Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm thinking out loud here

In the first five weeks after I stopped working in June, I went on four trips. In between, I stayed organized and motivated. Then, because of minor surgery on my eyelids, I scheduled no trips for a month. Now I'm a week out from the surgery, stitches have been removed, bruising is looking less drastic every day, and I have All This Time.

I'm waking up at 7:30 these days, as opposed to the 6:30 I used to endure. Then I lie in bed for a few minutes, my cat Larisa at my side waiting for me to get up and feed her. And I think.

Thinking while lying in bed is not usually productive for me. But I had a few insights this morning.

First, I am hyperaware of my need for social contact. I knew when I stopped working that I'd need to replace people at work with people in the world. So far, I haven't done that other than with my blogging. And, as much as I enjoy my blogging community, there's nothing like a live face, with eyebrows and a mouth, to pull me into the land of the living. And yet, when I think about my current social options, none of them engage me. When I start volunteering, I'll meet other people with like interests. In the meantime, it's up to me. So this morning I called a sick friend and made plans to visit with her next Tuesday. That's a start, anyway. It's getting out of myself - always a good idea.

Second, I notice I get mentally saggy when I'm not getting enough exercise. That's one reason why the Segway excursion on Monday was so cool. I'm still in decent shape. But, because of my eyelid bruises, I haven't gone to my exercise class in a week. People get worried unless I tell them what happened to my eyes. Don't want to do the treadmill, don't want to join the gym that's opening up where my old gym was before it ran out of money to pay the rent and got closed down by the landlord. So tomorrow, which is supposed to be a gray weather day, I'm going to set myself up on Wii Fit. I am absolutely sure that will help.

Third, I am reminded again that when I am out of touch with my spiritual side I am worse off. I have no idea why I let that happen, but it does. Repeatedly. Must have something to do with being a human being. Or lazy. Or something.

Anyway, those were my thoughts this morning. Sun's out now, so I'm headed for the garden to pull up the lettuce and bok choy gone to seed. I'll add some fertilizer and plant peas and onions and lettuce for the fall crop. That will replenish my vitamin D and perk me up.

By the way, the Habitat guy emailed and said they're full up for this Saturday, so I'll go sign myself up for another time.


Linda said...

You sound so much like me. I could have written this post. I retired in 2004 and moved from Texas to Oregon. I've made many good changes in my life but I still struggle with social contact. If you find the answer, please let me know. I volunteer one afternoon a week at a wetlands near me. I go to Knit-Night at my local yarn shop one night a week and that's about it. I tried church but that wasn't for me.

I took some writing classes when I first retired in an effort to have social contact. I soon tired of that and didn't meet anyone stimulating.

My husband has very serious chronic health issues. I'm perfectly content to stay inside with him but know I need to be out in the world making contacts.

I hunger for intellectual conversation. I retired from a university and miss all that stimulation.

The last few months I've been working on my health, lost 32 pounds, walking and doing some exercises. I have a Wii-Fit but have a hard time making myself use it. I much prefer walking but hope to use it more come fall and winter.

It's hard to make yourself get out when you really don't want to. I found listening to "Younger Next Year for Women," by Chris Crowley, to be very motivating. I listened to it while walking and may listen to it a second time.

We have to keep working at it.

DJan said...

What Linda said there, Linda. I wrote a post here about how I have been dealing with this situation. I'm now retired for over two years, and my life is very full, and I require quite a bit of social interaction. I would say my hiking group fills the bill the most, because I spend up to 8 hours with them and we talk about everything and I've made some great friends that way.

Arkansas Patti said...

I adore retirement and the total freedom, within budget allowences. I recently moved to a new state and found that joining groups with similar interests has helped a bunch.
I joined a garden club and they talked me into the Master Gardener program which is a basically a volunteer group. Tried a writing club but wasn't keen on the deadline aspect but really met some neat people.
I am a cancer survivor and joined a support group. They are my favorites for we laugh till our sides hurt.
I was never a joiner before but it is a good way to meet people with like interests.
I am so jealous of your Segway adventure. That is so on my bucket list.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I, too, could have written this. Despite all that I have to keep busy with the garden and such, I really crave more human contact, eyebrows and a mouth. Well-put. And funny, too. I was thinking today, I need to force myself to get out there more and meet people. I'm not much of a group joiner, but something's gotta give... I'm going on line and see what's the possibilities are. Thanks for the motivation, Linda :)

Teresa Evangeline said...

"What's the possibilities are." ??? Maybe I need to take your ESL class :)

Linda Reeder said...

Yep, me too. I really don't have that much social contact, and I do miss intelligent conversations. But after five years of retirement, I have filled up my life pretty well. What you should take from all these comments is how normal what you're feeling is. You will eventually find what you need and fall into a comfortable pattern, only to be nudged out of routine when you need to be.

Sally Wessely said...

I could have written this also! I am finding that life is too short to spend it with people I can't relate to as far as social contacts go. I also need to get out more, I find I can get lost at home doing not much of anything if I don't make plans to do things.

As far as the eyelid surgery goes - that should give you a lift. : ) I've been thinking I need to do the same thing! I hope you are now seeing well and looking good.

Olga said...

I've stopped by via A Slower Pace. Most interesting. I have never been a very social person, but I make the effort more since retirement because now work is not my life. I do kind of think there is community both with and without the commonality of shared space and face to face (or Skin) contact.

Deb Shucka said...

What a great way to start your day - with such powerful insights. Isn't it nice that you have the time and energy to really know these things, and then to act on them. Be patient with yourself.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

That was a pretty productive thinking session, before ever getting out of bed. Sounds like you have a good handle on things.