I sorta/kinda retired about 7 years ago. Same deal - I was laid off with a generous package and I had enough to get by on, so I figured I’d retire at 50. I lasted about a year and a half. I did road trips on my motorcycles, I whittled down my too-read pile, caught up on a lot of television, puttered around the house. But the days started to blur together, and I missed having something to do regularly. I think part of the problem was moving from Chicago to rural KY so that there was less to do (if you’re not into horses).
On the plus side, I was in phenomenal shape - there was never a reason to skip a workout, and I was cooking my own meals so my weight was down to high school levels.
My Dad on the other hand was a workaholic. He loved work more than anything including his family. He got a huge early buyout when he was in his late 50s and never had to work again. Within a few weeks he had taken on so much other work that he was back to 80 hour weeks. Age forced him to slow down somewhat but he was still at around a 40 hour week when he literally dropped dead one night a couple of weeks before his 80th birthday. Fuck that.
Hang in there, singular! I work for a company makes a lot of stuff for your airplanes and we announced a pay reduction/furlough. I’m in the government sector so not affected but still have my eye on retirement this year.
Well, I wasn’t. I retired on a whim, when our financial person said “Digs, you should retire now, and your wife in 3-5 years.” I shrugged and said “Okay…”
I had the fears singular1 had before it took effect, but now that it’s happened, I love it. Apparently I’m not enslaved to the Puritan Work Ethic like the rest of my family (and nine generations of actual Puritans). And I guess, deep down, that I *do *believe we’re defined by what we ARE, not what we DO.
You sound tired, stressed, depressed - all completely understandable. I think step 1 is to be kind to yourself. It takes time to recover from a lifetime of work. Start thinking of things you enjoy and about how you might start doing some of them, but don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get anything more than tv and sleep done for a while.
I look forward to your continued posts.
It is unemployment *insurance *benefits you will collect. You’ve been paying premiums on that insurance policy your whole life and now you get a chance to get back a fraction of what you paid in. It’s not a handout if that’s what you are conflicted about?
It sounds like your health has taken a hit. If that’s the case then you could start by devoting 1 hr a day to riding a bike or some other activity that improves your health. After you turn the clock back a little you’ll want to do more and then the sky’s the limit.
I’ve thought about retiring JUST so I could get back in shape.
Count your blessings. When I was planning to retire I knew that my company was going to have layoffs, and I told my boss if they came fire me first. But they didn’t happen for a year afterwards. So you are going out with a boodle of cash. I did get one when I left Bell Labs during the Trivestiture, and it improved my financial situation greatly.
Retirement is great, assuming you don’t have to worry about money.
What I did was to walk around the house making notes of all those things I wanted to get done but never had the time for because of work. That will give you focus. Some can be useful, some can be fun.
It’s also good to keep up some outside activities.
Anyhow, try it you’ll like it. And you’ll never have to worry about layoffs again.
This type of story scares me. I got a phone call from my old workplace just last week. They wanted to know if I was interested in going back to work, what with the stock market losses and all. I thanked them but declined. There’s only so much sand in that hourglass, and I don’t want to waste a single remaining grain sitting in a cubicle.
From my favorite movie: “I was quit when I come in here… I’m twice as quit now.”
So it happened. Friday was my last day - i went in to the office to clean out my cube, where I had to go through 19 years of stuff carried from post to post. It took 4 hours to do what I would’ve done over a few weeks, and because people showed up to say goodbye when I was sure I would’ve been alone, I lost a lot of stuff I meant to save. I appreciate the lovely gesture, but I’m crushed by the stuff I did not manage to save.
I know it’s only been a day, but I need to know - anybody have any idea when I’ll stop crying?
Give yourself permission to grieve what was a big part of your life. It’s ok to cry about it.
But …big but…put a time limit on the tears and fears.
I suggest volunteering. I’ve enjoyed it and made many friends like that.
Get those closets clean. Look into hobbies you used to like. Alphabetized that book shelf.
You’ll always have the SD to entertain and inform you.
Notebooks, drafting tools, containers and water bottles, assorted awards and accolades, tools and reference materials, assorted things one accumulates when the majority of your day is in your office - it’s difficult to to list, even after just approaching it yesterday. There are reward certificates, drafting tools, things you use on a day-to-day basis that are held in very personal containers, notebooks and desktop tools that are used every day but not common at home. I think every engineering person might understand.
I hope that doesn’t come across as condescending- there is a cliche of engineers dragging boxes of their personal stuff from job to job, stuff that supports their job as well as their office environment.
I’m an engineering person, and I took boxes of old conference proceedings and stuff from previous jobs and some useful books. In the four years since I retired, I’ve hardly looked at them, and I’m still involved in the conference. You’ll see that what seemed vitally important when you were working don’t mean diddly once you are retired.
I’ve finally admitted I don’t need these boxes, and I’m cutting my papers out of the proceedings and recycling the rest. Most of my accolades are in a box in my closet.
You are now something more than your work. Enjoy it. It’s fun. And in a few months you won’t even think about the stuff you left behind.
I wish. No, this is stuff I’d saved to my computer desktop. It’s gone because the laptop is wiped clean once turned in. It’s my own fault - I’d been given more than enough time to save my stuff before retirement. It’s just that whenever I tried to save it, my mind froze and I did something else. I’m a mess…