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Old 12-23-2015, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
14,391 posts, read 7,921,507 times
Reputation: 53499

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I destressed the minute it took me to walk to my car on my last day of work. I felt such relief that I never had to work again if I didn't want to. I thought I would be sad about leaving a place I used to love working for but I rarely gave it a second thought these last few months. My last day was July 31st and I have to say that it took about three months before I felt like I wasn't just on vacation and that anxiety about going back to work wasn't still with me. I had major anxiety about giving up the money because I was a workaholic with the mentality that it was never enough. I'm amazed at how easily I've adjusted to being a bum and yes we have more then enough money to live comfortably. I think that breast cancer scare I had last May was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to take a hard look at my life and the unhealthy way I was living it. We're both retired at 58 and still have enough energy to go out and do fun things. Who wants to retire when you're too physically drained to enjoy life? I only wish I would have retired with John when he retired at 56. There are times when the boredom sets in but I'll just jump on my bike and go for a two or three hour ride. It's supposed to be winter here and our skies are tuned up and ready for snow. Today we're having a thunder storm. I'm heading upstairs to work on my closet project. The hardest part about winter is finding ways to get out of the house and to stay busy in the house. I don't know where December went. It flew by like it was only a week. It sounds like you're ready to retire orngkat. I just made the decision to retire without much thought. One minute I was a workaholic, the next minute I quit. Sometimes when I hear a siren and it triggers that urge to go back to work in the ER. There is still that lingering memory of the sound of that siren getting closer and the tension of waiting for your "customer." I have to admit that for decades I enjoyed that adrenaline rush, but now I'm addicted to that endorphin rush. I'll be out on one of my late night bike rides and I'll hear that siren, but do I wish I was at the bedside cleaning up some bloody mess then? Nah. I'll listen to my music and let that endorphin rush take over instead I hope your "endorphin rush" goes as well for you orngkat. Retirement should be about taking your life back and the freedom to do fun things when you want to do them. Just remember to keep busy, especially your first year.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,735,102 times
Reputation: 32304
Default It's more complex than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orngkat View Post
Although I don't admit it often, I have always loved being domestic. I look forward to getting my house/yard cleaned up, cooking great meals, etc but can't shake the feeling that I should be earning money to have value as a person. I hope that passes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
Earning money isn't to give you value as a person. It's what you do to put a roof over your head and food on the table. Once you have earned (and saved/invested) enough to be able to retire, you can put that part of your life aside and just enjoy living.

If you still think you need to earn to prove your value, try thinking of it like this: you have prepaid your value (as well as your future living expenses) because you worked hard for many years and saved and invested to cover your value far into the future.
The feeling of poster Orngkat is not something which can be set aside easily by an act of will, although that act of will as well as various ways of thinking about it will probably help. In my view, the analysis by poster Ansible is flawed.

On one level, it is certainly true that we work(ed) in order to put a roof over our head and food on the table. That much is undeniable, but it ignores a deeper reality. The deeper reality is that our paid work is tangible proof of our value in the eyes of others, and perhaps even more important, proof of our competence vis a vis the world, competence which we worked to achieve and maintain. Therefore our worth lies not just in our continued existence - in breathing, eating, sleeping, rinsing and repeating - but in our abilities and in our competence and our consequent value to others.

This idea of being of value to others in some way must lie behind the popularity of volunteer work after retirement. I think volunteer work goes beyond just having something to do - something to fill up a given number of hours to avoid boredom. It is being of use and value and importance to others, which of course can be achieved in many, many ways - not solely by holding a more or less formal volunteer "job".
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:17 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,569 posts, read 39,944,045 times
Reputation: 23699
de-stressed the minute I dropped off the Corp cards and laptop / pager / keys. By the time I got to the door work was all OVER!

Stepped into the car and drove 900+ miles non-stop to Moab, UT and started enjoying the National Parks,

On a 2300 mile road-trip today and never think of work! It is a blessing, as I was 100% 24x7 work work work, (international responsibilities, so meetings were always scheduled during 'non-work' hours.)
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Old 12-23-2015, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,735,102 times
Reputation: 32304
Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
I destressed the minute it took me to walk to my car on my last day of work. I felt such relief that I never had to work again if I didn't want to. I thought I would be sad about leaving a place I used to love working for but I rarely gave it a second thought these last few months. My last day was July 31st and I have to say that it took about three months before I felt like I wasn't just on vacation and that anxiety about going back to work wasn't still with me. I had major anxiety about giving up the money because I was a workaholic with the mentality that it was never enough. I'm amazed at how easily I've adjusted to being a bum and yes we have more then enough money to live comfortably. I think that breast cancer scare I had last May was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to take a hard look at my life and the unhealthy way I was living it. We're both retired at 58 and still have enough energy to go out and do fun things. Who wants to retire when you're too physically drained to enjoy life? I only wish I would have retired with John when he retired at 56. There are times when the boredom sets in but I'll just jump on my bike and go for a two or three hour ride. It's supposed to be winter here and our skies are tuned up and ready for snow. Today we're having a thunder storm. I'm heading upstairs to work on my closet project. The hardest part about winter is finding ways to get out of the house and to stay busy in the house. I don't know where December went. It flew by like it was only a week. It sounds like you're ready to retire orngkat. I just made the decision to retire without much thought. One minute I was a workaholic, the next minute I quit. Sometimes when I hear a siren and it triggers that urge to go back to work in the ER. There is still that lingering memory of the sound of that siren getting closer and the tension of waiting for your "customer." I have to admit that for decades I enjoyed that adrenaline rush, but now I'm addicted to that endorphin rush. I'll be out on one of my late night bike rides and I'll hear that siren, but do I wish I was at the bedside cleaning up some bloody mess then? Nah. I'll listen to my music and let that endorphin rush take over instead I hope your "endorphin rush" goes as well for you orngkat. Retirement should be about taking your life back and the freedom to do fun things when you want to do them. Just remember to keep busy, especially your first year.
One excellent point you made is that it is not always possible to predict ahead of time how we will react to no longer working. We may think we will feel a certain way, and then we may surprise ourselves and discover that we feel some other way. In similar fashion, the OP should not worry too much about how long it will take him to de-stress because there is no way to know that ahead of time. He will have to discover that for himself. After all, look at the wide variety of responses in this thread already.

Sure, some people's retirements will go pretty much exactly according to their plans, but that's not guaranteed! When I retired from full time work, I never would have guessed that ten and a half years later my volunteer work schedule would be somewhat close to my former regular work schedule, not only in the time frames, but also in the content. I volunteer in public schools three days a week, but not for full school days; therefore my life still revolves around school years and school vacation periods. I work directly with fifth graders and with middle school students. (Formerly I was a high school teacher). This is something that evolved gradually after I had been retired about five years, not something I had planned ahead of time. I find it gratifying and rewarding and I feel very fortunate that things worked out the way they did.
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
2,636 posts, read 1,545,421 times
Reputation: 5005
Yesterday they gave me a going away party at my office, and I felt the weight lift off my back within minutes after I left the party -- even though technically I still have another week to go. I know it has just started and there'll be more de-stressing to come, but it sure felt great!
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Old 12-23-2015, 02:43 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,479,691 times
Reputation: 29071
I think I began to de-stress six months before I retired when I gave notice at work. The rest of the stress evaporated on my last day when I put my car in reverse and backed out of my parking place. I was finally done.

The following morning I awoke a 5:30 as I'd done most of my working life. I turned on the coffee pot and started reading the paper. When the coffee finished brewing I poured a cup and continued to read the paper in a leisurely fashion. Then I worked the daily crossword puzzle. Rather than jumping in the shower, shaving, putting on a suit and then walking the two miles to my office I threw on some sweats and watched the morning news while waiting for my wife to wake up. I poured her a cup of coffee and we just chatted. No rush. No plans. Just relaxed. It was ever so restful and carefree.

Stress! Wazzat?

For the next year until we moved from California to the Missouri Ozarks I occasionally met with former employees and work friends and received calls and emails asking me work related questions but I was happy to give them the information they needed as I had a skill set (political and legislative analysis) no one else in the operation had and there was certainly no stress involved. It was rather fun occasionally interpreting bills and statutes for them. Once we moved 2,000 miles away I was done and have remained that way.

It's quite enjoyable receiving Social Security and pension payments each month without having to lift a finger. Talk about stress-free!
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Finally escaped The People's Republic of California
11,119 posts, read 7,568,091 times
Reputation: 6217
I took 4 weeks off a couple of months before retirement, we bought our retirement dream house. When I came back to work, they had me train my replacement, and pretty much made sure I had a nice last few weeks...... I was stress free 2 months before retirement. But in all honesty different folks stress differently, I was never a stress monger, my wife on the other hand finds new stuff to stress on, Oh My God we are low on Milk, What are we going to do ahhhhhh.
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Old 12-23-2015, 06:33 PM
 
2,563 posts, read 2,790,486 times
Reputation: 3479
I think it depends on how tightly you were wound up by working. Work can be stressful, but we get used to it. Then, when it stops, it's a big change. It might take six months or so to finally relax.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:03 AM
 
1,440 posts, read 722,775 times
Reputation: 3728
Quote:
Originally Posted by John7777 View Post
I think it depends on how tightly you were wound up by working. Work can be stressful, but we get used to it. Then, when it stops, it's a big change. It might take six months or so to finally relax.
^This...and how emotionally connected one was to their job or defined themselves by their occupation.

For me this was never an issue as I always kept my work and my private life very separate....never took the job or work home with me and was very cognizant to treat it exactly for what it was....A JOB...not something to take over my life or interrupt my home life/family....that always came first.

Some are unable to "see the forest but for the trees" and wind up not only defining themselves by their careers but also neglecting the important things in life such as their families, friends, etc. (as well as their own well being due to job stresses they place on themselves). Only then realize too late that they gave up a good portion of their lives and quality time with their loved ones to work & slave at a job where they were just a replaceable cog in a machine and the major concern of management when they left was finding a replacement (cheaper & if possible under the minimum hrs or hiring 2 part timers in the retiring person's place so they could pay less & didn't have to offer benefits) ......Really very sad lesson learned too late for many when you think about it.
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:14 AM
 
Location: North West Arkansas (zone 6b)
2,672 posts, read 2,012,094 times
Reputation: 3670
normally when you are on vacation you don't get fully into the vacation until the 2nd week. Unfortunately, you always know in the back of your mind that you will go back to work.

imagine that feeling only you know you won't be going back. it took me a year to get over that feeling that I would be going back to work.

after 2.5 years I went back for a temporary job to make some spending money and now can't over the feeling that I shouldn't be back at work. my mind is no longer prepared for work and my body doesn't want to sit still for 8 hours. with a break for lunch.
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