IntrepidWoman's Journey

Life After Retirement

Posted on: October 24, 2015

I have been retired for 14 months. The first year was spent with no agenda, just waking without an alarm, not taking on tasks if I was tired, reading every book I could get my hands on, personally and digitally, learning about my new city, and spending time with family and friends.

Before retirement, I was always tired. During the last year of working, I could barely make it through each day without overwhelming fatigue and chronic pain everywhere. It was a tough year because I was determined to do my job well, despite having high blood pressure, being pre-diabetic, having active fibromayalgia and lupus in remission but attacking me in insideous ways like causing neuropathy in my feet and legs. I also had osteoarthritis in my knees, hips and right ankle ( where I had a steel plate installed many years ago after chasing my horse and falling into a cattle guard.)

I was a physical wreck when I turned 65, but was determined to work one more year before retiring. It was a financial necessity even though it seemed logically and physically impossible.

I made it. In my terrible physical state, I single-handedly downsized for a second time within 5 years, (from 2200 square feet to 750 to 560), packed what was left by myself, rented a UHaul, hired 2 men to load it, and relocated to a new city, the same day that my job ended. I barely remember the 2 hour drive from Okotoks to Lethbridge as I was so exhausted. It was raining when I arrived, and a father and son who I had never met but hired through a friend, unloaded my truck in the downpour, and I was left with the bed put together, but everything else piled up high around me and damp. Crazy.

Moving is like giving birth. At the time, it is horrible, painful and you swear you will never do it again, but life gets better after you are unpacked and start to forget how horrible and painful the experience was!

I am still hanging pictures, rearranging the kitchen cupboards and coming up with new ideas for my private little patio. It is a work in progress.

Retirement is seven-day weekends. It is time for personal discovery and reinventing self. It is worth working for 48 years to achieve. Everyday is a gift and a joy. I am going one year at a time now. It is the winter of my life and I am finally number one on my list of important things.

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