Tag Archives: introduction

Times of uncertainty

Bear with me: my set up is pretty spotty as I start this blog and try to pull my pages together. I wanted to post some initial content to see how things fit together — and to see if this might be a viable outlet. I needed to make some progress. Otherwise, I’d still be sitting in draft mode for the next year.

Now I’m seeing that people are actually starting to view these posts, so I should get my act together a bit faster.

My idea for this blog was to 1) write about the mental aspects of pending retirement and 2) to focus on post-retirement reinvention. Those ideas seemed awesome in February when I laid down some money to WordPress to start blogging. What a difference a month makes (!) because those intents have just become more difficult.

I don’t want to make my difficulties seem huge in the scheme of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have too many friends in the medical field who are fighting for their lives and the lives of others to believe that I have it overly rough right now. Still, I may struggle in trying to take the next steps in this transition — another unexpected lane change, if you will.

First, my retirement egg that was so healthy and fertile is looking pretty sad at this point. I get it, people (except for a few sellouts in Congress) are in a dither over the rapid decline in the markets. One part of me knows stock values will very likely go up again. But these are uncertain times, and we’ve not faced a near shutdown of the American/World economy quite like this. Will values indeed go up? And what will the economy look like at the end of this? Should I continue to work longer to offset the losses?

The thought of continuing in my job beyond the next year makes me nauseous. I’d rather retire on a small pension and let my nest egg try to recoup as I strive to get started in a new field. BUT… I may change my mind as the coronavirus situation unfolds over the next few months. My job and my salary might look a whole lot more attractive, depending on what happens next.

Second, our events planned for this summer are all looking at cancellation. While it’s too early to predict how the pandemic may play out in July and August, there may not be anything to train for as the organizers are unable to move forward with their preparations. In terms of training, my pool is closed, so swimming is out for now. No gym, so no spin class or weights. I can still cycle and prepare for our bike tour once the weather here calms down. Right now, it’s a bit like cycling in Siberia. I have my bike trainer and a TRX in the basement, both of which I’ve been using. The dogs are getting more walks than usual, but they don’t seem to mind.

The best thing would be to prepare “as if” the events were to be held. And if they aren’t, we’ve still done the work and (hopefully) made some gains toward 2021.

It’s difficult to live with so much uncertainty. Having a proper mindset ultimately will help. Now I just need to find it.

Sandy Bowe blog — an introduction

So, the facts

I’m a 50-something, soon-to-be-retired scientist who has worked in a natural resource field for over 30 years. I am a Wyomingite, having lived in this state since 1995. I’ve been married to the same guy for nearly 35 years, and we’ve raised 3 kids to adulthood. We have a small house on 6 acres located 7 miles from the nearest town. No trees, but lots of pronghorn. There are two rescue dogs in the house: an old, staid White German Shephard and a young, impulsive Kelpie mix. They drive each other crazy but are inseparable.

What the blog is about

I’ve started this blog to chronicle transition into a new phase of life — my lane change, if you will. From parent to empty-nester. Career professional to retiree. Yet, the transition is more than just changes in life roles. It is a passage to a life that is wanted rather than the life that was expected. Are we ever too old to do what we were intended to do?

I intend to find out.

I don’t know what that the next phase entails, but I know that it involves exploring physical ventures, such as bike touring, swimming, and running. Cliché? Perhaps. Every retiree wants to prove themselves, right? But I want to see where this goes and discover if there is a second career in this for me. Can an older woman jumpstart a career in some type of fitness realm? And exactly what might that look like?

The next steps

First step: get me into better physical and mental shape.

My job has kept me stressed/sedentary part of the year and stressed/physically expended the rest of the time. This needs more balance. My plan is to work to improve my strength and endurance so that I’m better prepared for a more physical lifestyle. I need to prove some things to myself and see if I’m really willing to work on my endurance goals. I was a competitive swimmer in my college days, and I want to try to compete again. Not just swim but swim really well. Then we have a bike tour planned for this summer, and I want to improve my speed and stamina. We’ve done this ride in the past and I was always a laggard. I want to do better. And, god help me, I might just have to run at some point during this COVID-19 pandemic because the gyms and pools are all closed. Bad time to reignite fitness training.

Second step: work through some complicated feelings that I have about the end of my career.

I am burned out, and I know that I need to leave my job for both professional and health reasons. I haven’t felt productive or capable for a long time. The struggle is both internal and external — the lack of adequate resources at work has left me feeling unworthy. I sense that I will be forever damaged if I try to continue in this position and in this field. Maybe I am already damaged. I do not exaggerate when I say that this job might do me in.

Third step: let’s see about getting past the first two steps, shall we?