Thursday, November 16, 2017

Struggling

A childless-not-by-choice friend, in a similar line of work as me, recently messaged me for my opinion on a work-related matter. We talked about work and I mentioned that this was always our busiest & most stressful time of the year there -- and that I DO NOT MISS IT!!  ;)

And I don't.

But afterwards, I was thinking about how empty my life is sometimes, especially since I don't have work to fill my days anymore, and especially since we moved -- that whole "Is that all there is??" feeling. I don't miss the stress of work in the least -- but I miss the people (well, some of them... ;)  ) and the routines that filled my days. I miss being downtown, at least once in a while.  I don't miss our house (surprisingly), but I sometimes miss the old community.  It's not like I had lots of friends there  (because I didn't), but it was closer to my one good (retired) friend from work, and I was more likely to run into someone I knew casually there, KWIM? There was a comfort level there that I have yet to develop here. I could get dh to drive me 10 minutes to the GO station, or even just hop on a bus nearby & be downtown in the city in 40 minutes, if I wanted to go to the big mall there, or to an exhibit at the museum or art gallery or whatever. I was even steeling myself to try to start driving more again. I do love our condo, but I feel kind of trapped here sometimes, and a bit fish-out-of-water-ish. The traffic is NUTS, so driving is back on the backburner again, and while the transit is improving, it's not there yet.

I'm not often truly bored -- I do try to stay busy with writing on my blog & doing genealogy research & reading, etc., and dh gets restless if we go more than a day without getting out of the house, at least to Starbucks ;) -- but lately, I HAVE been bored & restless. I can go for days & days without having a meaningful conversation with another adult besides dh.

My own damned fault. I keep saying I'm going to find a yoga studio, find a book club to join. I've even considered returning to church -- for the social benefits, if not for the prospect of eternal salvation. ;) 

But I haven't.

It's nice being closer to BIL & SIL & family here -- but they still have their own lives, they still work, and so they're busy. They have been really great about including us in stuff, especially re: our nephews' weddings (the one last year & the one coming up). I went out with SIL a few weeks ago to help her find a mother of the groom dress, and then we went shopping for one for me -- and it's so nice to feel included. But it's not my kid's wedding & never will be, and sometimes it's hard when I think about it that way.

I'm sure it's no coincidence that this melancholy feeling descended on me shortly after the recent time change, with the increasing darkness -- and coldness -- and the approach of the child-and-family-focused holidays. Or that Katie's due date came a few days later (the 14th). Or that my midlife/(peri)menopausal hormones seem to be acting up more than usual lately. (Damned hot flashes...)

Or maybe it's just because it's November. ;) 

I'm sure this will pass. It usually does. The sun just broke through the clouds briefly, when I was typing that. :)  That really helps too. :) 

Vent over. :)  (For now. ;)  )

4 comments:

  1. There’s a trend I’ve been seeing of people who go into retirement moving into consulting or part-time work. That or pursuing educational opportunities. Either way, it may be something worth exploring. The beauty of retirement is you have the ability to explore a bit, trying on different hats. It’s different for everyone and it does not have to be a second calling. But who knows.

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  2. I was totally thinking of you when I wrote my post about November. It is a hard month and you have personal triggers to go with the environmental ones.

    You haven't been in your new condo for all that long in the grand scheme of things. It takes time to figure out what you want and what you want your days to look like.

    Have you thought about volunteering anywhere? I bet your skill set could be put to good use for a small charity. Feeling like you have a purpose and are doing something meaningful is really important for humans, and for a lot of us that is tied up with work. I think it's why so many people have such a hard time when they retire.

    I am an inveterate fixer so apologies if you were just airing emotions and venting. I find it hard not to jump in with ways to make it better. :)

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  3. All your maybes sound like contributory factors. As I was reading, I thought "it's November, Loribeth" and wish I could reach out and give you a hug. Actually, better, I wish we lived close enough to go out together and have lunch!

    I do know exactly what you mean though. I probably have more interaction with you online (and all my other internet friends and fellow bloggers) than I do on with some of my IRL friends. I too miss the casual interactions with colleagues since I left full-time work. I don't miss the competitiveness or the frustrations of others though! But I am aware that I need to extend my network of friends and family. I just need to stop thinking about it and go out and do it.

    I have plenty of projects I'm doing, but I hate it when I get together with friends and the first thing they ask me is if there's anything on the job front. If there is, I'll tell them! But also, it's as if that's all some of them can think of talking about. Hmmm - I just saw the similarities there. What do people talk about if not their kids or their jobs? Answer? Everything else in the world!

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  4. I can understand this struggle. I can imagine it's nice to not miss the craziness of work, but then to wonder what to do with these increasingly dark days. I have that conversation with Bryce...what are we going to do so we don't just float through this life, milestone-less? We are thinking of opportunities to volunteer and get involved with something that means something to us (because THAT's not vague at all), after he finishes his PhD of course. Maybe some kind of volunteering like others have mentioned could give some heft to the "is this it?" feeling? Of course, it's November and it's probably good to vent and get these feelings out. I hope it passes, and maybe leaves you with something new to explore. If that's what you want.

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