IntrepidWoman's Journey

Posts Tagged ‘senior living

In my experience, Facebook is an addiction. I deactivated my FB page 3 days ago and it has been an eye-opener. For the rest of day one, I continually stopped to check FB and experienced frustration that it was gone. For the next two evenings, I did not know what to do with myself so ended up knitting, reading a news site briefly, and going to bed earlier that most nights previously.

On day 2, I made a list of things that needed done and accomplished every single one that day! Before, I would make a list and take at least a week to accomplish it as hours swept away while I was in front of my IPad. Evenings often turned into early mornings; sometimes I would not go to bed before 2 AM and then sleep in the next day. The last 2 nights I have been tired from being active, and have gone to bed instead of sitting in front of the computer. It makes early mornings so much easier and days so much more productive!

I cannot get back the many hours that I have spent on Facebook since I retired at the end of August in 2014, but I can move forward into creative, exciting and gratifying accomplishments from this point onward.

In the last 3 days I have been knitting, volunteered to accompany my grandson’s class to the local museum to learn about immigration in early Lethbridge and southern Alberta, helped the class on another day to learn to knit so they can take part in a yarn bombing for a local festival coming up near the end of the month, shredded a lot of paperwork and cleaned out some bins from my move that were stacked in the closet for a rainy day, AND completed a list of ‘things to do’ that had been hanging around for several days.

I still want to check Facebook, when I get up, when I am eating a meal, and anytime I am not doing something. I miss the people, I think. Maybe not. A lot of them were like me, posting several times a day to show photos, put up quotes and describe daily activities. These are people I do not spend real time with. They are only in my life through FB. The few who are my ‘real’ friends will still be in contact by phone and we will still get together in person to share tidbits about our lives.

The online draw may be the convenience of being part of a community, even while wearing your pjs, and not having to make the effort to go out into the real world. Like most addictions, it begins slowly, and before you realize it, you need your ‘fix’ more often until it dominates your life. Sounds extreme, but think about it.

I made the pledge to deactivate for 30 days. I am only 3 days into it. I know I will make the 30 days, but I wonder if I will want to go back to being active on FB on December 2nd. I kind of hope not.

I have 27 days left to create a real life! My right-brain, creative side is hollaring, “You go girl!” My left-brain, analytical side is moaning, “Life is scary. FB is easier.”

The challenge has begun!

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.


Historically Speaking

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