Well, honestly, not very well. For my personality I have way too much time with no specific goals in mind. Now I don’t think its absolutely necessary to have a goal all the time, to just “be” is a great state and can be very enjoyable. Overdo that “just be” time, however, and inertia sets in and the brain stops functioning. I am a senior, now retired almost 2 years. I am 71 yrs. of age and had worked all my life from age 14 – 69yrs. So, I think about what I need to overcome this state of inertia. There are hundreds of articles written on retirement, volunteering, traveling and doing all those things one wished to do when you had to work for a living, however, none of them address the emptiness that occurs when you no longer have anything of real meaning in your life. Career has been accomplished and is over, children have been raised and are on their own, there have been various successes so what comes now?
My role in the family is gradually changing. My children and grandchildren have their own very busy lives and I live approximately two hours drive from them, so I cannot be an active part of their lives on a daily basis. They certainly care for me, however, they just want me to “get a life” and be happy, not depend on them to make me happy.
My husband has frail health so his interests are limited. If I choose to do things without him I have a certain amount of guilt at leaving him. Probably the most important factor in my malaise with my current state is that we live in a rural area, somewhat isolated from other people. Some days I see no one except my husband and my dog. So, my need for human contact and intimate, in-person friendships is not being met. I consider myself an introvert but even being an introvert my human contact is out of balance.
At age 71 to be considering relocating to an area that has more stimulation, people contact and interesting things to do presents conflict. Just imagine moving from a house filled with “things” at age 71 when you no longer have the energy that you once had, looking for real estate in another area – real estate agents!!!, trying to balance the selling of one home and repurchasing another, finding new medical practitioner’s, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. etc. So, you can see I get discouraged very easily and also easily talk myself out of making what I feel is a necessary change if I am to enjoy these last years of my life. If we stay where we are I believe my brain will completely atrophy.
Now on top of all of this I feel a certain amount of guilt at “feeling bad”. I, after all, am a well educated woman, professional and “should” have whatever it takes to have a happy and rewarding life. So, why do I believe it is necessary to always be happy, do everything right, never complain, not be down or depressed and never feel overwhelmed? Nothing wrong with my thinking!!!!