Friday, July 2, 2021

Getting used to retirement

Today I noticed the number of bananas in the freezer was getting out of hand (I always stick any that over ripen in there) and I thought "I will have to make some banana bread at the weekend". Then I paused - "why do I need to wait for the weekend?" Every day is the same now after all!

I didn't realize how difficult this was going to be. I don't mean that it is hard or unpleasant, but some aspects are quite unexpected and take some getting used to. I know, it sounds weird to say that I have to get used to not having to go to work, but I guess when you work for 50 years, it becomes what defines you, instead of feeling like a solid piece of a big structure, I now feel like a piece that broke off and is being moved about aimlessly, like a leaf in the wind or a piece of flotsam in the ocean. Luckily, I do have multiple hobbies, I advise everyone to be sure to maintain hobbies no matter how demanding your job is.

I finally did stop feeling stressed on Sunday night and that Monday morning blues feeling is gone - that took five weeks. It was replaced with a feeling that everyday is Saturday; don't get me wrong that feels good, except when you consider that I have an obsession with time which extends to date and day. I need to know what day it is, and I need to be able to see what time it is - at all times. We have a projection clock in our bedroom so, on the very frequent occasions during the night when I surface from sleep, I can instantly tell what time it is. 

We have at least 5 clocks in the living / dining / kitchen open plan area. From any position I can see at least two of these. We also have an atomic clock in the living room and one in my office, the room where I write and sew, (perhaps I should stop thinking of it as an office and more of a hobby room); this clock not only shows the time, but also the day and date, plus the temperature for good measure.

Multiple times throughout the day I get a minor panic attack as I try to figure out what day it is - and I also try to convince myself that it really doesn't matter very much any more, but it is disorientating. Having removed my work calendar from my phone I have been training myself to use the Google calendar for the few appointments I need to be reminded of. Mostly physical therapy appointments at the moment. With the occasional hair appointment. This week we will be returning to our sporadic chair massage appointments - my shoulder is looking forward to that, as am I! And soon I must get the courage to make a dental appointment. I am worried what state my teeth are in after the pandemic prevented me from attending my regular 6 monthly check ups; I am also worried I won't be able to find a dentist that accepts my Medicare Advantage cover - that is something we will need to tweak over time to get what we really need as we get familiar with the advantages and disadvantages (no pun intended).

I do know that our health cover pays for a chunk of the cost of my physical therapy and that is finally showing improvement. This week was the first week of 2021 that I didn't have a continuous pain in my shoulder and down my arm, at least for one day I didn't. Apparently sleeping on that side is aggravating the injury; I have propped a pillow there to prevent me from rolling over to that side in my sleep, the consequence is I am not sleeping very much as I keep attempting to roll onto my right side only to be foiled by the pillow; well, that was the plan so can't complain. But it is less painful.

Another disadvantage we discovered, the one and only medication I am on is not covered .. not at all. How weird is that? Possibly the generic form would be, but I can't take that so my medication has increased in price 300% fortunately it was very cheap to start with. My guess is that we will have to select a more expensive cover next year as we get more familiar with this retirement thing.

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