What has happened to me?
Since leaving the paid workforce in December 2016, I have noticed a change come over me – and no it’s not what you think!
Instead I’ve narrowed it down to a combination of the following:
- I’ve lost my sense of urgency
- I don’t have enough hours in the day anymore to do all the things I want to do – but how can that be when I’m no longer working 7 hours a day and how did I still manage to get so much done and work at the same time??
- I feel like I’m floating through my life
- I’m so easily distracted these days
Can you relate to any of these points? I’d love to know I’m not alone.
Work Rage is a thing of the past
I listened to a podcast the other day while walking, (yes more multitasking I can’t just ‘walk’ anymore I have to be listening to something at the same time) and they were discussing drama at work and, in particular, ‘work rage’. I smiled to myself and thought back to the days when I would get all het up over some incident, some remark, some perceived slight. It was so real to me back then, but now I wonder, ‘who was that person??’
I remember returning from a leadership course and telling The Mathematician all about some test results which showed I was an angry person! Me?? The indignity of it all and as I railed and whined at him, he calmly said to me, why are you so angry about it? I spluttered and choked back tears at his obvious misunderstanding of the situation. They were saying I was an angry person and what….he was agreeing????
In hindsight (which is a wonderful thing) I wasn’t so much angry as frustrated and it was killing me. I know that now. I was a sensitive soul and despite outward appearances, my self confidence and self esteem weren’t particularly high.
At the time I was working in a correctional centre for men, which was a tough world and very much a boys’ club in oh so many ways. I fought the system at every turn striving for a more balanced and less reactionary outcome. I was seen to be a pain in the neck at times and it would often end in tears (mine). There weren’t many women in management roles and we had to stick together or we were mown down by the drama of it all. To say it was stressful is an understatement.
Fast forward to now
I rarely have a day that has tears in it or even much drama for that matter! Work rage and drama are a thing of the past and that’s a good thing….right?
I’ve read some great posts recently about midlife and retirement and in particular, Donna’s experiment on how she uses her time, was a great eye opener. I am reluctant to do such an experiment for fear of what it would show! What it does tell me though, is that other people are experiencing similar concerns with how we spend our time once we’ve left the paid workforce. Sue from Sizzling towards 60 and Beyond, also shared a timely post about our purpose in life once we leave work. All these help me a great deal.
Planning, preparation and procrastination
I used to feel so organised and in control. I could organise an overseas trip while working full-time, I could boss people about and run my busy social life without batting an eyelid.
At the time of writing this post I was looking at heading overseas for 12 weeks, and feeling slightly overwhelmed by it all. I needed to get prepared and start planning what we’d do, where we’d go and how we’d get there….but what had I been doing instead?
Cue procrastination….which is summed up so well in this post by Donna (another Donna, not the same one as above!). I’m sure she won’t mind me linking to her most excellent and funny post.
- I reorganised my linen closet,
- I decluttered the entire study, shredding mountains of useless paper records
- I caught up with the ironing
- I tidied up the guest bedroom, ready for guests to arrive
- I enjoyed watching bits of the Winter Olympics
- I read a ton of blogs
- I read some great books
- I walked and started to run again – without any knee pain thankfully!
- I undertook a 12 week healthy lifestyle challenge
- I attended an aqua aerobics class twice a week, (when I’m in town)
- And if that’s not enough lost my father earlier in the year and I think it actually hit me harder than I thought!
Plans made so far
To be fair to myself, perhaps I should look at what I had completed at the time:
- Booked into my daughter’s new house and received permission to use it as a base as we travel around
- Booked and paid for our airfares
- Booked and paid for our week-long cycle and barge tour in Holland
- I bought my ticket for the annual Bloggers Bash in London on May 19 – so excited *insert squeal of delight that I will be able to actually meet and talk (hopefully) with many of the bloggers I have been reading and following for years
- Investigating walking Hadrian’s Wall
- Thought about walking some of the Camino
- Considered random places (like Iceland) that we can fly to from a nearby airport
So from now on:
- I will get organised – remember my word for the year is FOCUS after all!
- I will make lists and cross things off for that smug feeling you get knowing you’ve actually achieved something
- I will start contacting people who we would like to see if we can manage to do so
- I won’t beat myself up.
- I’ll remember how work rage is no longer a part of my life and relish that fact. I also have that blissful feeling that comes from the lack of toxic people in my daily life 🙂
- I’ll enjoy that feeling of calmness and floating through life without a sense of urgency
- I will get excited for this amazing trip we’re planning
My tips – hopefully I’ll take my own advice
Go easy on yourself
I’m not one to generally offer advice and my blog is really just a compilation of my random thoughts, so I will leave the advice to others who do a much better job at it than I ever could. But I am always open to advice if you have any to offer 🙂
I also need to remind myself I’m keeping busy and being productive, but with different activities. Many of you who are retired would be in the same boat and we seem to have a different purpose to life these days. I commented recently on a blog pointing out that blogging has taken over from my previous work as a means to prove I’ve achieved or produced something. Does that resonate with you too?
What would I be doing if I wasn’t blogging? It’s an interesting question.
Surround yourself with nice people
My top three go-to bloggers just happen to have been guests on my blog, and very popular guests too I might add! If I’m feeling down I will go and read one of their posts and immediately feel my spirits rise.
Sue at Sizzling towards 60 and Beyond – full of practical, sensible advice
Donna at Retirement Reflections and all her guest posters who have so much wisdom to offer
Miriam at Out an About who has a special wisdom all her own. Louise writes a great blog The Year I touched my Toes about trekking in Nepal. A year ago I met Miriam and Louise in real life and we had so much fun talking blogging, life and everything in between. They are both regular commenters on my blog and a constant support. Here’s a lovely pic.
I gain a lot from these bloggers and so many others around the world. So thank you one and all. May we continue to be leading lights for each other.
Thanks for being there for me 🙂
You can also find Deb’s World here – let’s stay in touch!