The Psychology of (my) Retirement

In less than six months I will be retired. I was so excited about the possibilities when I made my decision to embark on this new phase of my life. My family and friends supported me. It was all good!

Somehow the closer I get, the harder this has been getting. Retirement has not been looking that promising. Finally, in total frustration, I sat down and wrote a blog about my current struggles. I put it all out there. (Well most of it). I hit publish and went to bed. When I woke up the next morning, I suddenly realized what I was really struggling with.

For the past five decades, I have been in the enviable position of being a ‘caregiver’. I have had the physical, mental, emotional and financial ability to help and support others – husbands, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, employers, co-workers, friends and the occasional stranger. Now, I am suddenly planning for a life where my main focus is caring for me. It never occurred to me that such a change in focus would be a problem for me, much less others – especially those who I have done the most for over the years.

There are probably a lot of people who come up against these mental struggles when they are planning or kicking off their retirement. I wonder why nobody talks about them. 🙄

Jen & Danny with friend Dave. (Almost family😂)
My Mother and I
Grandbaby Cason
Co-worker Kori
My Husband with Maddy & Prim
Mark & Erin and Dom

19 thoughts on “The Psychology of (my) Retirement

  1. When a small boy I would visit my grandad every Sunday morning. One day he was in the small greenhouse behind his shed, I stood by the door and asked him, “What’s it like being retired Grandad?” .
    He turned to me and said, “I don’t know how I used to find the time to go to work son.”
    I too am now retired and was right. I don’t know I found the time to go to work either.

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  2. What makes you think that just because you are retired you can’t help? It it’s money remember that money isn’t all everyone needs. Being retired has given me the time to actually help more…just differently.

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  3. It’s not that I don’t plan to or won’t help others. It’s more that for the past five decades I have not spent a lot of time taking care of myself and seldom put myself first. I saw retirement as a time to do that and didn’t realize how guilty I would feel about it or how others would resent it. Of course, for work I rather expected it. I have been a valuable asset to the business for fifteen years. I know things will shake themselves out but transition is always difficult and I my boss is not excited about dealing with it.

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  4. This is your time. Life changes and change is scary. I hated it but I am so glad I am in this time. All those things you are doing make you feel needed and important…at least that is what I felt. It took me time to get over feeling lost but it comes and it is good. Just keep processing the feelings.

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  5. You can still help others. There are so many opportunities to volunteer – hospice, retirement facilities, library, art galleries, church, so many non-profits helping foster families or children in danger of abuse – the list goes on and on. Retired now for over 7 years I have found myself not only keeping busy, but enjoying the sense of being productive in helping make others lives better – not just keeping a company successful. And it doesn’t hurt to take some time to take care of yourself also. I find having some time to just sit and sip that second cup of coffee in the morning instead of hurrying off to work or taking an afternoon to just sit and read actually refreshes my spirit and increases my own joy so that I can be a help to others.

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  6. You are so right, Barbara. I don’t intend to quit doing for others but I am definitely ready to slow down in the morning and take a little me time. I am so glad to hear you are enjoying your retirement. It is all about finding the right balance and it sounds like you have found yours.

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  7. Thanks for the follow,Anne Marie. Every new life change(like your impending retirement) may initially appear scary and unknown but once we get into it, it will become more familiar and easy for us. If you still want to work, you might try a part-time job whether as a volunteer or not. I used to live in Saskatoon before I moved here to Moncton. I miss eating the Saskatoon berry.

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  8. I do not want to work. I want the freedom to live by my husband’s 24/7 Shiftwork schedule. I may take on some volunteer work, if it can be flexible enough. Saskatoon is a beautiful city. I hope you are enjoying Moncton!

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  9. For those of us who learn last what most learn first — that we, in ourselves, before we do or provide anything, are a blessing to our world and an ornament to the universe — the lesson when we finally do learn it is extra wonderful. Please enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve been retired for over three years now after having taught thirty-one years in elementary school. I loved my career, but I’m also enjoying this phase of life. (Well, until recently, when all of this stuff started with the virus.) I think the key to retirement is that we all need to find a sense of purpose in our lives. For me, that was when I started trying new things. I write, volunteer, exercise, and I’m learning the guitar at age sixty-one. Why not? Better late than never.

    My mom passed about a year and a half ago. She lived in an assisted living center about thirty minutes away from me the last five years when her dementia became more pronounced. I have a special appreciation for caregivers and for that demanding job.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes I believe that there are a lot of opportunities available in retirement. Even now, with this current situation I believe there are ways to make the best of what we have and to touch others with genuine kindness. People need encouragement and kindness now.
    I am sorry about your Mom. My mother lived the last few years of her life in a care home. For sure her caregivers gave a lot, did a lot and will always be remembered with gratitude.


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