Uncertainty and Change

by Jeanne Savelle
(Atlanta, GA, USA)

Over the last month I have struggled.

I don’t have COVID. I am healthy. No one I know is sick. My finances are okay.

But I am struggling. I thought I had direction but found myself resisting it.

I took a trip to the Panhandle of Florida for a week. Saw some friends, missed others. Walked the shore. Ate fresh fish.

Still I felt empty somehow. There was a low level of dissatisfaction rumbling through my body.

I took another trip to the Outer Banks, a bit further this time.

The low-level dissatisfaction remained.

Trying to identify where it was coming from, I thought maybe it was a cumulative result of how life, in general, has changed since March.

This is unquestionably part of it.

I cannot hug my family or friends. Everyone is physically distanced except my husband

I didn’t realize how much not being able to share a simple hug with a friend has impacted my mental state.

I am always on guard. It makes me reticent in ways I didn’t expect. I feel more distant from everyone and everything.

This dissatisfaction has made its way into all my decisions, including the direction I thought I had chosen.

Part of that direction included writing and publishing on a consistent basis. At least that is what I thought.

But I have avoided writing anything for the last month (except absolute requirements.)
Writing about retirement seemed unfulfilling somehow.

Given the state of the world, who wants to read about my thoughts on retirement.

Given the state of the world, who wants to read about my struggles.

But today I wanted to write. I wanted to put down on paper what my struggles are.

Maybe no one will read it and that is fine. I needed to get it out of my head.

I didn’t need to publish it, but I did because I needed to put it out in the world.

It helps me feel less alone.

I was thinking about writing, about Facebook, about the demands of always being “on.”

But I have decided that it isn’t necessary. I don’t want to be “on” all the time. It creates pressure I want to avoid.

My struggles with the new reality are helping me decide what is right for me.

I want to shed practices I thought I “should” do but don’t want to.

I want to concentrate on practices that enrich my inner life. That helps me live more truthfully. That helps me connect authentically.

I want to embrace uncertainty and change in a way that opens my life, not restricts, or shuts it down.

I think I was letting my discomfort with uncertainty and change hold me back from exploring expression and outreach. I want to explore, not publish.

I don’t want another job.

So, I give myself permission to stop resisting, to relieve struggling, and to do only what brings me joy.

Like writing this today. From my heart.

I invite you to reach out. We can struggle and adapt together.

Comments for Uncertainty and Change

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Very clearly the way a lot of us feel
by: Ruth from Oregon

Just know that. The entire shutdown of real communications by voice and interaction is taking its toll.

In that, we are reaching out and it is so good to have real people we don't even know relate to what we are experiencing.

I'm glad you can still get out and travel, a blessing.

Hang in there. Ruth

Uncertainty and Change
by: Jeanne Savelle/Atlanta

Thank you EVERYONE for posting your thoughts. It is so wonderful to listen and learn from such wise and thoughtful people!

I Can Relate
by: ail/Fresno, CA

Thank you for writing this because I think you nailed it on how many of us retirees feel. Please know you are not the only one struggling with this. Many of us are.

I try to remember to count my blessings and look for the little golden nuggets strewn along the path. I know that sounds cheesy, but I know there is always somebody more worse off than me. 😊

Quite the same here
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

First, Michigan, just yesterday, was shut down for three weeks. The governor asked us to stay home for Thanksgiving -- celebrating with only those who live in the home. All schools, restaurants, etc are shut down for the three-week period (which I'd BET will be extended later).

I still go about my small life -- go to moms condo daily and back home again. Shopping via grocery store pick-up and Amazon. That's about it.

I did start working at church, for 4 Sundays, then took a break two weeks again as I kept hearing of more COVID cases, people I KNEW. I never knew anyone back in March and April.

Normally, I welcome time at home. I always told co-workers I was disciplined at home when working on my online business... and I was.

Suddenly, not so much. I don't know WHY that is. I should take advantage of the time "stuck" at home, but I don't.

It's ok. I am reading novels (say what? not a self-help book but stories? Yes!). I've watched some old movies and thoroughly enjoyed a few. I've gardened and played outside in the backyard all summer. It's a peaceful, contented lifestyle.

I have Christmas lights on the house already and a Christmas tree too. Just needed that emotional boost. Oddly enough, I counted six other homes, in Mom's subdivision, with Christmas lights last week. (just proof I'm not totally nuts!)

I am hoping and praying COVID will end in early 2021. Life, as we knew it, has changed. We are all doing the best we can... both staying safe but also taking in the mental challenges of living with masks and socially distanced.

Crazy times... will life be back to our old normal next year or has life changed forever?

Giving Yourself Permission
by: Leaking Ink/MA

Amen to giving yourself permission!

That's a very good Step One.

Now you can start enjoying your journey and new explorations. Be kind to yourself.

Best Wishes...

by: Bob Florida

I highly recommend praying to Jesus. He’ll bring you peace.

Everyone has struggles, but once you realize through Jesus that we are just vapors in this life, here today and gone tomorrow, we can focus on eternity and the peace and joy that God’s son Jesus. Be grateful for everything God has given you because they’re always millions of people in this world who are n’t as fortunate as we are.

So Praise God and God Bless You :)

I hear u
by: Tom Canada

Greetings, I hear you and feel your pain. This pandemic is overwhelming in so many ways.

I know it is not easy but it is a chance for us to step back and make change and "try" to change and enjoy the simple things.

Of course we miss so many things of our "normal life" but view it as a challenge to find new simple things to bring us joy, satisfaction and happiness. I am trying my best to do this..some good days some bad days but the fight goes on.

Change is never easy but hopefully it will make us stronger and happier once this is all over.

Best of luck and my heart goes out to you.

Wow things I never thought of
by: Nancy

For example: not being able to hug affecting my mental state. When we went back to church seeing my friends and not being able to hug. Also always being on guard. That's bound to have a long-term effect.

We are staying home for Thanksgiving. That's the one time I get to see my great niece and nephew except for Christmas. My nephew always gives me a huge hug. But not this year.

Thanks for reaching out and helping others get through this.

Surprised at impact of isolation
by: Elliott Katz

Back in March, I thought a couple of weeks of self-isolation? I could handle it. But as everything I did that I enjoyed got shut down, I had to create new activities and reach out to people who may need my help.

by: Mary Lou / Buffalo

Absolutely Agree- I have this unsettling feeling- can't exactly identify it - I believe it's from being on high alert for several months- haven't seen my daughter in 15 months- she moved from New Orleans to Boston last week with husband and 3 kids - new Grandson haven't met yet - he's 8 months old - it seems like Life is just complicated right now- take it day by day - moment by moment-

Great choices!
by: New England

Thank you for writing this!

You bring up some ¹ideas that I certainly identify with - that writing about your struggles (shared by many of us) gets them out of your head and onto the "page," that you have decided not to do what you don't want to do, that you make the world a happier place by making yourself happier, and that it is and probably always was, the people in our lives that create the good times, the joys, and not just the places or events we associated the happiness with.

It was the human contact all along!

And we miss it!!!!

Thank you again for writing and posting this!

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