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Some Thoughts On My Retirement

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This past Friday I had lunch with a former co-worker.  In the course of our conversation she told me that another co-worker remarked that my absence from the workplace felt like a death.  Someone I was very close to would stand up to talk to me over the wall that separated us and then realize I wasn’t there.  It almost made me cry to hear this.  I told my friend that my retirement kind of felt like a death on my end too.  Tomorrow I begin my sixth week of retirement and I must admit I am starting to struggle with it to the point of having some anxiety over it.  I do think I needed to get away from the work environment.  If I had my way I would not have left it completely.  I would have just reduced the number of hours I spent at work.  I was burned out after so many years of being a leader.  Although there were good things about the work environment there was also a lot of pettiness and what I call corporate BS.  However, I am starting to realize how much the social aspect of working in an office contributed to my well-being.  I was a well liked and popular person.  Even if some aspects of the work experience were driving me crazy, most of my co-workers enjoyed my presence.  I apparently did not realize how much I enjoyed their presence or how important the social aspect of work was to me.

I must admit that I am feeling lonely, a little forgotten, and completely lacking in purpose.  There was once a movie I really liked with Bruce Willis called “The Sixth Sense”.  It was basically the story of a man who dies but he didn’t realize it for a long time.  He thought he was living but was actually invisible to everyone else.  They were simply going about their lives and he was no longer a part of those lives.  Without sounding too dramatic I am starting to feel like this man.  All my former co-workers, and even my own family, are still living the lives they were living before I retired.  I, on the other hand, feel like the invisible man.  Even when I go to the park or to a store I feel like no one sees me.  I am completely alone a great deal of the time.  As an extreme introvert it is difficult for me to join groups and make new friends.  I have never been much of a group person and always preferred more one on one relationships.

I need to make some changes but am not yet sure what these changes need to be.  I need a reason to get out of bed besides taking my wife to work.

Admittedly, it is not all doom and gloom.  I do love my early mornings at home when I can have some quality alone time.  The struggles seem to begin with what we used to call in the monastery the “noonday devil”.  I may feel bored and a little sorry for myself.  Then I start thinking too much and these thoughts often turn to anxiety when I wonder, “Is this what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life”?

Since my life seems to have come to a screeching halt, I do have a better understanding of other people’s sadness and why many old people get tired of living.  Whether you work or not, you need other human relationships, a sense of purpose, and something to do that makes you happy.  I need to restore some balance in my life.  It has gotten lopsided.           



Source: http://tiedyedmystic.blogspot.com/2018/02/some-thoughts-on-my-retirement.html


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