As a licensed social worker who did a moderate amount of mental health counseling over the years, I often dealt with people whose primary issues were things like boredom, listlessness, or just an inability to take control of their lives and get things done. I also worked with enough individuals who were recently retired to know that those issues can be especially pervasive within that group.
Yesterday was an especially hard day here on the farm. I spent much of the day sitting inside thanks to a slow and annoying cold rain. I tried to write, but it was one of those days when the words were eluding me. I even curled up on the couch and took a nap. I ended the day with a visit to one of my doctors - a visit where he was forty minutes late and I hadn't had the foresight to at least bring along one of the current books that I am reading.
It just felt like the whole day was a waste.
Today began with a bit of sunshine, enough to get me back into a forward mode of thinking. One of the things that I thought about was what strategies would I offer to a client whose attitude and complaints mirrored my feelings from yesterday. After rummaging through my old bag of mental health tricks, I extracted my favorite: setting goals and priorities.
It is easy to get to feeling blasé about everything when you have no set demands - or a schedule - in life. I know that I have to devote some attention to the chickens once or twice a day, but beyond that I seemed to just be drifting from one domestic distraction to another - doing a load of laundry, pulling a few weeds, sweeping the porches, buying a few groceries, reading a chapter in a book - rinse, wash, and repeat.
So today I set about implementing the advice that I would have given to a client suffering a similar malady. I surveyed the farm, tablet in hand, making a list of everything that needs to be done within the next year. Next I prioritized those chores and set up a rough set of deadlines for achieving them.
That little bit of planning didn't take much effort, but it did serve to give me some direction and make me feel a bit better about addressing those things that need my attention - from building fences, to painting a couple of buildings, to cleaning out the rain gutters.
It would seem that I have a post-retirement job to do. Now that I have figured out what it entails, I just need to roll up my sleeves and get busy.
And the rain is starting - again. Cue the indoor list!