barb ladner

Retired Life

First Posting…HMMM!

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     So I decided to do this to talk about “Retired Life.” Who knew that there would be no time whatsoever once you retire!

This situation is, indeed, self-inflicted. You decide to retire, decide to look for new adventures in your life, look to make some changes, suddenly find yourself on the fast-track to a new city, a new home and a new and totally unknown future.

Stressful? Oh my, yes.

Exciting? It can be if you let it.

Frightening? In more ways than one.

Sad? Definitely because you suddenly realize that almost NOTHING will be the same.

So why did I decide to start blogging today? Well, I am a Child of Christmas. My birthday is in early January and Christmas, as I grew up, was always a more-than-a-month-long celebration. Decorations started going up the day after Thanksgiving and NEVER came down until after my birthday. The Holidays were wonderful. My father and mother made it a warm and fascinating season. I always had a major role in Holiday concerts and plays at church. The house was filled with music and sparkle. My brother allowed me to just absorb the wonder of the season and enjoy every possible minute because he was 8 years older than me. By the time the Holidays meant so much to me and created such excitement, he was “grown up.”

This year, well, my favorite season changed. Between getting a house ready to go on the market and planning for a major life change in a mere few months, the Holidays could not be what they have been. It is now the day BEFORE New Year’s Eve and there is barely a sign of this Glorious Season anywhere in the house. And, for a while, it was missing in my heart as well. The Holidays were overshadowed by a wisdom tooth extraction, my husband’s rotator cuff surgery, my fall from a ladder on Christmas Eve and just plain depression.

You know, the Holidays are the time that depression hits so many people – even those who do not have to battle it on a regular basis. My mother suffered from depression later in her life and I see the potential for me to suffer in the same manner. But I have learned how to win this battle and, just because this year I had many curve balls hurtling towards me, it became harder to win this battle. BUT I made a sudden realization this morning at about 4 AM!

Who cares about losing one Holiday season? I have been blessed with 59 WONDERFUL Holidays! And this year was not that bad – I just started to surround myself with a Holiday Pity Party and that is just plain stupid and unnecessary. The 2014 Holidays will be so very exciting with a new home, in a new location, with many new friends and the opportunities to continue some long-term and even life-long friendships with so who mean the world to me.

I am lucky! There is so much that is positive in my life. I needed to just realize that.

So – Retired Life – Lesson One

Look at what you have and enjoy it. Someone who had a tremendous impact on my life and her wonderful family have exemplified the “When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade” mantra. What the hell is wrong with me? I have been blessed with

  • a husband who loves me
  • a job that I left but that offered me a wonderful future through a comfortable retirement
  • some very close friends who will not disappear from my life
  • 60 years of memories that – although not all wonderfully positive – still enriched me and made me grow stronger and wiser
  • the chance to have new adventures and make new friends and basically start a second life at a time when I can truly enjoy it

Life is good!

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