Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I know, it sounds impossible. When I first stopped working I was terrified: What would I do with my time? What would get me out of bed in the morning? What would shape my life, give me purpose? Well, like most retirees, it wasn't long before I wondered when I ever found the time to work. Life was slower, I had control over what I would do most days.
But then, the activities took on a life of their own. Which isn't a bad thing. I LOVE going to 6 or 7 stores a week to buy food because I love to cook and spend a couple of hours every night making food better than any (well, most) restaurant. I was available to help out my kids more than ever before, and be part of my grandchildren's lives.
When my husband had a few strokes, then broke his leg (which still hasn't healed), I was able to take good care of him here at home. Which made a dreadful situation much better.
Now my mother needs my help. She is having trouble managing her affairs so I will be taking over. It's an easy task by itself, but I will essentially be working for her. I want her to be happy, but since retiring I'm kind of used to doing things my way in my time. "Do you REALLY need to shop at that many stores just for food?" Well by now, yes.
All these things that I started doing to "fill up time" all those years ago have become my comfort, express my creativity. The stress comes in having to curtail what others see as frivolous so that I can help Mom.
I can get through about anything if I have the time to cook and eat well. The only practical stress reliever I have is cooking, which seems to be irrelevant to many people in this day of take out and ready made food.
I have maintained my loss for a long time by cooking, and took it to a whole new level after retiring. My mother doesn't like to eat, doesn't understand why I like to eat, and has little patience for interests in which she doesn't share. I'll manage but it is going to be a second very stressful year in a row.
Funny, even in stress, it's all about the food.