I retired from my job of 20 years before Christmas. In the end I went a little bit earlier than I would have liked, but I do believe (or did at the time anyway) it was the right thing to do.
With Christmas and the new year, I hardly noticed I was retired until a few weeks ago, but now I’m finding it very difficult. It’s not really what I expected.
When I thought about retirement, I imagined going to the pool for a swim every morning, meeting friends for coffee in the afternoon and days spent hillwalking. Now that our lads are older and heavily involved in the farm, my husband and I had planned to get away a bit more too.
I’m at home cooking, cleaning and rearing calves. I feel slightly like I’ve gone from the frying pan into the fire
The reality of my situation at present couldn’t be further from this, Miriam. I’m at home cooking, cleaning and rearing calves. I feel slightly like I’ve gone from the frying pan into the fire, and maybe I would have been better off staying in work.
Maybe I’m too long in the tooth for a new job and the thought of doing an interview makes me nervous
I know there’s very little that can be done to break the monotony of everyday life at the moment, but it’s starting to feel like Groundhog Day and I’m very fed up.
I was thinking maybe I could look for a few day’s work part-time. But I’m a bit unsure about this. Maybe I’m too long in the tooth for a new job and the thought of doing an interview makes me nervous.
Is there anything I can do to settle into retirement more and do you think I should look for a new job?
Although it may seem counterintuitive in this context, I am going to congratulate you on your retirement. It may not feel like it right now, but it is something to be celebrated.
I’m going to take your issues and offer you a bit of advice on each. Starting with your home situation, this can be easily alleviated.
Have a discussion with your family members – I am not sure how many are in your household at the moment – and say the jobs are going to have to be shared out a little. You are helping on the farm, they can do a small bit around the house.
Between swimming and hillwalking, you sound like a woman who has plenty of energy. Let’s harness some of that
Give everyone a room in the house to be in charge of keeping clean. See if someone else will do the dinner or supper a day per week.
Even better yet, get in a takeaway and save on the washing up too. A little bit of help will make you feel less tied to the housework.
Now, on activities. Between swimming and hillwalking, you sound like a woman who has plenty of energy. Let’s harness some of that.
Even though we are largely confined to our homes at the moment, bar exercise, are there online classes you can do? Pilates, yoga, cookery, painting or learning a new language, do whatever you are into or try something completely new.
You could also take up an online class that might help you upskill in preparation for another job, because if you want to get work part-time, you should absolutely go for it.
Retirement is but a chance to start life again
I totally understand going for an interview will be daunting, but flip your thinking on the situation.
There is an old saying: “‘Tis the old dog for the hard road”, meaning you can’t beat experience! You have so much experience and there are definitely employers who will want to utilise that. Maybe get a little bit of help updating your CV and go for it. Retirement is but a chance to start life again.
I want to finish by focusing on your own words, “the reality of my situation at present”. The key words here are, “at present”. Things will change, and you will get to do the things you hoped for, but for now, make the best of the situation you are in.
Wishing you all the best in retirement, employment and whatever else you may decide to do.