I’m Debbie from Deb’s World.
I’m excited that Donna has invited me to share my thoughts in her Sunday Series: Favourite Retirement/Lifestyle bloggers. I’ve been a great fan of Donna’s blog for ages now. Her posts and support helped keep me sane in the early days when I was facing my redundancy and was very unhappy about it all. I have enjoyed reading the various posts in this series and am pleased to be involved in this amazing blogging community. I’m what you’d most likely call the new kid on the block in regards to retirement.
My Deb’s World blog originated a few years back.
I was feeling stifled by my professional work environment and needed a creative outlet. My sister had started blogging and was getting good exposure with her photographs. I decided I’d start a little blog of my own, where I could be ‘me’. You may not be aware that at the time I worked in a correctional centre for male inmates, as the Manager of Educational services and programs. I had been in that environment for over twenty years. The constraints on what I could talk about, what I could show off in my personality, and how I could express myself, were wearing. I had to be on my guard the whole time. I had to watch out for my teachers as well so that no one was at risk. Overall, I enjoyed my role and found it to be very rewarding but at times stifling. My blog started with travel stories and personal reflections. As the years went on, I extended myself by participating in writing and photo challenges. I only use an iPhone for my photos and am pleased with the results I manage to get. I am now engaged in various blogging communities. This has been one of the unexpected bonuses of blogging.
One of my self-imposed rules was to never talk about my work in my posts.
That changed the day the Government decided to outsource all educational staff and replace us with clerks and bring in external education providers to do the teaching. I was devastated. I started writing down my thoughts and sharing our fight for survival. I gained a great deal of support from bloggers who had been in similar situations. The encouragement helped me cope. It took six months to get rid of us all. They were six very frightful months. I became angry. I made myself sick. I gained weight. I lost interest in things. I worried about my staff and also the inmate students with whom we had worked to increase the participation rates in Education and ultimately improving their skills for life after their release. In the end, we all took a redundancy and were finished up on 23 December 2016. My career of over two decades was over, and I was only 56 years old.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I get that. But at the time of being forced out of my career, it was very hard. I know now that I was grieving and look back at that time with sadness. I know I worried unnecessarily. I know there’s always a silver lining. I know life will continue. I know there are benefits to finishing work at an early age. Now I’m posting about all my amazing travels and have far more time to engage with other bloggers, read, run, cycle, live without toxic people in my life and enjoy my new found early retired lifestyle. My husband also retired (voluntarily at age 60) in January 2017, so it’s been a whole new lifestyle for us both. I recently read a great book called ‘A Man called OVE’ by Fredrick Backman and love this quote about retirement. He can’t understand people who long to retire. How can anyone spend their whole life longing for the day when they become superfluous? Wandering about, a burden on society, what sort of man would ever wish for that? Staying at home, waiting to die. Or even worse: waiting for them to come and fetch you and put you in a home. Being dependent on other people to get to the toilet. Ove can’t think of anything worse. I can relate to this quote.
You know what worried me most?
What would I put on a business card now that I wasn’t gainfully employed? I can answer that. I’ve just had some business cards made up that say ‘Blogger’ with all my various social media contacts listed. I’m not sure who I’m going to give them out to, but I feel a bit better.
I also love writing about my family, my Mother of the Bride status (MOB updates) and a variety of other topics. Feel free to come and join me. You can find more about my world here www.debs-world.com Our family motto is ‘To Travel is to Live!’I can honestly say I’m in a good place now.
From Retirement Reflections: Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your background, fears, and hindsights on your transition into retirement. Your extreme candidness and honesty have made me a regular follower of ‘Deb’s World’. Warm wishes for your daughter’s wedding this current weekend. We all look forward to seeing photos soon! Up next week is Christie from ‘So What, Now What?‘ Christie’s began her blog to help her as she plans her transition to retirement. She also writes about mindfulness, wellness, and gratitude. I look forward to seeing you there.