Earlier this week I had a birthday and turned 67 years old. No one is more shocked than me to be this age. These days I am feeling very old.
I have now been retired for nearly three months. Although I am slowly getting used to it, it may be the hardest thing I have ever done. The only thing that may be harder is unemployment without any money coming in. I am grateful that I do not need to work and that I do have money. Interestingly enough, I now think working was much easier than being retired. Although there are aspects of retirement I enjoy, in other ways I hate it. This has been a shock to me. I thought it would be easier. Two hard truths I have learned in retirement is that I am prone to loneliness and depression. I have always enjoyed limited solitude but was not prepared for the loneliness of being home alone every day. Last night I was watching the television show called “Survivor”. One player, in a private moment, said that when she retired from the military she felt like she had lost all her friends. This was followed by a divorce which made her realize she was totally alone. I am still married but I totally understand her feelings. When I stopped working I felt like I had lost all my friends. Additionally, as long as I worked, I always had a best friend. Now I don’t and I miss having a confidant I can talk to about whatever is on my mind. I have always been a person prone to moodiness and melancholy even if most people didn’t notice it. Some days of my retirement I have been very depressed. It doesn’t help that it seems like it has snowed, rained, or been overcast most days. I feel like I can count on one hand the sunny days I have experienced since retirement. On those rare days I usually feel much more upbeat.
To fight all these negative feelings I make myself get out of the house every day. Most days I go to a local Mall and I walk. The Mall is bright, colorful, and has some life even if it is mostly other old people probably feeling like me or young mothers pushing their small children around in strollers. When I am at the Mall I can get some exercise while thinking all the thoughts I cannot write about in a public blog such as this one. I am often overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings about my life. This is an unfortunate occurrence for introspective people such as me. I have often written about the joy of just being but on a personal level it is extremely difficult for me to do. Just as my body needs some daily exercise, my mind needs to also air itself out.
I am generally a strong person but these days I am being tested in ways I never expected. I do feel like I am truly on my own although I know there are people who care about me. I don’t mean this to be negative but you really can’t depend on other people to get you through your own life. Sooner or late you have to stand on your own two feet.
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