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Thank you GNs

(29 Posts)
Badenkate Sat 16-Jul-16 12:38:37

I fully retired about 5 years ago, and I must admit I haven't taken to it too well. I've done various voluntary jobs and joined some clubs, but somehow I just haven't felt happy and at peace with myself.
There have been several posts on here about retirement and people worrying about how they would adapt, and a couple of weeks ago another one appeared which I read through - and suddenly a light came on. GNs were saying how much they enjoyed having time to play golf or bowling, or do art and craft activities, to spend lots of time with their grandchildren - and these are all lovely things to do. However, I realised that my problem was, these are the things we always hear about for retirement - but I didn't really want to do them and yet I was trying to fit into a lifestyle that encouraged all these things. What I wasn't doing was saying to myself, do what you REALLY want to do and ignore all the retirement images which are everywhere - river cruises, slow walks in the countryside, looking after small children, gardening etc etc.
I'm feeling much happier now as if I've given myself permission to be myself rather than conform. I'm not knocking other GNs who I know enjoy the things I don't, in many ways I envy you. I just wondered if anyone else felt this way?
(By the way, I dearly love my grandchildren, but I'm quite happy to see them every month or so).

rosesarered Sat 16-Jul-16 12:44:45

What do you fancy doing then?

Tegan Sat 16-Jul-16 12:46:47

Hope you're still up for the Lichfield meet up though smile#whenwegetroundtodoingitthatis!

breeze Sat 16-Jul-16 12:47:53

Although different circumstances. I can so relate to your post. I was ill a while ago. It changed my life and I spent a long time beating myself up, because as I was recovering, I found I couldn't do a lot of things I used to do and that other people of my age still could do. I felt resentful, ill tempered, ashamed, depressed. I decided one day to 'let go'. Accept who I am now and be happy with that. Do the things I can do and let go of the past. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Although a lot of my friends didn't and some still don't understand. I love that you've realised you don't have to conform, be happy doing what you want to do. Nothing quite like peace of mind and being happy in your own skin. Good for you.

Jayh Sat 16-Jul-16 12:49:01

I know just what you mean kate. I was a frantic joiner of things to begin with as I felt that was the done thing. I have continued with the activities I like (none of them sporting) and I make a point of never tying myself down to any sort of timetable that can't be changed. Also, I am as sociable or unsociable as I want to be.
Be yourself and be happy. Why not?

Badenkate Sat 16-Jul-16 13:02:37

Certainly am Tegan, looking forward to it!

I realised Roses that what I used to enjoy about my job was thinking about and solving problems. What I mean is that I used to teach English to adults, and it was how to present things in different ways, and how I could use film and music to teach English. I was also called the grammar queen where I worked and other teachers would ask me about unusual grammar structures - I didn't know any more than they did, but it was always fun to work out the answer. So what I like doing now is following interesting things on the internet, maybe doing some writing, and I love logic puzzles. Doesn't sound very exciting, I know, but it keeps my mind working and it means that DH and I have lots of interesting discussions!

rosesarered Sat 16-Jul-16 13:09:01

Ah! brain stuff, that's alright, thought you were going to take up whitewater rafting,
Trekking through the Amazon, or bungee jumping ( or similar.) grin

Badenkate Sat 16-Jul-16 13:17:54

Good grief Roses I like my comfort (and having use of all my limbs) far too much to do mad stuff like that - although I think DH would be tempted!

Jane10 Sat 16-Jul-16 13:54:12

Do whatever suits you kate however, you sometimes don't know if new experiences might be ones that suit you really well. When I retired I had a bit of structure based around voluntary work but lots of free time to just try new things or do nothing much. Then, suddenly, a whole new unexpected thing zoomed up (my book being published and resultant book related activities including book 2). I would never have dreamt of it happening.
Relax, enjoy doing what you fancy -mind you GN can be pretty time consuming. I'm very glad I found it though. Its a great community.

wot Sat 16-Jul-16 13:57:38

Brilliant post, breeze...especially about "letting go"

soop Sat 16-Jul-16 14:16:22

breeze You are very wise.

wot Sat 16-Jul-16 14:24:21

I spoil my retirement by keep thinking that something needs doing, like cleaning the Windows or 're decorating. I get on my own nerves!! But I have started to tell myself "you're on holiday!" And that helps somewhat. It might be a side effect of living in a tiny cottage and being a bit of a hoarder, because I never quite achieve the order I would like or feel other people would approve of.

janeainsworth Sat 16-Jul-16 14:28:36

Kate I'm glad you have sorted yourself out.
I think there's too much pressure to conform to the stereotype of the 'active retired' and really it is a time of life when you should be free to make your own choices, although of course many older people's choice is greatly restricted by either their own illness or that of a partner, or even their partner's mad ideas of how retirement might be spent wink
I went to a pre-retirement seminar and the piece of advice that stuck in my mind was to avoid joining anything or making any commitments for at least six months, to give yourself chance to adjust to the 'new normal' and work out what you'd really like to do.

fiorentina51 Sat 16-Jul-16 17:02:29

I was also a frantic joiner/volunteer when I first retired. Now, after 5 years, I have pared down all my activities to the ones I REALLY enjoy and now have the time to please myself.

madamecholet Sat 16-Jul-16 18:57:02

I also found retirement difficult to adjust to initially. I worked for eight years beyond my retirement date (I enjoyed the work and, luckily, my employer was happy for me to continue) and then I spent the next three years feeling I should be doing something “worthwhile” with my time and got involved in volunteering and other good works. I also used to feel guilty if my house wasn’t kept immaculate, because, after all, I had all day to do it now, didn’t I? About six months ago, I changed my attitude and, like wot, rather than thinking of myself as retired, I decided I was now on permanent holiday. It has made all the difference. Now I only do things that I really enjoy and have few unbreakable commitments; I am not a morning person, so feel no guilt at getting up very late if that’s what I feel like doing and, beyond the absolute basics, the housework gets done when I have nothing better to do (DH also does his bit). I waste time posting opinionated rubbish on various online forums wink and generally act more like an indolent teenager than a responsible old(ish) lady. And I’m just loving it!smile

Christinefrance Sat 16-Jul-16 19:20:51

Good advice all round Kate, just take time to ponder and let your work life go. We get so used to rushing around and dealing with everything it's hard to stop. I think women in particular feel guilty taking time for themselves - don't.
As time goes on you will come across things you want to be involved with and find those you don't so in the meanwhile just smell the roses.

Badenkate Sat 16-Jul-16 19:39:18

Thank you so much for all the advice and encouragement. I feel as if I've started my retirement again and this time I'm giving myself permission to do what I want to do and not try to fulfil my image of what retirement should be.
Please have one (or more) of these wine on me!

annsixty Sat 16-Jul-16 20:18:48

Does any one else feel the loss of the "self importance" of ones position at work. I hasten to add not me, I was a SAHM who never went back but I do know people who were fairly high up in their profession who felt a loss of status when they retired. It is hard for some to adjust.

Jane10 Sat 16-Jul-16 20:43:31

My self image mutated I'd say. I thought I might feel that I'd lost it but it just changed and I felt and feel fine about it. I know others who don't feel the same way though and mourn their lost 'self' or status. So many of us are what we do I think (if you see what I mean)

Mildred Sat 16-Jul-16 21:14:00

Very interesting and enlightening thread, thank you for making me realise that i am still adjusting to retirement, I worked until I was 67 the last year only 2 days a week because I was minding my grandson for 3 days a week while my daughter returned to work. It was quite hard, I was exhausted and very organised because I had to be. I have been retired for 3 years this month and am only beginning to relax and take my time to do things. If I don't do it today there is, hopefully, tomorrow. My grandson starts school this September and my granddaughter will go to pre school, my daughter never went back to work after her daughter was born but I have fortunately been very involved in their lives. So I reckon my retirement proper starts in September.

mumofmadboys Sat 16-Jul-16 23:48:51

If you like logic problems you may enjoy bridge, Badenkate. Beware it is very addictive!!

rubylady Sun 17-Jul-16 04:14:42

So what do I call myself when I will probably never work again? I am only 52 (next week) but due to the health problems I have had to give up working but have not officially retired. Or am I retired ill? I don't consider myself unemployed because I am not able to work so would not be looking for a job.

If it is retirement, it's not what I planned. But hey ho. The most adventurous I get is doing a jigsaw puzzle! Yeah! For the first year I'm not particularly bothered about my birthday, which isn't like me at all. Maybe it's because I have to keep buying my own presents.

Badenkate Sun 17-Jul-16 07:57:47

I'm afraid bridge would bring out my worst side mumofmadboys. I 'play it to win it' and I've heard what bridge can be like 😈

Badenkate Sun 17-Jul-16 08:02:52

Oh Ruby, I must sound very self-centred to you. I wish I could help in some way. Let us know what day your birthday is and we'll have a virtual party - and here's something to get us started cupcake

Jane10 Sun 17-Jul-16 08:17:22

I love bridge after setting out to learn when I retired. It is addictive but I am rubbish at it! I enjoy the company of the U3A bridge group I play at. Its not cut throat as I gather some of the big clubs can be. We don't even score. I know that would be anathema to some though. I just find it satisfying to make my contract!
If you like logic you'd enjoy it kate especially if you find the right group for you.