When I retired almost a year ago, I had the insane idea that I would be able to hit the ground running and have a clear idea of what my retirement would look like. I soon found out that six years as a nurse clinical manager for a family practice office conditioned me to multitask, be available for texts and phone calls by 5 am, and have at least 10 “open tabs” in my brain requiring my attention during the course of the day.
I discovered the first week of retirement I lacked ability to slow down, focus on one thing at a time, and resist the urge to complete all designated tasks by 5pm. The need to stay busy and have a goal each day became a source of frustration. I couldn’t plan enough activities for my day. I began to get impatient and occasionally surly. My husband retired a few years earlier and my daily obsession for completing a to-do list became a point of contention. I noticed he was in no particular hurry to get up at at dawn and get right to tasks at hand. Bless his heart, he was patient and kind despite my feverish desire to adhere to schedules.
After a period of adjustment (mine, that is) I realized rethinking the concept of my retirement would be the better part of valor. I began to implement changes and discovered a growing freedom. Resisting the urge to jump out of bed every morning hitting the ground running was liberating. I could have my coffee, listen to my favorite cable news network, check out my Facebook page, and THEN I could shower and dress for my day. I was blissfully ignorant that in a few weeks the reality of COVID shutdown and quarantine would become the new reality.
Since March I have been forced into a paradigm shift. I want to share experiences that have shaped this year in the age of a pandemic and the lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn. I know you have stories to share too.