Reflections of my Retired Life:
This retirement is a good thing. Even if I had hoped to work a few more years, I did not due to my health, and am glad for it. I have had five years now of retirement as I am 68 and retired at 63. It has been a nice journey, with thoughts, challenges and changes, but all lessons learned through it help me be the person I am. The important thing is, even if I don't please everyone else, I am pleased with myself. Many people can and don't ever say that, but I have learned that it is okay to like yourself. It is not arrogant or selfish or evil. It is a good thing.
When I first retired, I was sick, and my heart was giving me problems. I could hardly make it up the basement stairs and then they told me not to even try. Years ago when being in an auto accident, they told me because of damage to arms and neck muscles, I would never knit or sew. I worked at it and proved them a "good" wrong. So I have knit since 12 and still knit for a total of 56 years, and I knit everyday also. I also go up and down the stairs. I do yoga, I swim, I walk, and I did camp for a few years after retirement. I go on trips by myself, traveling by train and plane. Life for this retired person is good.
People do invite me to many things. I have tried some. I did volunteering at the Humane Society and also was on the Friends of the Library and part of the book discussion group. I belonged to a community group of women called the Centerrettes from Center, Missouri. I also joined a knitting circle . I asked to volunteer at our little library to read to children or have a children's reading group. The answer was no to anything suggested there so I soon realized I was not a welcome fit for the librarian. It is a small community and a small library and I am still, after living in the area for 23 years, an outsider...."not from here" syndrome. That is how it went with the local ladies' group also. I volunteered my home, my talents, and gifts, and there was always something wrong with it. So as time went on I begin to omit some of the things I was trying to do. I quit the Centerrettes, but still have several good friends from it. I did not go to the local little library any longer but just the library in Hannibal. Eventually I quit the friends group as they had so many disagreements, and they were really not even associated with the national friends group. I quit the book discussion group as they soon became just a session to argue. There was only one other person besides me who turned in book suggestions for the next year's list. We did have opportunity to do this, and many of our books were selected, but others complained that we had too much to say. I got tired of grown people acting stupid, especially when they were not.
Anyway, I found the same with going to yoga at the YMCA as the women spent the first 15 minutes of class talking about the management and how they had painted or changed our wonderful room. Really, I did not need this either. I can swim and do yoga at home so am doing just that. I missed the calm and meditation of what yoga is to be, but don't any longer. My routine and time is greater and much more relaxed.
I still go to the Humane Society now and then but not weekly and this is a good thing. They now have a full staff and good people so they do not need as many volunteers, but they are always happy when I stop down with food or just to pet animals or visit with them. Now this is a good thing and it makes my heart happy as I have two wonderful dogs from there and my Daisy Mae Foxhound came from there also.
My knitting circle is interesting and I enjoy the woman. I don't enjoy being in town for lots of hours as it is a day I also do errands and shopping, but doing so allows me to be home the other days, or having other days to go and do things with my husband. I do have some struggles with some of the things one of the people says when I cannot be there, like tomorrow, I will not be there as I fell yesterday and plan to take it easy for a few days. Plus, in the spring/summer months I have lots to do at home, so will save my good energy to do those things instead of running to town. One person does not seem to understand and made a comment that when she heard about my fall, she figured as much that I would not be coming. REALLY. How about, hoping you are okay. One of the good friends there is moving and I believe another will come visit and remain my friend even if I don't go. The woman who made the comment is one that says she lives for her Tuesday. I suppose I could understand that, but I live for each and every day I have. I enjoy that time, but I enjoy my life. I enjoy being home and I enjoy going when I want to.
Here lies the problem I believe. I try different things, and if they do not work out too well, I can easily discontinue them as I am retired. This is my time of life to enjoy myself. When things become a hassle or stupid or selfish on others parts, I do not need to be involved.
Today I hurt from my fall in the garage, stupid as it was, it was a fall when I hit my head on the garage door that was not all the way up when I kept trying to walk throw it, while looking at my letters in hand instead of watching where I was going. I was hit hard in the head, pushed back and hit the car with my hip, which then sent me to the concrete floor. I landed flat and just laid there for a bit, with letters thrown all over the floor. I got up and had to laugh at how well I bounced, but today I am sore and tired and glad nothing is broken. I need to be home, do my things with my energy, time.
The bottom line is that this is my time, and I have only so much of it left and after giving and giving to others, I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I do not think it is because I don't like being social because I do. I enjoy travel and shopping and talking with people and having company, but I also like doing things when I want to . If I belong to something and don't want to go to it that one week, then I don't and I won't because someone thinks I should. It makes me turn away from the whole thing. Maybe it is that I have so many things I like and want to do. I have said before that I quilt, read, write, paint, embroider, sew, knit, and having a circular sock machine now also for knitting. I read lots and love to cook and bake. I garden and swim and do yoga and walk. I have four beautiful dogs. I enjoy taking day trips with my husband and by myself also. We usually go somewhere for the day once a week. He goes in to the Y three mornings a week plus a coffee club. My garden and potato patch and flowerbeds call me this time of year as does walking in the woods and playing outside with my dogs. I believe you are never too old to play outside.
With all this said, I feel a bit better. I have concluded that I am "not a stick in the mud" (and I do like walking in the creek and mud), but I am jealous of my time.
Here's to me....I read a book a few years ago called "Your Best Yes"....and it was learning to say no. I am retired, I am not tired. I am social on my terms after years of dealing with everyone else's problems. I like to travel and I like to be home. I am artistic and I also can just sit and think. More people should actually. So, look out world, this retired older woman knows who she is and what she wants, and it is not to be locked into making someone elses day they live for.....but my days I live for.
Now, I am going out to swim.