The Hole View – Retirement Pressures

IMG_4907

The guy who cuts my grass broke a window on May 17th. Two weeks later, I still don’t have a firm schedule for its repair – although I did finally get a price quoted. In my retirement transition, I’ve been focused on this hole and angry. It’s a symbol of everything that is broken and that I’ve been waiting to get fixed. Now that I am retired, that which used to be a nuisance, sometimes becomes an obsession. I retired from a  career in power where I worried about the scope of outages, when the next hurricane might come, and a myriad of daily decisions and administrative matters. Now, my decisions are like this:

  • Should I do spin class on Monday-Wednesday-Friday, or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday this week?
  • What shifts should I sign up for at the gallery and charity shop?
  • What day should I go kayaking?
  • What night is “Whine Night” with the girls?

And my problems are like this:

  • I’m exhausted from all the travel I’m doing.
  • Hurricane Harvey has put such a heavy demand on contractors, that I have to wait weeks for the simplest of repairs.
  • My water bill was $300, now what?
  • The mail hasn’t been delivered yet and its 4pm!
  • Whose truck is that parked in front of my house?

You get the picture. I recognized this behavior in my Father when he retired, and found it so irritating. The result of a comfortable, otherwise stress free life on the mind of someone who is used to juggling a multitude of priorities. I’m an example of privilege and its problems. I hate that! After all, my house did not flood during Hurricane Harvey. I’m fortunate, just inconvenienced by the workload of those who weren’t. I find this aspect of retirement transition very frustrating and wonder if anyone else had these thoughts/emotions during their first year or so?

Meanwhile, I’m going to back away from the hole and try to focus on a different picture. Although my picture window is shattered, it’s tempered and double glazed. Instead of being a threat, its beautiful and fascinating. I should follow my cat’s lead and stare out in wonder.

IMG_4797 (1) cat looking

IMG_4912 (1) the view

19 thoughts on “The Hole View – Retirement Pressures

      • I have always cringed over several things…slugs, snakes, and broken glass. If that had happened to my window I would still be cringing! Not only over the delay in fixing it but because I guess something in my childhood nightmares made me develop an aversion to these things, plus several others. My curtain would have to be shut. Otherwise, my comments on your post-retirement laments are only to say that when employed/career oriented, and such, you develop an identity that gets caught in limbo after you leave. Suddenly the hours you fill are not related to the former identity and it is like finding yourself all over again. Can happen when kids grow up, too, which was my biggest void to fill. I am still finding my way to identity as an older person. I am about to leave my job of the past 8 years and it will start again. It also happened when I gave up my earlier career doing hair. Keep believing and keep seeking!

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      • Thank you Lynda. I agree, there are many life transitions. This one is amusing me, though! I do have the curtain pulled, just in case, but I don’t think it will fall in. The internal glass is intact.

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  1. Tracey, you nailed the transition into retirement and the daily schedule but I find it refreshing, a total change of pace from our old daily routine! Sometimes I wonder if I should do more but that doesn’t last long ….. I don’t think you are a product of privilege and I damn sure don’t think it is a problem! You struggled in life, worked hard, and deserve everything you have achieved! Be happy, be grateful, but don’t feel you don’t deserve your blessed life …… you do!

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    • Steve, Your comments always bring tears to my eyes. Didn’t know that about you at work. Haha! Enjoying your retirement journey photos with Donna and the Elams. Keep it up!!

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  2. Tracey, I think your feelings are common for a lot of new retirees, and even some long-term ones. Your problems may seem small and mundane, but they are still your problems and you have the right to react to them any way you choose. Gaining perspective helps and it seems like you are doing that, but never,ever, feel guilty about living a blessed life.

    It isn’t easy to go from making difficult decisions, managing people and resources, and meeting challenges and deadlines to scheduling an appointment to have a broken glass repaired. My husband and I have been retired for 13 years and as I write this, he is out painting the mailbox because we received a “violation” from our HOA yesterday. Heaven forbid he leave it until next week.

    Love the photo of the Palm Tree through the shattered glass. Very Artistic Pension of you!

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    • Thank you Suzanne, for your comments. No one works for me anymore, so I’m at other peoples’ mercy from a schedule standpoint. Thanks for mentioning HOA. I just remembered, I actually have to have a permit from the Township to repair a broken window! We work hard to stay out of trouble! 🙂

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  3. First, let me say that the 2 photos of the broken window are gorgeous! Sometimes things of beauty pop up in unexpected ways.

    Secondly, I want to echo what Steve said. It annoys me that lately it seems we are supposed to feel ashamed of ourselves for letting our “first world problems” irritate us. I HATE that expression. It implies that we aren’t allowed to feel angry, annoyed, irritated, etc when something goes sideways on us. Of course we are. You aren’t ‘privileged’ – you’re human 🙂

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  4. Wow, who knew that a shattered window could be so beautiful! Other than being a bit worried that it could come tumbling down, I guess you just go with the flow. Knowing why contractors are busy makes it a little easier… it aren’t contractors always too busy to return phone calls and get things done? Continue to enjoy your retirement, I’m sure you worked hard to get where you are.

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    • To be honest, I’ve actually enjoyed the shattered window knowing it was tempered and broken only on the outside. It was also quite an experience to gradually hear it shatter. That’s what was happening when my cat was staring up at it. Thanks for your comments!

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  5. Enjoy reading the things you write about…. very much! Seems there are so many phases in life and they all take a little adjusting to….
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts/writings! 🌷

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  6. Hi Tracy
    Love the new point-of-view and the photos.
    I hear ya in regard to the changes in decision making, but I was so burned out deciding which day to go to the gym or hit the beach were a welcome change.
    I’ve now decided that at 9:30 I shall start the dishes. (It’s now, 9:19)
    See ya
    Laura

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    • Thanks so much and glad you stopped by to read about my frustration. The window is still broken, by the way….latest scheduled replacement is tomorrow. Ha! At least my sprinkler repairs are completed. Less time manually watering, more time for dishes….

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