Prior to my decision on a retirement date, hubs and I had booked a Caribbean Cruise for late Feb/early March 2015. 

On weekends, when hubs returned home from the road, he realized that this may be too long of a wait to get me off the couch and out of the house, so he suggested we do a mini-getaway to Las Vegas. He thought a distraction might help. We arrived in Vegas on Dec 26/2014 and stayed for 4 days. Unfortunately, the weather in Vegas was miserably cold, so we opted to just stay at our hotel for the entire time. We had been to Vegas many times before, so it wasn’t a great disappointment to stay put. We took in entertainment at our hotel, played the slots, and enjoyed good meals. It was good to get away. In hindsight, I think some warmth and sunshine and walking the strip might have been more therapeutic, because on our arrival back home, I returned to the couch.

While we were in Vegas, hubs had given me a deadline to get up and get moving. Imagine that! I knew he was concerned because he wasn’t accustomed to seeing me so listless and motionless, but a deadline? Give me strength.

As things played out, I grew tired of being tired and by the time we were ready to leave on our 12-day cruise, I was more than ready to locate my previous self and become active again. I made the deadline!

The cruise we selected was amazing. Pre and post cruise, we allowed for 2 nights in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. We spent those days walking and swimming in our hotel pool. While on the cruise, we did a tour of every cruise port and made sure there was lots of walking involved in each tour. There was a jogging path on our ship and I walked laps on the path every day. Each day, I could see myself  becoming more energized and my spirits were lifting. I believe it had less to do with the cruise and more to do with becoming active again. The sunshine didn’t hurt either.

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Altun Ha Ruins, Belize

My nursing career had involved lots of walking, and for the last 4 years of my work life, I didn’t use the elevator at the hospital our home care offices were based out of. Often times, I’d run the stairs from the pharmacy in the basement to the lab on the 4th floor. In addition, in order to get ready for my day, I had taken up power walking in the early mornings before work. My biggest mistake on retirement was to stop all physical activity.  I know I was tired, but I now firmly believe that I added to that tiredness by instantly  becoming sedate.

My advice to anyone whose pre-retirement life involves regular physical activity is this: When you retire, stay active. If you have them, keep up with your gym memberships and/or home exercise routines. If your work life is your main form of exercise, make plans to compensate for that with even just a walking program post retirement. If you’re already sedate in your pre-retirement life, perhaps a plan to add even light regular exercise will help waylay the post-retirement blues. 

In this country men seem to live for action as long as they can and sink into apathy when they retire. Charles Francis Adams