What's next?

by Cyndy E
(Colorado )

I retired in December and I am 60. My husband retired in January and he is 62. We always wanted to retire early and our last employer we worked for the same company was a good one but the jobs we held came with a lot of stress and tons of overtime. Leaving us with little or no free time for family and life. So we decided it was time.

My husband has always loved fhe yard and doing things - me on the other hand I don't have any hobbies or like to be involved in clubs etc.

At first it was such a relief to be free of a job I had for 28 years that just totally zapped the life right out of me. I was elated.

Well now it is almost June and I am finding myself lost and feeling anxious and down. I can't decide should I be doing some volunteer work or maybe a part time job? I just can't seem to get a grip on things.

Doesn't help matters any I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last fall and this can also lead to depression and anxiety.

Just trying to search my soul for what should be next. Like so many of you my work friends have pretty much left. You know the ones who say they will stay in touch and do for awhile but then they too forget about you.

But let's face it most of them were tied to us because we worked together and now that work is no longer in the picture we just don't have a common bond. Sad but not a huge surprise to me. To be honest all they do want to talk about is work and how awful it is and I really don't want to hear it.

So I am at that place where I am saying what is next and where do I go from here? Scared anxious and some days pretty down on life.

I don't know what I thought retirement would be but am trying to hard to figure it out.


Comments for What's next?

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Uncertainty is.....
by: Sandi B

Hi Cyndy,

When I left my career in 2013 I had no job, no prospects, no money, nothing. Just couldn't stand the level of stress anymore. My identity was entangled in my career.

My first question when I left was "who the bleep am I". I did experience some anxiety, A LOT. Single, homeowner, no kids. Who will take care of me? Where's the money coming from? What am I going to do?

Well, I started working out at the gym every day to help get those worrisome thoughts in order. They were like sneakers in a dryer. Constantly - Bang, bang, bang. Then it hit me!

Why not become a personal fitness trainer. Work with mature people. Help them get strong. In the meantime, I get another "identity". I am their trainer. I get them moving. The thrill I get out of watching someone learning proper squats, doing deadlifts, gaining muscle and balance, is awesome.

Am I making money, that would be NO. But I'm having a blast doing it. I still, at age 66, do CROSSFIT every day. I can deadlift 180#, front squat 110# and I am fit.

Isn't that what we all want as we mature? To be the best version of ourselves. Every Friday, a couple of us "mature" crossfitters go for a huge breakfast and a large, disgustingly tasty vanilla, white chocolate cappuccino and talk about aches and pains, make-up, Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner and laugh about life.

Those sneakers find their way into my mind every now and then, banging away. I just pick up my jumprope and sweat them out. As much as we like to think we can control what happens; HA, no, we can't. I'm learning that uncertainty is exciting, if I choose (and we all have to choose) to embrace it instead of fear it. It's like taking an adventurous road trip. Life has a way of working things out if we don't try to control outcomes.

Now that I've found Retirement Insider, I know I'll never be alone. I don't feel so scared anymore.

ps. I'll be going to a "dude ranch" in Mancos, CO in September. Haven't been on a horse in 50 years. Should be interesting!

by: Michelle

13 days left to work before my retirement! I have been wondering what it will be like in retirement. One day at a time! You will find "you" and so will I.

You are in the right place
by: Nancy

This website was a lifesaver for me. I read all the previous posts especially the ones on depression and anxiety, and that helped me immensely. I was gratified to learn I wasn't the only one.

Just give yourself time to grieve and be depressed. You will find something you like.

What I did, was start with something I already liked which was reading. I went to the library and checked out books. I got a whole bunch of books each time, didn't read all of them, but just the pleasure of finding books in the library. I did find some new authors I like.

I had been sewing all my life, but at one time sewing was like work because I sewed all my clothes. I started doing other sewing: quilting and now all my days are geared toward finding time to sew. Then I became interested in vintage sewing machines.

I wish you all the luck and keep coming back!

by: Linda C.

Cyndy: When I announced years ago (2004-5) that I was going to retire 'early'.... everyone wanted to know what I was going to do with the rest of my life; they offered well-meant advice and shared stories of family and friends who were 'lost' after retirement. I never feared it at all.

First of all, the timing was appropriate as not only was my fibromyalgia flaring terribly re: stress and depression w/unfair bosses and catty co-workers, but my dad's health was spiraling downward and I needed to be available.

Secondly, I have never had difficulty with entertaining myself....or being just plain LAZY!

I looked forward to being able to keep a cleaner house, cook more consistently and interestingly, and pamper myself w/coffee in local cafes some mornings - chatting with whomever happened to be near me or sitting outside at a sidewalk table with my dog, watching the world go by!

I love nature and 'backyard bird watching' as well as the everyday surprises: skinks running in the rock garden; bunnies on the lawn; hummingbirds, butterflies, etc.

When I was able, I spent many hours of enjoyment digging garden beds and planting many 'experiments'.

I could also read or catch up on TV series...call those long-distance friends of mine for lengthy chats...share text and pics on Facebook...'surf the net' for interesting facts as well as humor and nostalgic material, etc.

I knew if I decided to volunteer somewhere, I was close to the ASPCA although I enjoyed quality time with my own sweet pet.

I'm not a joiner of groups either and I must admit that sometimes I was quite lonely for another 'retiree' buddy, but I never felt 'guilty' about retirement -- I felt I deserved it!

There are many 'suggestions' out there for 'the retired' re: options. There are meet-up groups in most cities for just about any interest and age.

Perhaps you can choose a hobby or dabble in a few: writing or crafts or trying new fun recipes? I'm planning on trips to my local library to browse books in the 'Children's Section' - I don't have grandchildren nor young relatives and I have a strong need to refresh my memory of the world through 'young eyes' and imagination!

My son encourages me to resume making 'dough ornaments' that I did many years ago....perhaps for sale or just for friends. Being creative definitely feeds the soul and the hours fly by!

Good luck in finding your niche and I wish you many wonderful years ahead of retirement 'bliss' :)

by: Susan Whittenham(Portsmouth, England)

You need to find an absorbing hobby. When I retired five years ago aged 55 I was both depressed and bored and looked around for something I could do that was interesting, fun, and useful to society.

I do voluntary work one morning a week at our local Stroke Club (my idea) and I've returned to a former hobby of keeping tropical fish (my ex's idea) with a 4 ft tropical tank that's my pride and joy. I have also re-joined the local Aquarist Society, which gets me out socially to mix with others who share my interest in tropical fish.

Is there something similar you could get involved in?

a hobby
by: Ron/Illinois

Hopefully you will find a hobby that you like, i retired at age 53 due to no raises for 10 years, all employees I was supervising were making more than I was.

Riding horses was a past hobby of mine, I now have two horses and ride almost daily..... met several new good friends at the barn I board at.... hope you find something you enjoy!

by: Wendy

Write to me using the Coach page (bottom right) and we can chat. You are too young to do nothing... there is plenty you can still do and that doesn't lead to stress in your life. Something that you will love to do and make you feel fulfilled again..,

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