nice warm breeze. I love nature and seeing wild animals and hearing the birds sing. It is good
for my soul.

You will be happy and satisfied again in the future, I promise.

Yes, it will happen, but it takes time.

Good luck and much happiness.

Just think of it as vacation
by: Nui/Vancouver

Like with any huge task, the simplest way is to break things down in small chunks.

So tell yourself that you are on a 3-week vacation. What would you do on vacation? You wouldn’t be stressing about work, I’m sure. So... put yourself on vacation for however long it takes.

It took me about a year but now I can’t imagine going back to the madness.

There’s more to life!

by: Carol Arsenault

Not sure what to tell you. I had the same problem. So much time and couldn't get motivated to do anything. So I slept all the time.

Two years later, I do a lot more but only in the mornings, it seems. I go like crazy, walk the dog, do laundry, clean the house, bake and then sleep all afternoon.

So I haven't progressed too much but slowly, slowly I am hoping to get even better. Yesterday i stayed up all day which I never do. I just took the dog for a second walk to pass the time. Get a dog!! Takes up a lot of time, ha, ha. And it's good company.

I did plan on travelling but the pandemic put a stop to that for me. This is sad as my children live far away and I can't even see them now until travel restrictions lift.

And yes, I missed my job a lot. I had an interesting job and did it all my life and loved it. I was a graphic artist.

Don't give up, it does get better slowly.

Do you have a partner?

Trouble Transitioning
by: Anonymous

Know that your situation is SO normal. We are not taught how to plan for retirement.

We think it's going to be great and that as long as we have money, everything will be fine. But, there is so much more: identity, purpose, connection, etc.

Know that you are okay. You have your health and financial security which is nice.

You are going through a major transition that you didn't plan for. Remember transitions that you have been through in the past. This is another transition and you can work through it.

Give yourself a break, be kind, not judgey. It isn't too late to go through the steps of retirement planning and creating a new and exciting life.

Start thinking about what you love to do, who you want to connect with, your skills, desires, interests. Just reconnect with yourself and you'll start to figure out who you want to be now that you have total freedom.

If you are feeling lost or anxious, examine what you are thinking and question it. What else could you think that might help you feel less lost or anxious?

Remember too that there is nothing you "Need" to do. You can choose what you WANT to do. What is it?

by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

You've only been retired a week -- please breathe for a bit.

Take regular walks in nature. Meditate. Breathe. Life a simple life until you find yourself again.

Give yourself a break... this is a huge life transition. Let your mind, body, and soul de-stress from years of work. You retired from anxiety and stress, and it simply won't dissipate in one week. Breathe...

You do not need that job; however, after 44 years of it, time is required to find new routines and a new lifestyle. But you WILL find it.

I retired at 55 with 37 years of service. I thought I had worked a lifetime. BUT, You win!
44 years -- yikes!

My advice:

Breathe in the Gift of Time.
Breathe out the stress and anxiety.

You've got a lifetime ahead of you! Take time to know your new self. Life is no longer a rat race. Focus on Gratitude for all that you have in life, and all that is yet to come!

If you'd like to chat,
Contact Me here.

If you'd like help with retirement,
Visit My Workshops!

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