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Mixed Feelings About Work

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by Mike in EY on Aug 19, 2018 7:24 am

Hi scaredysquirrel and everyone else. I'm late to this thread since I just joined these forums yesterday.  But I wanted to suggest a book I'm reading called Retirement Reinvention https://www.amazon.ca/Retirement-Reinvention-Make-Your-Next-ebook/dp/B072QTKLXX.  

I'm reading it because I've recently made the decision to retire from self-employment at age 65 but I really don't know where that's going to take me so I'm looking for inspiration.

My work was my life.  But after 40 years of the same thing I thought it was time to stop, even without a real retirement plan.  Why?  Because I figured "life is short" and I shouldn't be spending my remaining years doing something I wasn't in love with.

Then I get hit with a cancer diagnosis.  It's like the universe is saying "Yup, maybe shorter than you think."  A not-so-subtle reminder to focus on what's important to me.

Anyway, if you're conflicted about retirement this book may be helpful.


Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by princessmaura on Aug 19, 2018 1:59 pm

Cynthia Mac‍, I really like how you handled your early retirement...for me, cutting back on volunteer work has enabled me to have more time for other things...with a cancer diagnosis, priorities certainly do change...

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Aug 23, 2018 11:56 pm

Cynthia Mac‍ , thanks for your reassurance.  I love your quote "Leap and the net will appear" my medical support team does not appear to be much on my side as far as a work return goes.  I guess they figure I can just jump back in and do my job again.  I just can't.  There's times I think maybe.  Perhaps with the rehab I could, but do I want to? My commute is horrible.  It takes me over an hour to get there and back in all kinds of weather and circumstances.  I'm about a one year and 4 months from taking a full pension.  It's not a whole lot of money, but the stress of the commute and my job make it seem not worth chasing after.  I was getting a little bored being at home and I thought my whole purpose was my job for a very long time.  Now I think not so much.  I want to improve my health, both mental and physical.  Also my husband's health is bad.  We do get on each other's nerves now and again.  I have to learn to get out of his way. I would like to find something to do either a part time job close to home or volunteer work.  Anyway, good for you for taking the leap.  I hope I have the courage to do so myself.


Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Aug 24, 2018 8:15 am

That quote is by John Burroughs, I learned of it through a book, The Artist’s Way. It, and You can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay, were life-changers for me.

While looking to credit my earlier quote this morning, I found two more that appear might be helpful to you right now: the first is by Claude Bernard, “Man can learn nothing except by going from the known to the unknown,” and the other by Claudia Black, “Saying no can be the ultimate self-care.”

I don’t recall you saying anything before about your husband’s role in your situation. That will, of course be adding more of those details you are bound to consider. Without knowing what his health condition is, I ponder two things: Is it fair for him to be enjoying retirement while his “frame of mind” is impacting your deferment of it? Are there things you could do together in retirement that could make his frame of mind turn around? 

As you know, scaredysquirrel‍ , I’ve read every one of your posts on this topic. Whatever you decide will be courageous, at least they way I see it from this chair!
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Aug 25, 2018 10:09 pm

Cynthia Mac‍ , wow, you hit the nail on the head for sure and thanks for the great quotes.   I've been thinking about it all weekend.  I'm starting to even doubt my ability to do the rehab graduated return to work.  I don't really know what's involved.  I'm also feeling a lack of confidence as far as my job goes.  I've forgotten everything that I used to do in my sleep.  I don't know if I want to take on the stress of commuting so far again.  I sort of told my insurance contact that I would try the program, now I'm ready to bail.  He says the first 2 weeks is very difficult.  I'm used to just doing my own thing now and not adhering to any particular schedule.  I have this horrible feeling that I'm making a mistake and that I should just put in for retirement.  I don't want the commute, I don't want the stress, who am I trying to kid?  I'm not as young as I used to be.  I don't have the stamina.  As for my husband's health, he had a heart attack 3 weeks before my radiation last Oct.  He received 5 stents and is somewhat better, but also now worried about Kidney cancer and will be facing an operation sometime soon.  I ask myself do I want to be at work thinking about him and worrying? I don't really.  I think perhaps some of the frustration has been his depression around his health.  I like your quotes "man can learn nothing except by going from the known to the unknown"  I guess in my case that's very true.  Most of my friends and family feel I should just take the leap into retirement, I suppose they're right.  I've got the paper work almost done, I mailed off my CPP application.  I wonder if I should have done that now.  Oh well, it's going to take a while to get it all straightened out.  Yikes lots to think about.  Thanks again.

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Aug 25, 2018 11:16 pm

Oh, my dear scaredysquirrel‍ !  What haven’t you been through!

Now that I know your husband has a heart condition, I can better appreciate HIS frame of mind. Being the spouse of a heart patient requires patience, for sure (I know two such spouses). 

No wonder you’ve been mulling all this over so much! When I retired, all I had to think about was surviving as a sole support!

Yup, definitely, you’ve got me beat by a country mile when it comes to being courageous! 

I am fully convinced that you are going to do the right thing for you - whatever that is.

And, whatever that is, I don’t want you to question your final decision for a second, ‘cause you’ve DEFinitey weighed everything — on a very well-calibrated scale!
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Aug 26, 2018 9:39 pm

Thanks Cynthia Mac‍ , yes I'm convinced the heart attack and other health issues are causing my husband's depression.  He is very worried about his upcoming kidney surgery.  I really don't want to not be here for him.  That's why I'm so torn about attempting a work return or just taking my early retirement now.  It should be an easy decision, really.  Anyway, I sure appreciate your support and advice about this part of my journey.  Take care.  Will keep you posted.

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Aug 29, 2018 1:17 am

Well everyone it's a hard pill to swallow, but it looks like i'm doing the work rehab, and trying to go back to work for a little while.  My husband says I can retire any time I like.  I could stick it out one more year for my full pension or just take my pension early, I get the bridge amount.  It'll be up to me.  Feels good.  At least I'm doing something and for now am making an effort to regain what was lost over a year ago.  It's still me but I think I'm ready to leave my cocoon.  I hope I'm making the right decision.  Oh well, can't turn back now.  Thanks everyone.  I'll be checking in here for support.  

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Aug 29, 2018 4:23 pm

Cynthia Mac‍ , feeling kind of nervous about my decision to go back to work.  I don't have a lot of energy.  My Rehab specialist called me this morning.  I guess they want to strike while the iron is hot.  I wasn't expecting a phone call so soon.  I know I have to cooperate and I'm in now, too late to change my mind.  Oh well, like chemo and radiation I will face this down and make the most of it.  When I'm ready to hand in my notice, I will.  At least I know it's not forever, Ha, ha... 

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Aug 29, 2018 11:21 pm

scaredysquirrel‍ , At least the title of this thread is still correct! (You know, you have to see the humour in these things!)

Indeed, it is not forever. Maybe look at it this way: you’ve got this until you don’t, and if “you don’t” happens after 3 months, you’ll be retiring only 9 months early. 

My dear, you’ve been through chemo and radiation. I’ve been through neither, but I’d think that going back to work would be less daunting than either of those. Didn’t someone you used to work with say you could still change your mind? Could you relate it back to chemo fog if you did? (Like, really. I’m trying to help you out here.)

At least by deciding to go back to work, you will learn more about your physical and emotional/mental stamina levels post-treatment. (OMG, now I feel like I’m talking you IN to going back to work! Please don’t read it that way — I’m just trying to support your decision - it can be hell being an Aquarius!)

If I may make a (yet another?) suggestion, you could use your “transit time” to plan and dream about what you want to do when you retire. Who knows? You might look up one day while riding the bus and see an ad for something you’ve always wanted to do or try or go to, and your retirement might happen that day! 

You may not believe this (unless you’ve been reading that other thread about journaling - hee hee hee), but I set up a little notebook while I was in my angst phase. I filled several pages with financial estimates before I gave up on that, and then I clipped ads out of magazines of places I’d like to travel and taped them in and made a list of things I could do “if I got bored.” Haven’t seen that book in months — must not be “getting bored!”

I’m not sure which book it is in - it’s either The Secret, You Can Heal Your Life, or The Artist’s Way, but today’s quote for you is, “The Universe will provide.”
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Aug 30, 2018 12:56 am

Cynthia Mac‍ , I'm rolling on the floor laughing which is better than crying.  I contacted my Union Rep today and I'm glad I made the decision to do the gradual return to work.  She tells me I pretty much have to before I can retire.  She also says once I make the transition back to work I can retire any time I want.  She is going to speak with me once I'm back.  Thank heavens she is on my campus.  Also low and behold a letter came from my Insurance company telling me my claim will soon be ending.  I guess the Universe is unfolding as it should.  I love your picture of me sitting on the bus dreaming about my retirement!  I also like the idea of writing everything down in your journal, figuring out your finances and cutting out pictures of places you would like to see.  I think the scariest part of retirement is the financial part.  I guess you just have to trust you will be okay and like you say that net will appear.  I also like the quote "The universe will provide"  I can't do my job forever, not would I want to.  Like you say after chemo and radiation nothing will be as horrible as that experience.  I might put in another year or not, it's mine to choose.  What a great feeling.  Thanks.

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Aug 31, 2018 7:29 am

You are so very welcome, scaredysquirrel‍ . I’m glad I was able to help.
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Nov 27, 2018 11:06 pm

How silly I was not to go back to my job.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I should have been more than happy to return to work after my treatments were done.  I can't go back now, only forward.  

Re: Mixed Feelings About Work

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Jan 12, 2019 1:05 am

I've just reread all my posts here and boy was I mixed up! No wonder, I couldn't decide what to do.  I was trying to go in two different directions at the same time and thinking I could not do my job.  It turns out I could,  I feel fine now and would have been up to speed I am sure.  I regret retiring without trying to go back to my job.  I guess I spent too much time here instead of working on my physical health and mental health.  I've changed my life in a very short time and changed it forever.  I really did want to go back to my job after all.  Too bad.