Showing posts with label Stress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stress. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Stresses of Being Retired

I haven't written about retirement for awhile, but since it is a state I am constantly in, it can't help but raise its little head from time to time on this blog.  So here it is again.

It's been almost three years now since I shut my office door for the last time, and I've been feeling a bit down, a bit at loose ends lately, a bit stressed, so I thought I would go back and take a look at some of the blog posts I wrote earlier in my retirement.

I had written about the things I was worried about when I retired: 

"Retirement: Do Dogs Ever Retire?" (this one is DEEP).

and "Retirement: Is the Honeymoon Over?"  This last one was written only a couple of months after I retired!  Read it and you will see why I used an exclamation point here!  And then again. 

But then six months after I retired, things were looking up when I wrote "My Retirement Journey - Six Months Later." 

That one ended with

"This IS my life now." 
And like starting one's own business, it is up to me for good or ill to make it successful.   
So now I have that list of things I want to pursue that I can add to my days at any time. 
Six months from now my routine might look very different.  My purpose changed.
But, you know what?  If it doesn't, I am not going to stress about it.  I am enjoying this time with myself."

Ah, the innocence of the newly retired.

Because three years in, I AM stressing about it.
When those who are not yet retired think of retirement, they are probably mostly thinking about whether or not they can afford it.  And they might think about what they will do when they have "all of the time in the world."  What they probably don't think about is STRESS.

Yes, that's right, S-T-R-E-S-S.

I have discovered that it is stressful to "have all of the time in the world."

I tell Hubby from time to time that "it's my day off" and he laughs saying "Every day is a day off for you (Hubby has not yet made the leap)."  But what he doesn't realize is that I see "Retirement" as my new job and I want to succeed at it. It takes work to retire successfully.  And as with all jobs, it has its stresses, and I need one day a week when I don't have to feel I need to have plans.

There is not much understanding out there in the world about retired people who are often perceived as being on a constant vacation.  I think we are also unfairly perceived as people who have bowed out of the mainstream.
And yet those of us who were successful in our jobs, go-getters, career-oriented, accomplished, whatever we thought about ourselves then, we don't stop striving and wanting to be successful and accomplished just because we have left our jobs.  Retirement is its own kind of career where we want to succeed and make a difference but it comes with its own stresses.

Here are some retirement stresses I am dealing with:
  • It's very stressful to try to get out of the house by noon.
I know.  Laugh if you want to but there are morning people and not morning people.  I fall into the not morning people category.  Sleeping in as long as I want in the morning is one thing I DON'T need to stress about.  So I try very hard to not schedule anything for myself before noon because when you figure that I sleep until at least 9am and then have to make the bed, read the paper, empty the dishwasher, clean up Hubby's breakfast mess (he gets up WAY before I do), watch "The View," get dressed, fix hair, make-up, all of which takes loads more time now that I am old - by then the morning is over. 

Even without all of that stuff, there is always some household or mental distraction that keeps me from getting out the door any earlier.  It would just be too, too stressful to be anywhere earlier than that.  However, I do have some volunteer obligations that require that I leave the house before 10 so you can imagine how stressful those days are.
  • It's stressful to see the pile of books I have accumulated that I thought I was going to read when I retired.

  • It's stressful to go to the gym and get weighed by my trainer after two grande lattes (I know what you are thinking. If I would get up earlier and get to the gym before I had those lattes, I would weigh less...not an option).
  • It's stressful when someone asks "What did you do all day" and my reply is "Uh..."

  • It's stressful to try to get everything I'm not doing done to make the 4pm deadline for Happy Hour with Hubby with a smile on my face

  • It's stressful to keep to my blog schedule when I don't have anything to write about.

  • It's stressful to have to schedule time to de-stress with meditation.

  • It's stressful to go mall walking and see something I want to buy that I don't need, buy it and then try to cram it into my closets that are already full of stuff I don't need.

  •  It's stressful to say no to someone when they want me to do something for them and they know I have "all of the time in the world" but I don't want to do it.
  • It's stressful to get to the end of the day and realize I am still wearing my nightgown.
  • It's stressful to lie in bed at night thinking about the day and not remembering anything meaningful that I did except maybe check Facebook and eat a protein bar.
  • It's stressful to know that I have a "to do" list that grows longer each day.

What I have realized is that I was less stressed when I was stressed.
When I was working, it was stressful, but I knew that I needed to get up each day at a certain time, be at work at a certain time, accomplish certain tasks, manage my library in an efficient way, help staff, solve problems and work with the public to try to make a difference in their lives as librarians do. Juggling a job and a family could be stressful but there was comfort in knowing what was expected of me.
Now there are no expectations but my own. I am my own boss and I have discovered I am a tough taskmaster. As I sink into retirement inertia, "my boss" is causing me stress and making me depressed saying things like "Get up off your butt.  You don't need to watch another episode of "Dr. Phil" or "Why are you wearing the same clothes you wore yesterday?" or "What meaningful thing did you accomplish today?"
So what to do?

Tell myself to get off my case.
I realize that like most things in life, retirement will have its own unique ups and downs and this is a temporary shift in my retirement life. When I first retired I was gung-ho and with lists in hand was going to solve the problems of the world, well, at least do some volunteering, take horseback riding lessons and learn to play golf. The volunteer work materialized but not those other two. 

Right now I am in a bit of a lazy period with a dash of "I don't know what the hell to do with my life." But I also realize there will be good days and bad days.  In fact, I talked about that a couple of years ago in "Retirement: Good Days and Bad Days." I should take my own advice. But maybe, like in real life, there will be good weeks and bad weeks or good years and bad years.

I'm just in a slump.

That's just life.

And I guess I have "all of the time in the world" to figure it all out.

But in the meantime, I'm headed to the mall for some exercise and a little retail therapy...because I can.

Like the glasses?


Thanks for Reading!
See you Friday
for my review of

"Mother's Day"

The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

 and the latest on
"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before

 I Die Project."

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why Working Full Time Makes You Fat

[I review the movies "On the Road," "42," "What Maisie Knew," "The Loneliest Planet," and two books on musical pioneers.]
But first
Why Working Full-Time Makes You Fat

Since I retired July 1st, I have lost nine pounds.

When I quit my last full-time job and moved up to Seattle from California, I had packed on 50 extra pounds.  In the first year in Seattle, while working part-time and looking for a full-time job, I lost that 50 pounds.  As soon as I was able to get another full-time job, I gained half of it back.

So I have come to the conclusion that working full-time makes you fat.

And here is why.

Typical Day Before Retirement

7:15am     Dogs allowed upstairs to awaken me.  Drag butt out of bed. Make bed.

7:20am     Shower.  Decide on what fabulous ensemble I will wear that will continue to smash the librarian stereotype.

7:45am     Put on make-up to try to disguise the fact I am a woman of a certain age

8:00am     Out the door, coffee in hand.  No time to eat or pack a lunch, because I spent too much time trying to look fabulous.  But as the wise oracle that is Billy Crystal as Fernando Lamas said, "It is better to look good than to feel good."

8:30am     Arrive at work to learn that the toilets are stopped up, someone pee'd in the book drop and the power has gone out.  Ah, the joys of managing a library.

9:00am     Put out fires, prepare the library for opening, answer voice mail and email and work on reports.

10:00am   Library opens and in come the regulars.

                 "Oh, hello, Mrs. Imakiller. You didn't need to bring me these cream-filled, butter crusted bars smothered in marscapone.  I was happy to find the information for you on how to dissolve human bones in your bathtub.  How did that work for you?  Try one?  Sure.  Mmmm-lovely, thank you."

11:00am    Staff tells me that it's Mavis's birthday and she has brought cake to celebrate.  It's in the break room and it's her mother's recipe.  It would be rude not have a piece of cake, right?

12:00pm    Lunch.  Didn't have time to pack a lunch.  Nothing in the way of fine dining in the neighborhood, so decide to slip out to McDonalds. 

1:00pm     Back on the desk.  In comes Mr. Clark.  He has just passed his citizenship test and wants to thank us for the class we provided.  He hands me a box of candy - my favorite.  I'll just have one.

3:00pm    It's the going away party for our children's librarian and everyone has brought their favorite dish.  Great.

5:00pm    Can't exercise after work. Meeting hubby for a play in town and dinner at our favorite steak house.

11:00pm  Home but starving.  A little ice cream would be a nice nightcap.  I work hard,  I deserve it.

Typical Day After Retirement

7:15am     Zzzzzzz

7:20am     Zzzzzzz

7:45am     Zzzzzzz

8:00am     Zzzzzzz

8:30am     Zzzzzzz

9:00am     Zzzzzzz

10:00am   Lovely light breakfast while reading the paper.

11:00am   Head to the gym

1:00pm     Prepare and eat a healthy lunch

3:00pm     Meditate

5:00pm     Prepare a healthy dinner

8:00pm     Turn the light out in the kitchen so as not to put another ounce of food in my mouth.

Ok, OK, it's not quite like that. 

I'm not that disciplined.  Yes, I sleep in.  Yes, I go to the gym, but basically, now that I am retired,  I don't have the stress and temptations from work which can lead to over-eating and other bad habits. 

Stressful working in a library, you might ask? 

Yes, yes and yes. 

Anytime you have to work with the public it's stressful.  And when you work full-time, you often don't make time for yourself which can also lead to bad habits and weight gain.

I may be retired, but I still have a job.  It's ME! 

And now that I can concentrate more on myself, I am seeing the results such as weight loss, a more relaxed approach to life and more fun.

I know it's easier for me to do that, because I am now retired, but even if you are working, it's important to make time for yourself.

Here are some tips:

Keep track of what you eat.
It really does help to keep track of what you eat.  I use the app "Lose It" on my smart phone, but there are all kinds of websites and apps to help you do that.

Have some quiet time for yourself.
I am currently doing Oprah's 21 Day Meditation Challenge, because I want to learn to meditate.  I also have an app on my phone called Headspace, which I really like.  But you don't need to officially meditate.  Just taking a few minutes to breathe, whether it's in a hammock or in your office, will help relieve stress.  It's way better than a Snickers bar.  And you will thank me later.

Take regular breaks.
Even in retirement, it's easy to get stressed over household chores or errands, so I break it all up with a TV or exercise break every couple of hours.  When I was working, I was terrible about taking breaks.  But it's important to give yourself a little "vacation" from your work.

Set reasonable goals for yourself
I am a list person and I like structure, but I often bite off more than I can chew.  Be realistic about what you can actually do so you don't feel stressed at the end of the day because you didn't get it all done.

Say no.
It's OK.  We all want to be Superman or Superwoman, but hey.  Really? You don't have to say yes to everything everyone asks you to do.  And you don't have to say yes to yourself either.  Say no to ironing when you really want to watch "The View."  It's OK...the ironing can wait.

Make things fun.
In retirement it's easy for time to just go by without anything meaningful or fun happening. 
So I have divided up the week into Blog Day (Monday), Project Day (Wednesday), Fabulous Friday and Slothful Sunday.  I look forward to writing my blog on Monday, and believe it or not, I also look forward to Project Day, because then I don't have to go to the gym!  Yes, I am doing some heavy lifting, as it were, but, I get a sense of accomplishment from completing that big project I was putting off.  And then I can look forward to Fabulous Friday, when I make sure I don't look like the slob I look like on the other days. Slothful Sunday is my day to do whatever I want.  Nothing, if that is what I want to do. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go to the gym and run errands. 

So hopefully, taking my own advice and slowing down, I will lose another nine pounds in the next month or so. 

In the meantime, I think I will have a cronut. 

What? Is that bad?

How do you de-stress?

***Rosy the Reviewer's
Week in Reviews***


On the Road (2012)

Huge disappointment.  Though it ended as the book ended, the rest is a jumble.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Not recommended but the cinematography was lovely and it was fun to see Kristin Stewart smile for a change.

42 (2013)

The Jackie Robinson story is hugely inspiring and this is a well-done biopic.  Harrison Ford was excellent as was Chadwick Boseman.  It made me mad to witness all of the indignities Jackie had to endure to play baseball.  But it's something we all need to be reminded of, not just his travails but those of African Americans throughout history.
Rosy the Reviewer says...I don't even like baseball but I was riveted and touched.  Highly recommended.

Ah, the evil that parents do without even knowing it.  Maisie is witness to her parent's custody battle and, though they are loving to her, they create horrible situations that she is witness to.  Little actress Onata Aprile is amazing in the role of Maisie.  Her face tells it all.

Rosy the Reviewer says...A must see if only to see Julianne Moore play a really unlikable person.

The Loneliest Planet (2011)

What the hell was this movie about and how did it get made?  What a waste of the talents of Gael Garcia Bernal This film is part of what's called "the slow film movement," and that is an understatement!
Rosy the Reviewer says...Hell no!



This is my week for reading about musician/songwriters, I guess. 

"My Way" by Paul Anka
Teen idol turned songwriter and Vegas regular, Anka stayed relevant by finding his niche.
Rosy the Reviewer says...a little heavy on the mafia links to Vegas and too light on his personal life, such as why his 30+ year marriage ended. 
"Anyone Who Had a Heart" by Burt Bacharach

I've been a fan of Bacharach's music for years and his collaboration with Dione Warwick was magical. Fascinating that he didn't realize his  talents until much later than you would expect.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a more readable and candid autobiography than the Anka book.


Attended a Hall & Oates concert in Redmond, Washington, home of Microsoft and about 20 miles from home.  It was an outdoor concert starting at 6pm.  In the past when a concert has started that early there is usually an opening act.  And we usually get there early. However, that evening we only gave ourselves about 40 minutes to get there, but hey.  There would be an opening act, right?  Wrong!  And traffic was horrible.  We sat at a red light for 45 minutes, so decided to make a run for it.  We parked in a strip mall and walked the last mile or so. Of course I hadn't planned on that so was wearing unsuitable shoes.  As we approached the park we could hear singing.  At first I thought it was a woman and we were just missing the opening act.  But no!  It was Darryl Hall singing "Family Man," and we were missing it!  By the time we took our seats, the show was half over!  Since hubby is a huge H & O fan, it was disappointing especially since we were only 9 rows away from them.  But we had seen them before so it wasn't the end of the world.  We should have known better because when we saw Gladys Knight and the O'Jay's, Gladys came out first at 7pm.

So word to the wise music fans.  The artists must want to do their act and get the hell back to their hotels so don't assume there is an opening act or that the headliner won't come out first even if the concert starts early.

Well, that's it for this week. 

And if I might borrow from how they sign off on "The View" and change it up a bit -
remember to take a little time to enjoy the YOU!

Thanks for Reading!

That's it for this week.


If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, 
email it to your friends and
LIKE me on Facebook at

Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned.


Note:  Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 



Find the page for the movie, click on "Explore More" on the right side panel and then scroll down to "External Reviews."  Look for "Rosy the Reviewer" on the list. Or if you are using a mobile device, look for "Critics Reviews." Click on that and you will find me alphabetically under "Rosy the Reviewer."