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Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Dec 26, 2018 5:59 pm

Well after all my thinking and dreaming about retirement it turns out this is a huge mistake for me.  For all the hours I sat here thinking about a gradual return to work vs retirement, I've taken the wrong path after all.  It would have been okay had I grabbed a golden opportunity right of the bat, a job at Douglas College in their bookstore as an on call Auxiliary.  It is right up my ally and it was the perfect fit for my circumstances and close to home.  I miss my job and I even had a an opportunity to go back, again I sabotaged myself and now have to suffer the humiliation of being terminated.  It's not a great feeling.  I don't even want to go out and get my hair cut today.  I'm hating retirement and have to say my recovery after cancer has not been an easy path nor successful.  I have not plan now.  I don't know what to do with my life.  I have no family close by, except for my husband.  My mom is deceased and my other family have moved away so I don't see them or hear from them much.  I'm afraid to tell them what happened.  I don't even really know myself except that I rushed into the part of my life I should have kept at bay for at least a couple of more years.  I'm tired of beating myself up and there is no hope for me now.  Thanks all for trying to help me and may you be blessed.  

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by Brighty on Dec 26, 2018 6:08 pm

scaredysquirrel‍  where there is life there is always hope.    Never  say that about yourself .   You beat cancer and you are going to beat this slump too.  I know it.   You have come too far to give up on yourself just yet.    Maybe these opportunities  fell through  but other doors open when one  door closes.    Just don't beat yourself up so much.. there is no reason to.     You are a strong and amazing  person  and you will find your way.   Just habe  some faith in yourself and I promise  that things will fall into place.   You deserve  some happiness.    So give  yourself permission  to experience  happiness.. you deserve some already!!!


Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by princessmaura on Dec 27, 2018 4:38 am

hi scaredysquirrel‍...it's nice to hear from  you...   Brighty‍  and I were thinking of you and wondering what you were up to...we thought that you were busy with your new volunteer job...
I have been enjoying the Christmas season...Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year...don't give up hope...Brighty is right...tomorrow is the first day of your life:  pick up the pieces and start all over again...think positive and you will attract positive energy...wishing you a Happy New Year 2019...best of luck!

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by Jackwb on Dec 27, 2018 8:52 am

There's an old saying..."when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging". You sound like you need some serious cheering up and  need let the holiday spirit in.

From my personal experience, I retired at 55, 13 years ago, my wife joined me at 53 but had to go back to work for 5 more years, calling it quits at 58. I do whatever I want to do, have no schedule and made a commitment not to make any more commitments. Recently some complications from my surgery has put limitations on my long distance travel, I had to postpone a trip to Europe but will still drive to Florida on Saturday. On the other hand my wife volunteers for everything, she teaches, is on the board at our "Y", and has recently been appointed to our town's advisory committee on services for the aged...and she has to live with me.

Having worked in HR for many years I saw many who defined themselves by their job, had to work, and needed a well defined structure. These were mostly members of a vocation (you take an oath and wear a uniform) people in law enforcement, clergy, military, etc. but there were may corporate types as well. They had no life outside of their jobs I found that there is so much going on after work that I do not have enough time to explore all my options, retirement is the best decision I made. I'm now looking forward to three months in Florida, a couple of months in Europe next year (if I can fly for extended periods), Cuba and Mexico, and the rest of my time at home on Georgian Bay.

My best advice is to stop looking in rear view and to take advantage of stuff happening around you. After leaving Toronto the hardest thing for me was to learn how to live in a small town, it took about 5 years but I now know more people and have more friends than I had in 50 years in the city. I'm finally having a lot of fun.

Best wishes for a very Happy New Year. 

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Dec 28, 2018 10:23 am

A-MEN Jackwb‍ !

One day when I was at work (and had about 8 years to go to retire) someone commented on another employee who had taken early retirement. “Why would she do that?” He asked. I looked him (probably as though he had a screw loose) and said, “Why on earth wouldn’t she? There’s so much to do out there!” Two completely different views, to be sure.

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Dec 29, 2018 2:55 am

Thanks Jackwb‍ and Cynthia Mac‍, unfortunately due to my husbands poor health, we are unable to take trips anywhere at the moment.  This was something we discussed when I mentioned about retiring.  My husband is going to find out next week if he needs kidney cancer surgery.  As for me, I am well, just suffering from fatigue.  The fatigue is preventing me from doing what I want to do which is returning to work.  I was at my best in the summer, because I was walking lots, swimming and exercising.  I should have returned to work then.  I don't know why I kept stalling it when I knew it was best for me to do so.  No I'm stuck between "rock and a hard place".  I never let employers down, now I've done so twice.  I am devastated by my behavior.  I feel like a failure.  The Douglas College job would have been a real welcome and refreshing change for me.  I got it so easily.  It just fell into my lap.  Now I am lost, the volunteer spot is still a possiibility but how I will feel working there is beyond me.  I don't feel so sure about it.  I  know would have loved the Douglas College bookstore, 

Great advice about changing my thought process. It could sure use some help.  I've been depressed for so many years, it's my normal way to think.  I wish I had your positiveness Cynthia Mac‍.  You must be a really positive person.  I loved how you turned my words around in that other email.  If only I had listened to you.  I got myself into this mess, now I have find a way to accept it and move on.  I hate retirement.

Brighty‍ and princessmaura‍ thanks.  No the volunteer job starts in January.  I suppose I will have to settle for this even though it is not what I want.  Douglas College would have been the ideal answer to my dilema.  Now I have no real job.  How sad is that?  I want my job back!  

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Dec 29, 2018 9:08 am

I still have negative thoughts, too, scaredysquirrel‍ , but it used to be so much worse! I had to work to turn those thoughts around. It wasn’t an overnight “magic bullet” either. There were two times in my life where the pills were offered to me, but I guess I’m stubborn, and I refused to go there. Instead, I read and listened to books about meditation, relaxation, and being in the moment. I did yoga, and took long walks in the forest. I resolved that if I lost my job, I could do anything - even sling coffee at Timmy’s if that’s all I could come up with.

My experiences in doing this work taught me that when we worry, we are losing out on what’s happing in the now, and that a thought is a thought, and a thought can be changed. 

Here are all the negative comments you made in just this one post. If someone came here to cancer connection and posted all of this in that small a space, what would your wish be for them? 

1. “unfortunately due to my husbands poor health, we are unable to take trips anywhere at the moment.” 

2. “The fatigue is preventing me from doing what I want to do which is returning to work.”  

3. “I should have returned to work then.”  

4.  “I don't know why I kept stalling it when I knew it was best for me to do so.” 

5. “ No[w] I'm stuck between "rock and a hard place". 

6. “I am devastated by my behavior.  I feel like a failure. “  

7. “Now I am lost, the volunteer spot is still a possiibility but how I will feel working there is beyond me. “

8. “I don't feel so sure about it.”

9. “I've been depressed for so many years, it's my normal way to think.”

10. ”I got myself into this mess,”

11. “I hate retirement.”

12. ”I suppose I will have to settle for this even though it is not what I want.”  

13. “Now I have no real job.”  

14.  “How sad is that? ”

It’s very alarming to see that you were able to offer up 14 negative thoughts in the span of one post. This indicates to me that you are running this loop to yourself all. The. Time! 

If it had been me writing all these negative things about myself, what would you want me to do?

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Dec 30, 2018 2:05 am

Well, well Cynthia Mac‍, you certainly have me pegged. I don't know what to say.  I'm trying to accept what has happened.  This new twist of not following through on what I want to do has left me devastated and I don't know how to go forward.  I'd always planned to work as an auxiliary at my job after retiring.  I didn't know retiring itself would present such a lonely problem for me.  I just keep wishing things were different that's all.  I know it's futile to think this way.  Had I returned to my job last Jan or even in the Summer I would not be in this fix and expressing myself this way.  I just feel sick about the whole thing.  I beat cancer, but in the end it led me down an unknown path.  I guess I would be telling you not to despair.  Likely you have a lot going on in your life, my life is pretty low key, only hubby and me.  Our friends live elsewhere, no kids, no grand kids.  Need I go on?  

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Dec 30, 2018 7:59 am

Well, scaredysquirrel‍ , I might have you pegged but I sure would like to have the tools to be to help you out of this continuous loop of negative self-talk! There were 9 more negative phrases in your last post. 

My life? It’s interesting — my Mom used to marvel at how much I had going on, and how much I accomplished - writing, knitting, travel (every 2-3 years), and career. As a SINK (single income no kids), I used to chalk it up to having the time that others used attending to husbands and children/grandchildren. I used to downplay these things she marvelled at by saying things like “well, housework isn’t always the priority it should be” or “it’s because I’d rather be doing these things rather than other things.” Now that I look back, I had a “side gig” pretty much my whole working life. When I was younger and married, I worked part-time in a yarn shop, taught knitting classes, and kept the books for my husband’s business for a few years. Around the end of our marriage, I sat on the boards of Big Sisters and CNIB for a few years each, and I did a bit of reading for a friend of mine who is completely blind. My self-help work started after the marriage broke up and I felt myself sliding into a downward spiral. I read a book called “How to Survive the Loss of a Love,” and it taught me to be kind to myself - have a special cup and saucer for my tea, a crystal water glass, say nice things to myself even if it was just to congratulate me for doing such a nice job of dusting. 

Later, when there was a re-org at work and I was practically freaking out about the very real potential of losing my job, and having my retirement income severely jeopardized, a co-worker recommended Louise Hay’s book to me, You can Heal Your LIfe. I was also working through The Artist’s Way about this point, and I was beginning to understand that our thoughts can very well manifest themselves into our future, positively or negatively. 

It was work, some days, to keep those thoughts on the positive side, and, in many ways, my mother was my incentive. Mom had it in her to be quite negative, and I didn’t like the way that looked. Toward the end of her life, she was in depression, and both my sister and I tried to encourage her to get counselling. It was almost as if she wanted us to hear her negative messages and try to cajole her out of it instead of getting help - or maybe to bring us down to her level - we’ll never know.

You’ve got me fairly well pegged, too. I have a lot going on in my life, and that’s by design. The things I’ve put in my life are things that help me feel good about myself - writing, needlework, needlework design, and overall being creative. And, every response I’ve made to you these past months has been an effort to get you not to despair, to encourage you to take back your power to be positive-minded, and to get out of this negative cycle you are in.

May today be a good day for you.

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Dec 31, 2018 3:24 am

Hey Cynthia Mac, I appreciate that you were trying to help me.  I need the help!  I've done everything wrong this year with getting back to my job.  I just didn't jump fast enough with Manulife and kept thinking about retirement too much.  I wish I hadn't.  It's been a disaster.  I even missed out a couple of Auxiliary postings as I was hard on myself not kind to myself.  I like you positiveness.  Wish I could inherit that.  

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Jan 7, 2019 6:25 pm

Trying to figure this out and see a better outcome.  Tomorrow is my volunteer training, I'm hoping for a good day.

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by Tutti on Jan 8, 2019 1:00 pm

Scaredy Squirrel, your way of thinking and situation strike a responsive chord for me. The constant regret and self-criticism loop are so easy to get caught up in when it looks like there is no hope for something good on the horizon. There is one more book I would strongly recommend. It helped me enormously almost 20 years ago and I have given it as a gift to many friends. It is not about depression, it is more about how to deal with habits of thinking. The link I provide here is for the newer edition at $17.99 CDN but it could also be purchased used. Please get a copy for yourself and let us know what you think. https://www.amazon.ca/Brain-Lock-Twentieth-Anniversary-Obsessive-Compulsive/. Even though I would not be diagnosed as OCD, it made a huge difference to me when I applied it to my habits of thinking. I still use things I learned from it today when I get stuck in a negative loop. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Jan 12, 2019 6:51 pm

Thanks for the book suggestion, Tutti‍ , the book sounds interesting.  Maybe I can pick up a copy soon.  

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by Tutti on Jan 12, 2019 7:36 pm

I hope it is helpful!!!

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by abell on Jan 12, 2019 11:03 pm

Hi! I just stumbled on this post and wanted to offer up a few words of encouragement and support that hopefully will help. Personally I have worked very hard on turning my negative mindset into positive thoughts. It has taken many years, a lot of work,and I still have to catch myself on a regular basis in order to prevent myself from spiralling. Some of the techniques I use that I hope you will try are: -posting motivational quotes around my house. I often change them out when I no longer "see" them. Put them in places where you will notice them right when you wake up to start your day off right. I got a few picture frames from value village and painted the inside with chalk paint so I can easily change the message. Or for Christmas I got one of those message boards that are all the rage right now. You can make it match your decor so it doesn't look so weird to visitors! -journalling every day about things you are grateful for. Either first thing in the morning, or at the end of the day as a reflection of the good things that happened...no matter how small. -listening to podcasts that emulate positive vibes or self help information. I'm really interested in business, so I listen a lot to "rise" by Rachel Hollis and pulling back the curtain by Natalie Hodson. Both have a lot of empowering episodes for women and I find they really fuel me up. -creating a bucket list. I don't venture too far from home either. So my bucket list isn't amazing, but I put things on there that I promise myself I will commit to. Even finishing something little like walking a nice hiking trail nearby creates a sense of accomplishment because I didn't break that promise to myself, and I experienced something new. -exercise. Exercise creates positive endorphines, which in turn feed positive thoughts. Make time every day to go for a walk. Or join an exercise class. If it sounds daunting, many pools have low impact programs that provide that social connection along with getting you moving. I do believe that everything happens for a reason, and you are where you need to be right now, even if you can't see the silver lining just yet. Every moment is handed to us to teach us something. You just have to find what it is. I hope you take the amazing gift you have been given to focus on YOU, and find what it is you love to do. Stop looking in the rearview mirror, and try new things!! What I wouldn't give for the free time you have been given! I wish you all the best, and I know my list doesn't seem great, and perhaps slightly childish, but I promise it really does work to assist in training your brain to wire itself differently. I hope very much you will give these things a try, and if you do, that they help.

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jan 13, 2019 9:41 am

abell‍ , thank you SO much for chiming in! 

I actually used your affirmations technique for a friend of mine who was (supposed to be) a recovering alcoholic and had a fall. He still has them up in his house, and I noticed the last time I was there that some of them had been moved to new locations. I got that idea from reading Louise Hay - have you read any of her books?

I, too, keep a gratitude journal beside my bed, and I say one positive thing to myself every morning while brushing my teeth. Gratitude really does change the attitude!

It’s so good that you have joined the conversation!

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by LPPK on Jan 13, 2019 10:48 am

abell‍   Cynthia Mac‍ ‍  scaredysquirrel‍   I found that having made 18 for 2018 and 19 for 2019 lists of things to do has really helped me through my cancer treatment and eased me into my retirement.  As I sit here in my dining room/kitchen, after my morning walk, I look around and see my decluttered kitchen, freshly painted walls (love the new colour 'Calm Thoughts'), 3 paintings that I competed over the last year, a table full of photographs and family trees (I am working on family history research) and fruit waiting to be cut up (knowing that my diet change is for the better).  I see and enjoy the effects of my busy life. 

Re: Retirement Is a Huge Mistake for Me

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Jan 13, 2019 6:40 pm

abell‍ , yes, thanks so much for the positive suggestions.  I have decided to return to my favorite sport, figure skating to find some joy.  It will only be for a few weeks, but it does inspire me and will give me a goal for each week.  Skating has always been my passion.  I need to get on the ice every day or week at least.  I'm pretty rusty, but it's still there.  I think to myself, Hey I can still skate until one day I can't!  I might not be able to return to my job I loved, but I can head to the rink for solace.  I like the idea of rewiring thought patterns.  I need to do this.  It's hard when you've spent your entire life with negative wiring.  Most people don't understand.  It's not something a "magic" antidepressant pill will fix.  It takes, work, changing your thinking and doing physical activities.  I like the idea about exercise.  Certainly something I need to do.  I'm thinking of buying another swim suit soon.  I love swimming, I can go up to the Canada Games Pool and swim every day.  I want to be happy again. I keep thinking without my job, I won't be but there has to be a way. I can also sign up for piano lessons which will give me something to work on.   Thanks again for your great suggestions and for understanding