Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Retirement Update

I noticed a blog post the other day ( entitled "Retirement Update" which motivated me to provide one too.

Yup, still retired!!

When I was approaching retirement I thought I would give myself a year to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It turns out a year wasn't long enough.  Bear in mind that a lot of life-changing events occurred over the past year and a half in addition to retirement: relationship ending, loss of future plans, 20 year old pet passed away, had to sell house in PEI, living on half the income I was used to, and a back injury.... which all contributed to low level depression and anxiety. Adjusting to retirement isn't as easy as it would seem!

So...where do things stand now?

  • health: medication is helping both with both back pain and mood enabling me to get physical once again; riding my back  bike (thanks for catching that typo sis!) and going to yoga and meditation has also helped me both physically and mentally. I still see a counsellor and am on a wait list for "group therapy"
  • social contact: staying in touch with people is so important but not easy for me being the introvert than I am: every day I try to connect with a few people through texting, emailing, Facebook, blog, phone calls, going to social events, getting together with family, becoming more of an activist and so on. I still have days when I'd rather not see anyone 
  • reviving old hobbies: my brother said to think back to childhood when we naturally gravitated to the hobbies and activities that we loved: for me that included biking, sewing and reading as well as sports, board games and playing cards. I also loved to draw, play piano and be creative. So far I have done one sewing project with another in the works, I have purchased a book about drawing as well as an "adult colouring book". I am working (slowly) on carving a piece of soapstone and indulge my love of reading every day. As a child one of my favourite things to do was to put a book and a bagged lunch in my bike's basket and ride out into the countryside, then climbed a tree to read and eat my lunch :) These days I try to get out on my bike every day but so far haven't gone out into the countryside with a book and a lunch. I'll add that to my to do list! I go to a "sports night" once a month in addition to a monthly "games night" and last week I started going to a weekly "euchre night" which has been fun. Usually I get out to see one movie a week with a friend
  • new hobbies/activities: what would I like to do that I haven't tried yet? Painting, particularly water colours, learn a new instrument or purchase a keyboard, go back to school (tuition at my alma mater is free at age 60) so I'm considering attending part-time next year - perhaps a degree in film or getting back into the visual arts
  • volunteering: haven't made my mind up about that one yet - I want to volunteer but not sure about where or how often. I sort of dread being on a schedule
  • part-time work: at this point in time I don't feel inclined to get a part-time job
  • travel: planning a trip or two each year is fun and exciting yet expensive. Once my Canada Pension Plan kicks in next May I'll be able to travel more frequently.
  • redecorating: still working away at this though things have slowed down now as the weather is too nice to be inside as much. Hopefully I'll feel more motivated in the fall...
So things are moving along. I would say the biggest barrier is lack of "motivation".  I get things done but at a much slower pace than in the past and have to push myself to move some days. I feel that I'm on the right path and need to be more patient with myself. It's been a HUGE adjustment and it's not over yet. 

I'll be OK.

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