What It’s Like to Be a Retired Nurse
I wanted to continue with this blog after retirement, because I thought I would be able to tell you what it's like for an old RN like me to be out to pasture. I'm going to try, but the truth is, it's been weird in both good and bad ways.
The foremost thing I've noticed is how much I sleep, or sometimes don't sleep...actually, it's a total screw up of my internal clock. Never before could I sleep in a chair, but I can now. I'll be in my chair watching TV, and before I know it, I'll wake myself up snoring, and it will be two hours later! Or I'll be reading or watching TV in the evening, and suddenly it's 0530. I've talked to other recently retired nurses who say that this little game goes on for about a year, and longer if you worked different shifts.
It's also taking some getting used to not being able to "shop" when I want. I never was much of a shopper, but now I have to wait for the second Wednesday of the month when the SS check comes to see what I have left after paying bills. Maybe I can get those shoes, or go out to dinner...or maybe I can't. Regardless, this is a budget that I'll be on forever.
Another thing is how horribly much I miss my colleagues. You see, I was all about nurses and nursing. Not only was this my vocation, it was my social life. Granted, I moved 4 hours away from everyone when I retired, but I'm at home, and I waited a long time to get back here. I just wish my friends from work would visit as much as they said they would. I live in an Atlantic beach resort community, and I do dangle it as enticement, but they are all still working full time and I know how hard it is to get away. Same goes for missing my grandbabies. They're very young and it's a lot for their parents to pack 3 little ones up for a 6 hour car ride!
So what do I do all day? I walk my dog 2 to 3 times a day, and I read a great many REAL books. I'm also writing another book, of course about nursing. I spend time on Face book, which has been great fun, but I need more to do. I believe that everyone needs a purpose. Nursing was mine for 45 years, but now it's time to find another. I'm open to suggestions...