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The Journey Continues

It was time.  I was waiting for the perfect moment to turn in my paperwork to announce my intent to retire.  After telling my supervisor, I brought cupcakes in for my co-workers with a note announcing my retirement.  Over the previous six months there had been several announcements about pending births that were met with enthusiasm and rounds of congratulations. Three hours passed, I received one congratulations from a co-worker.  Some never said anything and another was jealous.  No mention was ever made of the years I had worked or the contributions I had made.  Throughout the coming months I received comments such as “I wish I was retiring” or “where will you be moving to”.  To which I responded “you do know you have to be older to retire or very wealthy” and “there are no plans to move right now”.    It was a relief to turn in my paperwork.  After months of thinking about retiring and not saying anything I could now talk about it.  After a few years of uncertainty whether I would have a job I could retire with grace and on my own terms.  

The concept of retirement meant a change in how I worked.  It certainly did not mean I would sit around on a rocking chair overlooking a beach or in my case the mountains day after day.  I knew I needed to stay busy and find activities which had meaning to me.  The first three years of retirement were an adjustment.   At times I felt stuck, uncertain and perhaps a little depressed that I didn’t know what I wanted to do despite having created a list of things that interested me.  The first three years of retirement included our son graduating from college, some health issues, a pandemic and uncertainty as how I was going to navigate this change.

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The “new normal” in these”unprecented” times.

My only hope is that these words “unprecedented” and “new normal” do not stick around in our vocabulary for long. Other terms such as the world is spinning out of control or we are coming apart at the seams come to mind comes to mind as well .

After talking to two people within three days about the negative role that media is playing in the information we receive I realized that my brain was working overtime. Having been retired for over two years now I have adjusted to a slower routine, and being home more. While our travel has stopped for now we are adjusting. So at the beginning of the pandemic I was doing ok. My husband and I are wearing masks, using grocery pickup, limiting our social visits with only close friends. As time went on though I have felt more despair and a little depressed. After a much needed haircut and a beautiful day (60’s and 70’s) yesterday I helped my husband wash the cars, not only because they needed it but it was a great way to be outside and focused on something else. After replaying discussions and arguing with people in my head throughout the day I knew it was time to do things differently. Standing up for black rights and safe health practices are very important and I do not want to become indifferent to them. Taking care of ourselves and staying in the present is also important.

  • I thought being in quarantine would give me plenty of time to write. It did not. I could not get myself motivated. I realized that I was writing on my blog or in my journal. Even putting together my family history book is writing and creative. These will never be published but I am still writing.
  • I will only read the news in the morning and listen to the national news in the evening.
  • I will continue to exercise and increase meditation.
  • I will go outside for walks or to work in the garden.
  • I will read and binge watch TV without guilt.
  • I will try to stay in the present and not dredge up things from the past.
  • I will continue to practice healthy safeguards for myself and others.

These are “unprecented” times (sorry). Most of us have not experienced a pandemic before but we will get through this. Be kind to yourself, keep writing and stay safe!