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grandmafromafar

Depressed or just time to retire?

11 posts in this topic

I had some major illnesses in the past five years and had to stop working (teaching).  Brain surgery and lung embolism side lined me. That was the same year that my 2 daughters and grandkids moved to Canada, 14 hours by plane from where I am.

  I had decided to do an early retirement. My place is paid for,  and when the GKs arent's around to get treats from Grandma, I don't have that many expenses. My sons, however, who do live near me suggested that I get back to work, at least on a pt basis as a consultant. They hoped this would get me out of the house for some exercise and to see people. 

Problem: Workplace stressors.  There is so much tension and stress among co-workers that I find it difficult to work in such an environment. As much as I try to just ignore it, I find myself coming home at the end of the day with a bad taste in my mouth from it all. I have tried to use my role as consultant to make suggestions and perhaps change things a bit, but personal and interpersonal issues seem to reign.  I had been holding down two pt jobs to see which one Iiked best. One of them really was full of office intrigue so I chose the second.  And now, as my friends had warned me, this is not exactly paradise either.

  I feel that if I were younger and more resilient these things wouldn't bother me so much.  But since I an troubled, and these work upsets tend to linger for a day or so and impact my off days as well, I'm wondering if I'm just too old for all of this. Maybe granny should just get back to the rocking chair, knitting, tending to plants, get a canary, all the stuff I actually like to do. But I also worry that this plan is just the depression talking--you're over the hill, what are you trying to prove, you're heading for disaster--are some of the ways depression sings in my ears.

  Anyone else ever go through this kind of thing--not knowing if the problem is age, or just not trying enough? Is it time to throw in the towel or jump into the ring?

Thanks for considering this.

 

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Hi g'ma...I retired about eight years ago because I had some physical issues that was making my job physically painful.  It is easy to get depressed especially during the winter months when I can't go out and work in the garden and the grandkids are in school and too busy to visit.

Have you looked into substitute teaching?  If done on a daily basis and not for an extended time, there shouldn't be too many stressors unless the kids misbehave.  I know several retired teachers who do this for extra spending money and if they have personal plans, they simply turn a few days of work down.

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Hi Sue: I like the idea you are suggesting. Actually I teach at a university and consult at a hospital, but I have the tendency to get over-involved. I can just step back and outline my responsibilities, days at work, etc., and be sure that the responsibilities I take on stay as clear as possible from admin and office politics. Something to think about.  Thanks!

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I'm a sub these days @grandmafromafar, I'm in library services so my dealings with the kids are random. I can work as much or as little as I want...I took all of December off, but still had several name calls for libraries where I've done lengthy jobs. Turned them all down....

My last long assignment was 7 months, so I did get involved with the school & students...they invited me to their holiday party this afternoon...and I'm going. Nice to be wanted. 

 

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I'm so sorry about the illnesses you've suffered, grandma. I'm also sorry you're facing so much tension at work.

But I'm a little confused about one point. At first, it sounds as if you gave up one of the 2 jobs you were holding:

I had been holding down two pt jobs to see which one Iiked best. One of them really was full of office intrigue so I chose the second. 

But then you say:

Actually I teach at a university and consult at a hospital...

Does this^^^ mean you haven't dropped the other job as yet? Perhaps if you do, it will lighten your load and you'll feel less stressed.

If you've already given up one job, and you're still unhappy, maybe you do need to stop working altogether and fill your time in other ways - pursue a hobby or 2, go to lunch w/ friends, etc. Also, I see that you said in another forum that you work w/ a personal trainer, so, no doubt you're getting exercise. .I know your DSs meant well w/ their advice, but work isn't the only way to " get... out of the house for some exercise and to see people"

Maybe granny should just get back to the rocking chair, knitting, tending to plants, get a canary, all the stuff I actually like to do.

If knitting, taking care of your plants and having a canary are what you would "actually like to do," why not? (Also, I saw, elsewhere, that you might like to go swimming in the warmer weather.) You've been through a lot, "paid" more than your share of "dues," etc. Why not spend your time doing what you enjoy? Maybe, at least, try things your way for a while and see how you feel.

But I also worry that this plan is just the depression talking--you're over the hill, what are you trying to prove, you're heading for disaster--are some of the ways depression sings in my ears.

I'm no doctor or psychologist, so IDKY this^^^^ is happening. Perhaps it's b/c your heart is really not in what you're doing and you need to stop. But you mention "depression." Do you think you could you be suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), situational depression or clinical depression? (If you'd rather not say for privacy reasons, I understand. But please think about it.) If you think you're experiencing any of these, you might want to get into counseling iif you're not there already.

Regardless, please don't worry about "not trying enough." You've  (more than) earned your retirement. Please feel free to do it your way.

Edited by RoseRed135

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P.S. Also wondering if any residual effects from your illnesses might be making it more difficult for you to deal w/ work stressors. (Your well-meaning DSs may not understand this.) I know someone who was told she could go back to work a month after brain surgery, but found she couldn't get her "work legs," back, so to speak, either physically or psychologically, for a few years. Perhaps you went back too soon for you, even if only PT? If so, maybe it's not an all-or-nothing, "throw in the towel or jump into the ring" situation. Perhaps you just need to relax for a year or two and then try a PT job again if you'd like...

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Hi Rose Red. Your comments were so helpful! Yes, I just gave up teaching at the university level at a face to face university due to the environment. I do, however, teach online, so there's no place for water cooler gossip and I am adjunct so I don't have to attend meetings, etc.  That part's pretty well tuned!

   I just love the part where you give the ok to just retire and be "me", doing what I like to do.  My current job (besides the online) is end of life counseling at a hospital. Thus far it's been all about settling in, getting the hang of things, etc. I like the job, but am struggling to be able to handle the emotional stress of the workplace, Ironically, it's not the end of life counseling that gets me down, but just dealing with workplace dramas. I have also asked my daughter about this, because she is a working woman and she has suggested some strategies. I have cut down my hours, now have an office a bit off the beaten path, and just quietly walk away when the office grapevine heats up. So, for now, that's a strategy. But I do realize that my age and life history makes it less appealing to deal with all of this, and I am going to frame your comments saying that it's ok to retire when and how I want to.

 As for the depression, I'm not sure it's at a clinical level, but I do have to have strategies for a couple of months, from mid-Nov to mid-January.  I have to consciously find ways to keep active or I would probably sleep straight through winter!  Sometimes I think I may be part bear! 

  Anyway, I just want you to know how much your comments were validating to me, and really what I needed to hear. I appreciate it.

And best wishes to you during this holiday season, however you and yours choose to celebrate.

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1 hour ago, grandmafromafar said:

Hi Rose Red. Your comments were so helpful! Yes, I just gave up teaching at the university level at a face to face university due to the environment. I do, however, teach online, so there's no place for water cooler gossip and I am adjunct so I don't have to attend meetings, etc.  That part's pretty well tuned!

   I just love the part where you give the ok to just retire and be "me", doing what I like to do.  My current job (besides the online) is end of life counseling at a hospital. Thus far it's been all about settling in, getting the hang of things, etc. I like the job, but am struggling to be able to handle the emotional stress of the workplace, Ironically, it's not the end of life counseling that gets me down, but just dealing with workplace dramas. I have also asked my daughter about this, because she is a working woman and she has suggested some strategies. I have cut down my hours, now have an office a bit off the beaten path, and just quietly walk away when the office grapevine heats up. So, for now, that's a strategy. But I do realize that my age and life history makes it less appealing to deal with all of this, and I am going to frame your comments saying that it's ok to retire when and how I want to.

 As for the depression, I'm not sure it's at a clinical level, but I do have to have strategies for a couple of months, from mid-Nov to mid-January.  I have to consciously find ways to keep active or I would probably sleep straight through winter!  Sometimes I think I may be part bear! 

  Anyway, I just want you to know how much your comments were validating to me, and really what I needed to hear. I appreciate it.

And best wishes to you during this holiday season, however you and yours choose to celebrate.

Hi, I’m so sorry to hear anoint your health problems. I really can’t add much more to the excellent advice already given, except to suggest to you that you might have a touch of seasonal depression which can be helped by using a sunlight lamp to help you wake up in the morning during winter. Maybe speak to your GP about it? 

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@grandmafromafarI can seriously relate....While you have been struggling with health issues, I was caregiver for my DH for nearly 10 years before his passing Jan 2015...I took some time off from work to settle all the mountains of paperwork then started back to work with the new term that August...I changed schools to a job I absolutely loved! However, I discovered I can't work full time...especially if I wanted my stress levels to go down...I never felt rested and developed ocular migraine. So I switched to sub work, love it because I only accept jobs I want to do or sometimes "special projects" for people who value what I bring to the table. The random extra income is paying for the windows I just had installed! I'm sleeping better, ocular migraine is gone. 

Now at nearly 3 years since DH's passing, my fog seems to be lifting. I have more energy, am more organized and overall just feel better. I'm addressing my weight issues (down 10# since my birthday in early fall) and beginning to organize my home; two rooms were starting to look like a hoarder was trying to take over. 

Find what's right for you and go for it!

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Hi Gigima and Mame: I so appreciate the time you take to respond, and to understand. That has a lot of meaning for me. Sorry you had those migraines Mame, but glad you were able to get through them. 

   Gigima, you're right. I probably should invest in some lamps.  I do wake up early, but it's staying up that's the challenge! Going out to work helps, and since I don't want to do that every day, I should probably plan something to do on my off days, even a walk in a nearby park every morning.  I tried once, but the walk turned out to take place at noon, after multiple naps!  Well, where there's a will, there's a way! 

 Thanks for the community here and to know I'm not going through this alone!

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1 hour ago, grandmafromafar said:

 Thanks for the community here and to know I'm not going through this alone!

Glad it helps! Thanks for letting us know!

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