The month of September is three months into our living in our apartment and two and a half months into my retirement. It is also just over two and a half months since my knee replacement.
As I have gone through the surgery, recovery, exercises, and adjustments to having a prosthetic knee, I have been diligent in moving forward. My focus has been on full recovery and use of my right leg with the great hope that I don’t have to go through this again with my arthritic left knee!
However, now that I am at a much better place with routine exercises to do and having my mobility back, the reality of retirement is setting in. Not having a sermon to prepare every week or offices in which to work have opened up a whole new world of “where do I go from here?”
I’m not bored (most of the time) because I have plenty to do both in the apartment as well as on the computer. However, as much as I like my own company, and love being with my husband, I’m alone most of the day.
This reminded me that I need to pull up the list of ideas I had put into my notepad on my cell phone which I did yesterday afternoon. Some of the things are only speculative and take time to accomplish, but I would still like to investigate the items listed there, so I made an additional list of things I can do right now.
For example, I plan to set up lunch with someone once a week just to be in touch. I have several lunch appointments already made, and I look forward to catching up with those folks and others down the road. Last night, Dave and I went to the Riverton branch of the Portland Public Library which is right around the corner from our apartment. We have our library cards in hand, and that will open up some possibilities for workshops or groups that meet regularly.
I’m trying to motivate myself to go back to the gym, and I finally joined Weight Watchers (again) to try to move my eating to a much healthier level. It’s not easy, and I feel like I have worked at this part of my life every since puberty, but I’m trying again!
I guess what I didn’t anticipate was the loneliness and isolation that comes with not having a job, and especially a job where I was always with people. My advice to anyone who retires from a people-oriented job would be to pay attention to what’s going on inside and figure out how to find ways to interact with others as need be. It’s really up to us to find our own way and create our new purpose.
So, I’m continuing the journey and learning along the way! That’s a good thing! My dad always said that, when you stop learning, you die. This comes from a man who taught himself computer at age 80, and now, at 94, just got his first smart phone. He’s a great example of inquisitiveness and wanting to learn!
Oh – I also have been thinking about taking some kind of course in writing. That would keep me learning for sure! Don’t ever stop trying, but also give yourself space to figure things out. The journey continues!