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My retirement mentors

First, I want to thank everyone that reached out to me after last month’s blog on my depression. It is comforting to know I am not alone, and I plan on writing more about this in the future.

As I have written in previous blogs, I retired in April of this year, and it has been difficult adjusting to my new life. From the time we are young, we are programmed to wake up early, go to school and then off to work. This is drilled into our head from the time we are 5 (or younger) until we retire. Alarm goes off, we jump out of bed and are on the go for most of the day. Then you retire, no more alarms and your day is whatever you want to make it. Should be an easy transition but for many, it is not. For a lot of us, our careers define who we are not what we did for a living. The residents here have become my ‘transition coaches’. They have never had to wake up with an alarm (unless you count the roosters) and go to school or work. Their days are also filled with doing whatever they choose. I see them playing, eating, napping and generally doing anything they want. They never needed to transition from one thing to another. It has been from watching the animals that I have learned how to be retired! I stopped putting pressure on myself to do something, to keep moving, to accomplish things with my day. By watching them I have learned to just relax and enjoy each day as it comes, just like they do. I still enjoy my time loving on them, but it is through observation that I am starting to learn more about life, at least retired life. I still wake up early but not to an alarm. And when I see the pasture or barnyard residents laying around catching a nap or basking in the warmth of the sun, I am reminded that it is okay for me as well to relax and enjoy retirement.

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