This is my first spring being “retired.” I’ve been teased with a few warm days, but today it’s slipped back into cold and sleety and snowy, as spring always does, here in the Midwest.
These days I notice that there are quite a few things that have changed since my work days.
I dream a lot more about work. Not my last job, particularly, but I’m always “at work.” Sometimes I’m being reprimanded for, I don’t know — misbehaving, I suppose. In other dreams I’m quite successful, pulling off a stunning career at 67.
I often hear that our most private desires come out in our dreams.
I also hear that our biggest fears come out in our dreams.
I think what’s most frustrating with this quarantined retirement is that I’m not getting a chance to make a final stand, so-to-speak. To join clubs or groups I’ve always thought about but never got around to being a part of. To take classes at the nearby university just for fun. To make new friends that are my age who are going through what all of us go through at one time or another.
And with the weather misbehaving at the moment, I can’t even get outside and putz around making gardens like I promised myself I would.
That will all come, I know. I talk to family and friends on a regular basis, keep in touch on Facebook. I keep in motion, I keep busy. If you don’t use it you lose it, and all that.
The biggest difference between quarantine and retirement is that I am lonely in quarantine. I mean I have a great relationship with my hubby. But outside of him. I’m not a big social person to begin with, but I realize how much we all need human contact to continue to grow. Everyone doesn’t have to be your best friend, but it’s nice sometimes to exchange pleasantries in person.
Like when I was working.
I might not have been best friends with my co-workers, but we shared parts of our lives with each other. We brought a different point of view, a different life, into the conversation. We shared ideas, places to visit, birthday parties and new craft projects and all sorts of stuff that stimulated my curiosity. We gossiped and complained about work and it was all quite entertaining.
What I miss is the choice of exposure these days. The choice of meeting for coffee or sitting on my deck by myself. The choice of working together for a common cause or striking it out on my own. The choice of asking how someone’s grandma was or minding my own business. The choice of hanging with my grandkids here or at their house.
Maybe that’s the big difference between retirement and quarantine.
Working all my life just to have this new avenue of choice open up to me, and finding the gate is still locked.
I know that sooner or later the gate will open and opportunity will greet me on the other side. But things will have changed. The world will have changed. And my retirement will be different than what I thought it would be.
But at least it will be. Better later than not at all.
11 thoughts on “Dreaming”
Yes, somehow it does seem that any creative endeavor feels more special when time has to be found to engage in it. I hate it when it feels like a job or I’m doing it because I’m bored.
You sound alot like me! It’s the choice thing. I’m not saying I’d be miss busy body.. I’ve slowed down a bit in my golden years. And I’m having a hard time going full blast on writing, too. Maybe I do better when I have to FIND the time!
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Oh really?? Super great idea!
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Being self employed all my life in one venue or another there really isn’t a set time of retirement but I am of an age were I have turned more towards doing the things I want to do whether it garners an income or not. This quarantine thing is making even that difficult. I was never a very social person but not a recluse either. Now it feels like I am. And like you said, it all comes down to that one word – choice. Before if I wanted to stay home and write for weeks on end I could but now it feels like I’m being forced to. Sure messes with the creativity sometimes. But I do have a positive outlook on it all. I know it’s not going to last forever and it is keeping me from doing other ‘frivolous’ things when I should be spending time writing. It’s one of the ‘silver linings’ my hubby and I keep coming up with. That seems to be the best way to cope right now, finding those silver linings. So it’s all the advice I have for anyone at the moment. Find your own sparkly silver linings and keep your sanity sewn together with them. We’ll all get through this and probably with a whole new perspective on life.
BTW – In my dreams through this whole thing I am always in crowds of people no matter what else is going on in the dream. Compensation? Hmmm…
Yeah, that’s the, get and meet people. We’re still doing our Thursday nights, via a 4 Messenger video link up, drinks, jokes, and even a trivia comp’… Lots of laughs.. 🍷🍻
That’s cuz you’re busy making NEW dreams! That’s why I’ve held onto your friendship all this time!
I love it! I hope when this is all over I can be as active as you! (I love the Thursday nights at the pub with the mates… I’m gonna do THAT!)
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I still miss the friends I made at work if not the job. I always enjoyed learning special things about people such as you and your writing. My dreams do on occasion take me back to my workdays. But less often as the years go by.
I’ve been retired/semi-retired for a long time Claudia, and like you say, I joined my writing groups, poetry groups, went to my open Mic’ evenings, became a writer for the ‘Go Dog Go Cafe’ blog site for writers… a weekly exercise group, my numerous coffee & cake outings, Thursday night’s at the pub with the mates, Friday or Saturday’s at my local sporting Club….. NOW… because of ‘Isolation’ they have all been put on pause….. I have not gone mad “yet” …. 🚑🪂🚀🛸…. it’s only a matter of time
,…… Oh well….. time for….another nanna-nap
You make me feel so good! I’m not really complaining per se — just grumbling about things I can’t do anything about. At least I keep up with my ex-co-workers on FB. And my grandkids on Skype. And before you know it I’ll be complaining it’s too hot during the summer! Ha!
It took me about 2 years to get used to being retired and I dreamt about work a lot. Fortunately, I loved all my jobs and made many friends from work over the years, some that I still keep in touch with. I will always be grateful for those 48 years of my life. Never did I think I would spend part of my retirement in isolation during a pandemic. Hang in there. xo