… that goes for semi-retirement too!
WARNING: I KNOW I THINK TOO MUCH – that is just how I am made!
I left my full-time job in 2010 to move to the country. I have no regrets – best thing we ever did. Interestingly it has been a lot more challenging that I thought it would be.
It is only recently that I came to see some of the underlying challenges. Here are some fears I discovered lurking in the back of my mind:
- fear of economic insecurity
- fear of losing my skills and abilities from the workplace
- becoming irrelevant
- fear of being seen as old and redundant
- frustration at not being able to contribute in familiar ways
- fear of becoming boring
I now have time on my hands and choices of how to spend it. That seemed like a real luxury when I was working full-time. Now I am faced with decisions of ‘I should … ‘ or I shouldn’t …’. I also feel some guilt that I am so lucky to be in the place I am in, so I should be enjoying it more.
My intention was to get some part-time work and then to enjoy the benefits of semi-retirement. I have been so focused on getting some work that the rest has been put to one side.
I made a big decision this week. I am going to shift my focus and give priority to doing things I enjoy doing.
I will assess whatever comes along and pursue opportunities that feed me as a person. I can put aside being an employee or being a self-employed consultant. I want to explore my dreams. I have given myself permission TO HAVE dreams! When my focus was on earning some income everything this was put on hold.
I still hope to earn some $’s along the way – I have just shifted my priorities. I don’t know if my words here are actually conveying what I am trying to say – but I feel so much happier in myself and have more energy and enthusiasm for life. YAY!
When I posted the photo last week for the Weekly photo challenge, I thought it was of a new leaf forming but as it unfolded, I realised it was a flower! Isn’t nature amazing?
Many years ago I had an episode of depression and sought help from a therapist. There is one main piece of advice I have always remembered and it helped me tremendously over the years.
The advice was keep involved and don’t stop doing things. At the time is was the exact opposite of what I felt like doing. I wanted to withdraw into a quiet space and tell the world to go away. I followed the doctor’s advice, probably more so with my career. I don’t think I ever missed a day’s work due to depression. No-one at work was aware that I had any concerns. I can put on a good face that all is well!
I am grateful that I was able to keep working full-time over 17 years with the state government. It has allowed me to take an early retirement. Interestingly though, the advice I was given years ago seems to be a little redundant now. I only realised recently that I have developed an excessive habit of keeping busy to ward off any signs of depression.
Given that my lifestyle now doesn’t have the pressures and demands of the past, it seems I can let down my barriers a little and not be on the defensive and fearful that depression may sneak up on me. I have always been very aware how important it is to get the right balance in my life. Too much stress can definitely set one up for an episode of depression however not enough challenge in life is just as concerning.
Life is an ongoing learning process, isn’t it?
Today I was watering my garden when I noticed a new leaf on one of my Canna lilies. I always love to see new life unfolding in nature.
There is a bit of a story about my Canna lilies. When I was a child we had them growing along the front fence of our home. Now I was a child that hated school and was fairly creative at finding ways to avoid it. One strategy was that I would say goodbye to Mum and head of in the direction of my school but then I would creep back home using the Canna lilies as camouflage .
I would slip back quietly into the house and back into bed. My Mum would discover me there some time later and would not be happy! “What are you doing there? I thought you had gone to school!” I usually came up with “I am not feeling very well.” Because my Mum was a nurse, and a kind person, she let me get away with it.
So isn’t it amazing how the memory works. I see Canna lilies and in my mind I can see myself avoiding another day at school :-). I bought my lilies recently because of my childhood memories.
We seem to be attracting a variety of wildlife in our home. I thought it might be fun to put them all together in one blog. (Apologies if you have seen them all before in previous blogs). Whenever possible we transport them back outside and avoid harming them in the process 🙂
Hanging around on the BBQ
There are lots of spiders about at present