Unwanted Retirement

by Nancy
(Westlake, OH USA)

Okay, here is my story. I was a teacher of children with multiple disabilities in an urban school district.

When I was 66, I planned to work at least four more years. I was lucky to love my job, be healthy for my age, and saw retirement as a distant stage of life.

Then I had two epileptic seizures on my job, a week apart. One, I fell and cracked my head on a door jamb. The other seizure, I fell down a flight of stairs. Was diagnosed with epilepsy, and I started an appropriate medical regime. But I lost my job. I understand liability and safety concerns, but it was a bad day when I left my job.

My epilepsy is well controlled now, but jobs are not plentiful for a 75-year-old woman with that illness. I write, I draw, I read, but I also live with depression and sadness and the conviction life is over, and I am useless.

My husband is no help. He thinks I am useless too. I can't drive with my epilepsy.

Hope others are doing better than I am.

Comments for Unwanted Retirement

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Retirement is all I thought it would be and More!
by: Illinois

Really! Its sad that so many people are only identified by their past jobs. A job was a Means to and End, which is retirement. The sooner you realize this the better off you will be.

Your past health issues should be an Eye Opener that we all have an Expiration Date and if were blessed to make it to retirement age, we should enjoy that accomplishment, because there are so many people that never make it that far. ( Just check your papers obituaries).

Shake off those negative feelings and enjoy your new found freedom that retirement provides.

I Feel Your Pain
by: Canadian Retiree

I admire your conviction to your job and feel your pain at leaving your career behind to follow a new path called retirement.

I had a terrible time adjusting to retirement following my breast cancer treatments. Part of me wanted to go back to work for at least one more year, and part of me didn't. I was depressed for a whole year. I still have days when I think about work and wonder what's going on there. I guess I like to think that they still need me and that I still need my job. I worked at a University Bookstore so understand how you feel about leaving your teaching job.

At least you hung in there until 66, I left at 64. Retirement eventually comes to us all. I often tell my husband "my life is over" but each day I get up and enjoy what I can.

I'm sure you will find your way in retirement, it just takes time. Give yourself a chance!

I'm 75 and don't want to stop working
by: Anonymous

IN the next two weeks, I must decide whether i choose to return to face-to-face counseling since medicare will not pay for counseling the disabled for long.

I have counseled individuals for the last 30+ years, i have never been without work since i was 30, i was diagnosed with temporal arteritis at the start of COVID and am on prednisone. i do not want to go back to counseling in group homes. i do not think it's safe. but i have to give up my work and fear that it will be hard to find work.

i love psychology and love my work, but i feel unsafe to work again in the way that i have for the last 30 years. i understand how you feel. we never wanted to stop our work. i am 75,

Coming to terms with retirement
by: Anonymous

For the first year of complete retirement, I thought "Oh no, I don't have anything to do."

Now, I am able to say "Oh yes, I don't have to do anything." I can pick and choose what I want to do or don't want to do. It has brought a sense of release and the ability to refocus.

At first, I thought I could fill the void by volunteering, but nothing worked out due to distance and scheduling. I had been a hospice RN and wanted to volunteer some way with a hospice organization. Once I finally accepted that I didn't have to volunteer to be okay, I was able to move on to being more satisfied with picking and choosing my days.

I don't want to imply this has been easy, because it hasn't. But, now I can find more fulfillment in small, ordinary things - a book, music, sunshine, talking with a friend, tomatoes growing on my back patio, and walk with my family.

I'm trying not to use the time left in life to mourn what is gone. Each day is a gift.

Appreciate Each Day
by: Anonymous

I am a retired special education teacher such as yourself. I’ve been retired now for three years and I must say that it takes time to adjust. 2020 was good up until the Covid virus hit.

In reading the other comments, I do agree that volunteering in any capacity is very satisfying to this soul. Think about what direction you would like to volunteer in so many options out there but I feel that would be good for you .

I don’t know what your situation is where you live but they’re are volunteer positions you can do remotely but you need to check into it.

We all have to hang in there and don’t beat ourselves up because life is very short .appreciate each day given to us.

Good luck think positive!

It's a process
by: Kathleen, Fort WorthTX

I retired at 70. Nurse for 50 years. I went thru depression, feeling like I still had so much to offer. Felt like no one would hire me at my age. My self worth was built around my job.

Now, at 75, I'm content to stop looking for a job. I don't need one to feel valued.

I like sleeping until I awake. I have a precious dog to motivate me to walk daily. Freedom to do what I want when I want is great! Jesus holds my right hand always and we talk a lot, daily. I'm at peace, happy, and look forward to each day.

Yes, I ache and have pains but I still move, take care of myself, and feel blessed.

A positive attitude is the way to go. Sometimes I feel down like everyone else but it passes.

God bless you. Be thankful.

a new life
by: Jim from New York

Hi Nancy,

Retirement is a whole new life for me. For the most part, like you, enjoyed my previous job.
The regrets I have are different from yours, I retired about 6 months ago and feel I am beginning a new time in my life.

A time of freedom and new opportunities. I do try to resist focusing on my past regrets and current problems. Like you, I like to read, write. Have you explored volunteering?

Recently I began volunteering with meals on wheels. It has been a blessing to help others. It may sound trite but it really has been a blessing for me to do to others what I would like done to me.

It is a spiritual principle that I have found to be true.

unwanted retirement
by: Anonymous

Hi, Thanks for your entry. Well, I can say that as I age, with my friends getting older, there has been an abundance of friends getting sick, or having conditions.

Somehow I have been the go-to person to look in on them and do some errands or such for them. Hip replacements, shoulder surgeries, multiple surgeries to avoid loss of hand, 3 or so nights a week with someone with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Even though you don't have your paid job, there are surely plenty of people that could use your care.

By the way, my 3rd career was a teacher, and it is nice to be needed. You are very useful.

Naughty idea that your husband might think you are useless.

Bye, keep posting

Wendy: You are needed and this is the perfect post on how small helpful acts can increase your own self-worth! Love it!
Check out my free workshop: HELP YOURSELF
Retirement Workshops here!

Hold Your Horses
by: Jane Curtis/Hawkins Texas

I realize you are in the middle of one heck of a good self pity party but you don't get to stay there.

I too retired from teaching children with special needs. It was extremely rewarding work. Okay, so you got forced out. Big deal.

So, you work as a private tutor. People who have children with special needs are always looking for someone who can help their child.

I did many things after my retirement from teaching. I became an auditor for a large manufacturing company and eventually retired from that work as well. I did not stop there but I almost did.

I have a contributor's page, look me up. I have several blogs that may help you, maybe tickle your gray matter a bit.

You have to claim who and what you want to be. You know no one can do it for you. You have to pick yourself up, you and you alone are responsible for taking the first step. If you want an excuse then just make a list, but it does not mean you have to use it now. Squirrel it away, you can use it any time.

My grandmother, my mother, my aunt were all retired women who made the most of what they had and also changed directions several times during their retirements.

No fool yourself into thinking what happens to you is someone else's fault. Someone else may have started the ball rolling but it is up to you to step out of the way. You don't have to just stand there and let it hit you. You will discover that the less you do less you are capable of doing. I know, I have been there.

NOW! Do some reading on this website. You will see yourself in several blogs. This is a survivors' website. Come, join us. Tell us some wonderful stories about helping children. I welcome you to ask me anything and to communicate with you. I am your friend.

You retired from work not from life.

Time to Retire
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

If you are now 75, it is past time to find other pursuits in life.

There are many but you have to leave the workplace loss behind, first, to be able to find clarity in life and new possibilities!

It sounds like you've been retired for almost ten years, age 66 to 75?

You are not useless. You are different, unique and ready to finally bloom into whatever you want to be -- online!

Just do it, Girl.

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