How I Got Stuck in a Retirement Rut

Day 176

Image by David Cardinez from Pixabay

I have never regretted retiring early. Not one day. I was ready to leave the rat race long before. No, no regrets.

What I did fall into was a bit of a retirement rut. It was the first time in years hubby and I could relax away the morning together with no demands and no expectations. We took our time unpacking and we took our time evaluating what needed to be done in the house we bought.

The problem with relaxing is it is easy to do it too much. It’s just like eating. It is so enjoyable and releases those endorphins. It became so pleasurable that I lost my way a bit.

It takes an effort to recenter. We have changed our lifestyle. Now we enjoy our morning walk as well as our morning coffee. We spend more time cooking together and reducing all those too pleasurable sugar and fat laden desserts with healthier alternatives. Neither of us feels like we have sacrificed and we have lost weight as an unexpected outcome, so it was a win win situation.

I took some art classes soon after I retired. Unfortunately, I also had some close family members who were ill and as a result some difficult losses to contend with. Then when the work on the house started, it was all too much and too chaotic. I gave them up.

There is a leveling out now. It did not come for me without seeking it out. I have become very aware of my inner critic and my ego and am learning to hush their voices in my head. I am writing and have returned to taking classes. I am finding inspiration everywhere.

Retirement can be the most wonderful time of life. As I sit here writing this, I have the doors open. The birds and the wind-chimes in the background are very relaxing in their melodious harmony. I enjoyed my walk and my breakfast and look forward to my day.

The addition of morning meditation really seems to be helping me. I do not always understand what comes up. Some days it seems to just be chatter. No matter what happens during that hour, at the end I am fully awake and engaged — ready to start my day. What a welcome change!

As nice as it is, retirement does not come without ruts. They can be small or deep and mucky. It’s up to us to steer clear of them or find our way out of them.


17 thoughts on “How I Got Stuck in a Retirement Rut”

  1. “It did not come for me without seeking it out.” This reminds me I have to be intentional with my time as I find a variety of paths and detours beckoning me since since retirement. Art classes! There’s a path I’d like to take!

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    1. Thank you, Lauren. I understand the yearning. I also remember that each of us have different circumstances that lead us in our intended direction. I, too, enjoyed my relaxation. I just went a little overboard.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this. The only thing I worry about retirement is the fact that I’ll be starting in winter. I think it will be an effort to keep some physical activity in the day-to-day line up (unless it snows a lot). I love to walk, and I can do it most days, and I think I’ll still drag myself out to get some pictures to feed the blog. Regardless, like you said in your opening paragraph, I’m ready to leave the rats behind.

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    1. Dan, I think it is all in finding your rhythm. The physical activity was easy to put aside and difficult to pick back up. We live in an isothermal region, so it gets cold, but not a lot of snowfall. We can always bundle up and still walk thank goodness. We are very rural so not many options for a gym or a Y close by. I definitely do not miss the rats. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Great post. I retired about 4 years ago, and I, too, wouldn’t go back for anything. But I do sometimes think I relax too much. Luckily we live in a place where we can walk to everything. But I need to do more. This post was a good push.

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    1. I think it is kind of the norm when we finally get some freedom to just do what we want. I am glad you found a little inspiration in my post. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your retirement!


  4. I think it all depends on the work that we do and have done, and then our feelings when we are at home all the time. I cannot drive by a school without feeling a true sense of loss at not working with the children anymore now that I am retired. And while I have a lot of satisfying things to do at home – art, writing, creating in many forms, I am also more aware of issues that are troublesome like running out of money for needed things. It is all part of living. I have just social security now. Before, I not only worked at the school, but doing appraisals and tutoring on the side. I am not sure I am capable of doing those things anymore as well as I did before. I am older and memory is a bit of an issue. But still, I guess overall I do like better being able to be in my own home overall. It is always an issue of balance. Things will never be perfect in either situation. We have to learn to accept that life is full of issues no matter where we are or what we are doing. We just keep moving forward.

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  5. Indeed. I prefer the freedom retirement brings but I do understand the money issues. These are the years we worked for and hopefully we find a way to enjoy them.


  6. I think ruts can happen in any stage in life, and I like the way you recognized your own and made change. Sometimes, I think people don’t make the change, and the universe has a way of filling in with perhaps unwanted changes. I’m not implying control is possible, but rather, evaluation is necessary for onward we go.

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  7. Gosh this is all ahead of me. I had a semi retirement when I stopped work to have my three kids, and took a while to adjust. So it might be somewhat similar. I think having some monthly goals are important. So I hope I don’t become too complacent and relax too much. Thanks for posting. It puts some more organizing thoughts in my mind looking ahead a year or so.

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    1. It is a time we all (hopefully) look forward to. I think having the luxury of choosing how I spend my time is the biggest blessing. I am no longer working toward fulfilling someone else’s goals. Thanks for reading and commenting. Good luck in your prep years.


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