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Old 01-28-2015, 07:33 PM
 
40 posts, read 42,651 times
Reputation: 83

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I'm in the process of retiring after *extreme* burnout. (I've been reading the "I'm burned out" thread here, and it deeply pains me to see their suffering -- I identify much too strongly with it.)

In my case, it's teacher burnout -- very common in the profession. I took the lowest pension at the first moment I was eligible because I genuinely could not last one day longer. And it's definitely not something a break would have cured -- I am just done.

I am reading a book that advises retirees to productive, be useful, and other nice things. However, in my case, I have *no* desire whatsoever to be productive or useful, at least for quite some time. My profession consisted of being conspicuously useful every day, and now I just want a really long break! I feel like I need a long time where I can do nothing productive/useful at all (unless I feel like it) and just chill for a while.

Did anyone else feel this way?
Also, anyone who retired after being burned out -- how long does this feeling last? How long does it take to recover from burnout once you are no longer at the job?

Right now I just want to spend my days useless and unproductive. The most exciting thing I did today was to photograph a green anole lizard as he changed from green to brown, and I got tremendous joy from that.

Is it okay to be useless for a while?
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Sugarmill Woods , FL
6,235 posts, read 5,896,154 times
Reputation: 13647
The day after I retired I went on a 2 week long road trip. It was a GREAT way to transition from working to retirement. It was VERY easy to get used to having no schedule, and being able to sleep as late as I want, and then have brunch instead of breakfast. It took a little longer to be OK with doing nothing if that's what I felt like. I also had my non-retired friends trying to get me to keep busy by working/volunteering. Not for me, I'm fine with doing what I want when I want.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:57 PM
 
14,258 posts, read 23,979,216 times
Reputation: 20051
The day after I retired, I went up to Traverse City, MI for ten days.

I had several friends try to get me back working - pension fund manager, church treasurer, etc. - but I was committed to retiring when I did.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:58 PM
 
40 posts, read 42,651 times
Reputation: 83
I can't afford a trip, but so far, I am immensely enjoying doing nothing.

Were you burnt out at the time? I was wondering how long it takes to recover from burnout for those of you who might have experienced this.

I will definitely not be one to unretire, but I hope to regain some ambition some day.

(off-topic, but here's my lizard: https://www.flickr.com/photos/958542...7650123594480/)
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:11 PM
 
Location: So Cal
11 posts, read 12,755 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by curmudgette View Post
I can't afford a trip, but so far, I am immensely enjoying doing nothing.

Were you burnt out at the time? I was wondering how long it takes to recover from burnout for those of you who might have experienced this.

I will definitely not be one to unretire, but I hope to regain some ambition some day.

(off-topic, but here's my lizard: https://www.flickr.com/photos/958542...7650123594480/)
Wow! The lizard is beautiful and your pictures are gorgeous!

Looks productive and spiritually satisfying to me.


Edit: Just went and looked at the rest of your photos. They're soooo nice! My God, where do you live? It's absolutely beautiful!

Are those your Rat Terriers? We have Ratties too! Our Ratties:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veQkV_10dLU
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:34 PM
 
40 posts, read 42,651 times
Reputation: 83
Wow, thank you for your kind words!! I feel better already!

I enjoyed your video, but you didn't even let the dogs drive! ;-)

Yes, my rattie, and the albums of critters are my visitors in Austin, Texas:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/95854225@N02/sets/

For right now while I'm recovering from what feels like PTCD (post-traumatic-career disorder) I guess I can at least take up lizard watching.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,886 posts, read 25,311,688 times
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I love your photos! Thank you for sharing them!

After a lifetime of doing what you HAVE to do, there is nothing at all wrong with doing what you want to do. That's the whole idea of retirement, you get to choose. And choosing to take amazing pictures of a lizard is a good option! You should be doing what pleases you!
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:38 PM
 
406 posts, read 370,042 times
Reputation: 822
Quote:
Originally Posted by curmudgette View Post
I'm in the process of retiring after *extreme* burnout. (I've been reading the "I'm burned out" thread here, and it deeply pains me to see their suffering -- I identify much too strongly with it.)

In my case, it's teacher burnout -- very common in the profession. I took the lowest pension at the first moment I was eligible because I genuinely could not last one day longer. And it's definitely not something a break would have cured -- I am just done.

I am reading a book that advises retirees to productive, be useful, and other nice things. However, in my case, I have *no* desire whatsoever to be productive or useful, at least for quite some time. My profession consisted of being conspicuously useful every day, and now I just want a really long break! I feel like I need a long time where I can do nothing productive/useful at all (unless I feel like it) and just chill for a while.

Did anyone else feel this way?
Also, anyone who retired after being burned out -- how long does this feeling last? How long does it take to recover from burnout once you are no longer at the job?

Right now I just want to spend my days useless and unproductive. The most exciting thing I did today was to photograph a green anole lizard as he changed from green to brown, and I got tremendous joy from that.

Is it okay to be useless for a while?
Yes, I felt exactly like that. I worked for a tech company for over 26 years. The last few years my workload increased to impossible levels with 80 hour work weeks and a schedule that was around the clock with phone meetings with co-workers in other countries at all hours of the night and extremely early morning. So, when our department's function was moved to India and we were all laid off, I decided to retire instead of look for another job. It's seven years later and I've never regretted retiring early. I was so done.

The first few weeks of retirement I did projects around the house that I hadn't had time for such as cleaning out closets. Then I did things like cook and bake my own bread. It was really nice. I was never bored and had plenty of days when I did very little in the way of being productive.

I love that you derived so much joy from photographing an anole. It's the kind of thing you don't have time for when you work.

As for how long it took me to recover from burn out, it was a gradual process. I think it took the better part of a year to start to feel like I had my life back and even longer to believe that this new life was real and was going to last. I have found plenty of things to do such as landscaping, gardening, home remodeling, interior design, sewing and quilt making. I started a small online business, but I make sure it is only part time and don't allow it to get so big that it takes up too much of my time. There are so many things you can do and all the while having the knowledge that you don't have to do anything is so nice.

It sounds like you have a good start with being unproductive and enjoying the small things. Yes, absolutely it's okay to be useless for a while. You've earned it and you need it. Enjoy your retirement.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Atlanta suburbs
5 posts, read 4,808 times
Reputation: 31
I retired just over two years ago after a highly stressful career in IT and big consulting firms. I retired after just turning 57 and like you, was completely burned out and couldn't do it anymore. To answer your question, it took me probably 3 months of "doing nothing" to start to feel recovery from the long term burnout. After probably 9 months total, the feeling of burnout was for the most part, gone.

I too have resisted efforts to get me to work back in my field, or in volunteer activities that would take a lot of time and seem like having a job again. I have no desire to ever have anything that looks like a job (paid or unpaid) again. I keep busy with hobbies, sure, and a lot of DIY home renovation, but I'm enjoying being able to "do nothing" if I want. That is a priceless feeling after all those years of stress, deadlines, work politics, etc. etc. and I never intend to surrender that freedom.

Congratulations on your retirement, and don't let anyone tell you what you are "supposed to do". We each need to find the path that works for us.

Larry
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:53 PM
 
6,778 posts, read 3,857,072 times
Reputation: 15486
Quote:
Originally Posted by curmudgette View Post
I can't afford a trip, but so far, I am immensely enjoying doing nothing.

Were you burnt out at the time? I was wondering how long it takes to recover from burnout for those of you who might have experienced this.

I will definitely not be one to unretire, but I hope to regain some ambition some day.

(off-topic, but here's my lizard: https://www.flickr.com/photos/958542...7650123594480/)
I was there (retired RN). It took a long time and was very gradual. It felt like slowly defrosting, and only my husband (a social worker) understood, no one else. I depended on pets and nature a lot and avoided busy environments. After about 4 mos I began to feel alive again but it took longer to really start my new life and feel like doing much. After 2 years, I actually began some volunteer work at a food bank. Things are great now, and I hope you will find that too.
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