Two Years Retired: April 2012

by Wendy

Just Thinkin'

Just Thinkin'

I can't quite believe that I have been retired TWO YEARS! In April 2010, I retired. April 2012 was my 2 year anniversary of retirement, and time to reflect a bit...


I know, as you age, that time flies faster and faster. BUT - what the heck have I accomplished in two years? Honestly, not much... or so I thought.

As I started to write this, I was a little negative until I discovered that 2011 was The Personal Growth Year for Wendy's Retirement Path. Before I explain further, read the following that was my first draft for this page.


FIRST DRAFT:
Quite honestly, I think I've lost 2011. It's a big blur of a year with no accomplishments, nothing much happened. I understood that life passed me by when I worked my full-time in a stressful job. I had many excuses: too busy, too tired, had enough people all week.

Now, retired, my mantra is "I'll do it tomorrow". I have all day, every day, so why bother today? I'll give myself today as a gift, take it easy, just "chill out", do some meditation for peace of mind, and tomorrow I will be busy. The problem is that I gave myself too many "day off" gifts. Sound familiar?

When I worked, I did my grocery shopping after work. A quick stop on the way home from work, one hour and I'm done... Now, grocery shopping is the main goal of a day (and yes, it still only takes one hour). Same with laundry, when I worked, I did it on the weekends... now, it's my Monday chore.

One thing that happened... for a few months in 2011 (maybe longer than I care to admit), my self-talk and the never ending thoughts in my head, drained me. I was tired, had no energy, and my thoughts simply took me in circles. I didn't do much website work as I couldn't decide what to work on. I'd start a project, abandon it, and start another...

Does my retirement journey sound like yours?

Before I sound totally pathetic -- I now realizing, after much reflection, that I was mentally transitioning and mentally active in 2011. I discovered this as I wrote this story... daaaah! I thought I had done nothing until I really sat and thought about it.

Onto my revised second year of retirement:

I vacationed in Las Vegas for 2 weeks in January and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Las Vegas, a party place for most folks, is my utopia... I relax, breathe the desert air deeply, feel the sunshine in my face (regardless of the time of year) and simply get away from life in Michigan.

I attended website conferences in Florida and Chicago (spring/fall) and I learned lots. I love new challenges which is a huge part of why I work on my websites. I love learning new things!

I volunteered to work with a homeless shelter at our church in April 2011 (and became the

Food Coordinator in Jan and April 2012). One hectic stressful week, but so rewarding in the end. We had 30 men stay at the church and I organized food donations for breakfast and lunch, and groups to bring dinner into the church each night. I listened to many stories and hated to say good bye when they moved on. Anyone, at any time, can fall like this... take care of your neighbors.

I took a tele-class to become a Too Young To Retire facilitator. It was a great class that I intended to offer on the website. Instead it sent me on my own retirement voyage -- figuring out where I was headed in my retirement years. I honestly thought I had retirement figured out -- but I wonder if retirement rarely happens like you assume it will. It was a great class which I thoroughly enjoyed (plus I was lucky enough to have the author of the book as my instructor). Soon -- I will offer this class to other retirees.

During this retirement class, I decided to begin meditation again and I found SILVA Life Sytems. I wanted to quiet my mind to focus on what's important in life. I also wanted better focus, more energy, and simply a better retired life! I've always believed that our minds are really powerful and that we only use a fraction of our brains, so logically, Silva makes sense to me. Besides that, the New York Times (and millions of users) have convinced me this is real. Silva is quite amazing!

I had started to meditate with A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club) book by Eckert Tolle, a few years ago. I needed more peace of mind, especially in the last few years I worked. At that time, Oprah had a huge online gathering of people reading the book together. Each week, Oprah and Eckert answered questions with detailed explanations of living in the moment, enjoying the small details of life, via connecting with yourself. It was great!

Finally, I am with my parents (in their mid-80s) a lot -- lunches, shopping and doctor visits (and a few hospitalizations)... for that time together, I am truly grateful.

In the end, I am so blessed. I am living a good retired life. Yes, life is a bit slower, and that feels good as I'm out of the stress of my prior work life.

Little by little, retirement and life seem to unfold -- as I make decisions on my retired years ahead.

As a side note, in April 2012 (possibly prompted by the thought I am not doing enough), I started training to be a Life Purpose Coach, which runs until early fall. I also agreed to be the Team Coordinator for a new Stephen Ministry at church. It will be a challenging year -- learning a totally new skill and to facilitate a new ministry within the church from the very beginning. Wish me luck!

Until Next Year!

Wendy

Comments for Two Years Retired: April 2012

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Thank you.. just beginning my Retirement,.
by: Linda

I am one week into my retirement. All the thoughts and preparation did not prepare me for the journey ahead.

The one thought I wrote in my Journal is that "I have so many possibilities for the future." I realize that finding and exploring those opportunities is a GIFT.

Thank you for your posting as it does give me a bit of a beacon for the future.

Wendy: Linda, in my eyes, you are likely still in the vacation phase... and it hasn't really set in that you are really retired yet. Suddenly - wham, it hits you...

You have two choices then: Love it or Hate it...

Its different, you do need to find a new path, new friends -- but little by little, you'll get there and I hope you love it as I do.

I really DO love retirement, despite my 2011 overview and the initial negativity! I couldn't post that, it was a big downer, and as I thought and thought I realized what 2011 really gave me!

Best Wishes!!

POETRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by: Arthur C.. Ford,Sr.,poet/editor

SOUNDS GOOD. I'M 62 YEARS(SEMI-RETIRED) YOUNG WITH A BIRTHDAY COMING UP ON JUNE 2. I ENJOYED YOUR ARTICLE. TRY READING AND OR WRITING POETRY!!
I'M A POET AND I PUBLISH A POETRY NEWSLETTER OUT OF MY HOME.

HERE'S MY INFO.
DROP ME A LINE AT: wewuvpoetry@hotmail.com;www.thepoetbandcompany.yolasite.com(click on guidelines).

i've met some interesting people at this website.

WENDY IS A BLESSING!!!!!!!!!!!

ARTHUR

Wendy: Happy Birthday Arthur!!

My birthday is June 7th!

Just one year
by: Sue

I'm just finishing my first year of "forced retirement" and am still trying to figure out where I fit! It's sure a different world now.

I started volunteering two mornings a week at the hospital just so I could get out and talk to people! Never thought I was a people-person that much, but when you are suddenly by yourself all day, you realize that you need people!

I've had some anxiety about the future and this new life I was forced into and am glad to hear that this is normal at this time of my life. Thanks for your web-site... as it is interesting to hear what other people are experiencing.

Sue




Wendy: Just had to comment -- I almost avoided people when I still worked. Now, I seek them, like you! Funny, isn't it?


Busy as Ever ....
by: Retd. Prof. Mr. Durgesh Kumar Srivastava, New Delhi, India

Dear Wendy,

While reading your article, I kept a count of things that you have done during your two years of retirement including commitments for work that you have made.

Being a Life Coach, or a Food Coordinator for poor people or caring for very aged parents is a lot of work. Actually all that you have been doing has been for other people. Such work is "God's Own Work". Congrats ! Keep up your efforts!

Best Wishes. And Birth Day Greetings in advance !

You remind me of a popular song from a Hindi film ....

Apne Liye jiye toh kya jiye
Tu jee, aiy dil, zamane ke liye ...

(What is a life that is lived for oneself?
Dear me, you must decide to live for others.)

Wendy: Thanks ever so much, Durgesh!

Vacation stage is ending . . .
by: Carol

I retired on 1/1/2012. So far I have been in the vacation stage. Now I am giving myself retirement days and tomorrow chore days.

I do not miss work, I do not miss the people that I worked with. My grown kids make sure I have places to go with them - tomorrow is a picnic for the Memorial Day Holiday. Next week I am going out of town for a few days.

So, I'm busy but feel so lost.

I worry about the future as in 10 years from now. Forecasting I believe it is called. How can I rain myself in to make myself accountable for today?




Wendy: Well, it sounds like you are having a really nice, busy, retirement transition -- something we all wish for.

Feeling Lost, I totally get. Almost everyone feels that during the retirement transition period. It's kinda inevitable until you figure out who you are now... just a NEW You!

BUT why worry about ten years down the road? At this point, I think -- it is what it is.

What will worrying give you? Nothing but make you physically ill. If you are that worried, seek work and save more money -- even then, when is enough enough? We'll never know we have enough as we never know what the future holds... only time will tell.

You might see a financial planner. Most will offer a consultation at no cost... maybe that will set your mind at peace. Now, if you don't have enough savings for a financial planner - then you don't. Oh well... at the point everything gets tight, you'll be like thousands of other retirees and will find resources then.

Finally, good ole Benjamin Franklin said:

Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

I agree! SMILE and Enjoy Your Retired Life.

Easy to say, not always easy to do... But I pray you find your way around the worry so you don't end up in a depression like others.

Best Wishes!!


POETRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by: Arthur C. ford,Sr.,poet/editor

ANOTHER GEMINI.
I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

HERE'S A POEM FOR YOU!!!!

BIRTHDAY HAPPY

Birthday Happy!
Happy You!
Filet Mignon!
Some Wine!
Some Brew!

Do what you want!
Even "Do the Do"
Cause it's Birthday Happy!
Happy You!!

By:Arthur C. Ford,Sr.,poet
for "Wendy(2012)";wewuvpoetry@hotmail.com

CONGRATULATIONS!
by: Goldie

Wendy,

Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary!

Your journey shows how one can find purpose and JOY after retirement. You have been a blessing and a wonderful inspiration to me. Thank you.

Wendy - thanks for being there
by: Carol

Wendy, Happy Birthday. I hope you celebrate your birthday for days and not just one day.

I am so glad for you and your website. Your advice is sensible and after thinking over your response to me I will try to allow myself to enjoy my retirement day by day, hour by hour.

Wendy: Hi Carol... You'll get there!

PS to my comment
by: Carol

As I posted my comment I realized I had typed "allow myself to enjoy retirement".

Allow myself enjoyment each day, each hour, might be my key to getting out of the lost feeling. I am not 20 any longer (age 69) I cannot physically do what I used to, weight does not disappear overnight as it used to, I get tired; on the other hand, I have decent health, my house is paid for, I have a loving family and sometimes I have to use a walking stick to save my aching back.

I need to get over myself for not being young and realize that youth is now a long, long way off but there is still value in me.

Wendy: You are so right.. we all have value and just need to figure out what's right for our own retirement years. Count your blessings!

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