After a little over three months, mostly in the dead of winter, I believe I am finally comfortable and happy being retired. During the first three months of my retirement I felt like I went through the five stages of grief. I realize now that I had to go through that to be where I am now.
It is fully spring in my part of the world and I feel a sense of renewal.
I have forgotten, for the most part, my previous life in the world of work. The work itself was forgotten rather quickly. In a few months I will probably not remember where I worked or what I did. Additionally, I have also let go of emotional attachments to social and personal relationships with people who have let go of me. I have maintained relationships with people who truly care about me as a person. I do not water dead flowers or beg to be remembered. In a sense this has been very freeing.
Yesterday it occurred to me that if a can do my mindfulness meditation twice a day, walk a couple of miles in the park most days, read some books, write some blogs, listen to some music, have occasional lunches with my friends, and take a nap when I feel the need, then I am having a good day.
I look forward to each day. In the beginning I dreaded another day at home. I was lonely and depressed. Now I love getting out of bed every day even if the physical act of getting out of bed is as challenging as ever. I have a basic routine that I follow each day although it is very flexible and allows for the unexpected.
In many ways nothing has changed except my attitude. Most of my days are still spent in solitude. However, my solitude is now rooted in contentment instead of anxiety. I am comfortable with my solitude but I also enjoy when I meet friends for breakfast or lunch. Perhaps for the first time in my life I feel totally free. For example, earlier this week I didn’t sleep very well one night. The next day I was on my way to the park for my daily walk. I wasn’t feeling very good and I was tired. I thought to myself, “I’m retired and I don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to or I don’t feel like it”. I turned my car around, went home, and took a nap. Allergies are very bad in my part of the world and I think I was suffering from them. After taking an allergy pill and having a good nap, I was fine. The next day I was feeling great and had a very enjoyable walk in the park.
I know some of you, whether you know me personally or not, have been concerned about my well-being. I struggle with life’s changes like most of you. However, I am doing great and hopefully the tone of my writing will be significantly more positive than it has been in recent months. If you are sharing my struggles, hang in there because it will get better.
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