Sunday, July 22, 2012


Crossroads. My life, ever so turbulent, takes another turn. I'm trying little things to ward off feelings of sadness, by using little tricks I've learned. Since I am not working, I get up every day at the same time. No hitting the alarm clock for extra ZZZZ's.

Every day has to have a routine. This is the hardest thing for newly retired people to learn, when you are use to working you have a routine. I get up, use the toilet, wash face, brush teeth. Have something for breakfast- usually cold cereal and milk. After breakfast, clean, dust, do the things I am supposed to.

Once a week go to the laundrymat. Once a week go grocery shopping at the big box store. Once a week go to the farmers market for local produce and what not. Help out the local farmers.

Set aside a time to write. I've been guilty of this in the past- I write when the mood strikes me. No discipline. I don't know how this is going to work.

I don't mind the Weight Watchers. I feel good about it, but in hindsight, I should have waited a week to start. I had the monthly 5 pound bloat when I started so when I step on the scale in two days it's going to look like I've lost more weight than I really did.

Two days after writing the last blog post, I fell into a kind of hypomania. I was full of energy, and actually wanted to be around people. I got a lot done, but as luck would have it the next day I couldn't get out of bed.

These are all good things, good goals. Yet I feel like I need to do something more. Something for me.

I've been (dare I say it) thinking of going back to school for another Masters.

There is a local university with a Masters degree in Applied Psychology. They would waive the GRE requirement for me because I won't be able to pass the tests at this point, even though the last time I took these tests was in the mid80s. The degree might be too much for me, so the school would allow me to take one course, non - matric  in the Fall, and if I pass that, matric in the program. What would it leave me with? Something I haven't done in years- a peer counselor.

Here's my thinking. I am about to enter the second half of my life. Some things are off the table that might have been on the table during the first part. Marriage is one. Yes,I am seeing a wonderful man, but I would not marry him at this point, because my marriage was annulled and it was not so good.  We had absolutely nothing in common, other than a label, and you can't make a relationship based on that. It wasn't anyone's fault it ended, yet it was both of ours, since we had, at the end of the day, nothing in common, and when it ended neither one of us even liked each other.  I like being single. It's a huge thing to admit, some people love being in couples, some don't. In hindsight, playing the Monday morning quarterback, I love being single, spending every other weekend with the boyfriend, and maybe one night a week. It's perfect.

It also helps that children are off the table. Don't get me wrong. My biggest regret in life will be that I didn't have children. I wanted to be a mommy. It didn't happen. I made mistakes with my career goals and forgot to date- or I did a lot of dating but nothing ever worked out.
I can still biologically have them, but at this stage of my life- it's not feasible. It's ok.

My career goals have been thwarted. You need a goal in your life to keep you going, and I am finally realizing that what worked for Susan when she was in her 30s isn't going to work now. The world has changed. Life has changed. The economy has changed. I need to be flexible and try to adapt to it, to become something new and wonderful from it.

One of the wonderful things about living in the USA is you can always reinvent yourself. Americans love people who fall and then rise up, only to become better than they were. Look at Tiger Woods for example. He's back and right now, doing as good, if not better than he was in the past.

I think with my usually calm nature, and big heart I can help listen to others. I like doing that. I really do. it would give me a reason to get up every day. I just don't know if my brain is up to the task of going back to school. It may not be. Thus, I think the idea of one class, is a good idea. If I can't do it, I can't. It's all good.

The other thing is I need to take my writing more seriously. It's the only thing I know how to do really really well and I need to find some freelance markets for it. I haven't been writing so much lately because I don't know what to say. My life is stagnant. I'm not drowning but I am not surviving. I just am.

This does not make good reading. It's good for me that I am on an even keel, it's bad for my writing, because it lends for boring reading. So I've been doing a lot of thinking, how I want to live the second part of my life.

The second part of my life. Wow. "Grow old with me, the best is yet to be", wrote Browning.

For the first time in my life, I am looking forward to the second chapter. It's wonderful to say that. It's scary but at the same time, optimistic.  Let's hope it's interesting.


Kurtis Baker said...

Thanks for sharing your very inspiring journey.

susan said...

Thanks Kurtis.

And thanks for not spilling the beans on what the actual number for this birthday is! ;)

Ruth said...

I joke that sometimes boring is good. Looking forward to the next chapter implies an adventure. Have fun.

Mark p.s.2 said...

I really liked the previous post of advice. I like this one also. Keep posting.

michael platania said...

I am also reinventing myself for the second half of my life, and I have no doubts it will be amazing. Yes - life, the economy, everything has changed and we need to adapt, but the good news is the options are endless. I also had to come to terms with the fact I would not have children of my own, so for five years I was a Big Brother. It was one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences I ever had. Was it the same as my own children - no, but in some ways better. I had all the fun, not all the responsibility. There are options out there, and you are on your way to find them! Congrats and keep up the good work.

susan said...

Hi Ruth! Yes, life is an adventure. I just posted something I think will make you laugh out loud.

@Thank you Mark.

@Michael- I'm glad to meet another person reinventing themselves in the "second half" of their life. As for Big Brother- I applied a few years back and was rejected because of my psychiatric history. Do you think I should try again?

Unknown said...

I have re-invented myself a couple times. It's funny because I have OCD and the things I am afraid of are so minor to other people and yet I am not afraid to risk big things (like career and moving to new places) to be happy. One of my reinventions was to go from engineering (a good job) to chocolatier (fun job - big pay cut). I love new chapters- good luck with yours.

Anonymous said...

Really a nice article. Your words shows that you love your work. its great to see that how you are working for changing the trends of the society

Becoming a psychiatrist

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