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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question

TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5776
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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After retiring from my full time job, I struggle mightily with

Resolved Question:

After retiring from my full time job, I struggle mightily with managing my time and getting
things done "around" the house; such as, balancing my checkbook, keeping up secondary
Yard tasks--tree/hedge trimming, minor roof maintenance, routine house-keeping, etc.
I have worked roughly 3 days/week substituting at the local high school. On the days I am
not called in to work, I mainly fiddle around on my computer, read or listen to public
radio--not gaining enough motivation or desire, during the day, to keep up with "chores"
that pile up during the week/month/year.
So, when I need to find some document it has not been filed and so this can take forever.
My sense of where my money goes is almost a mystery. (Halfway through the month, I've
spent 3/4th of my monthly income. My roof has a small leak that has needed repair for
months. My yard displays negligence as clearly as if I hung a neon sign proclaiming as
much.  And, inside there's dust, excessive clutter throughout, and floors needing to be
scrubbed more often/carpets needing more frequent vacuuming.
It seems all so overwhelming that I often just put things off for another day.
Is there a basic simply strategy that you have found works for people like me, who want
to break out of this rut but can not seem to manage this?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It is difficult to go from being at work, doing something productive and getting paid for it to being at home doing housework and chores with no reward. There is no comparison. Housework is something most people would prefer to avoid and very few feel motivated to tackle it enthusiastically.


Just from seeing the list you had to do, I understand why you feel unmotivated. You are thinking about how much you have to do and that is overwhelming. This may be why you do not want to face any of the tasks.


Try breaking down your tasks. Make a list of what is important first. Looking at what you listed, my input would be the roof. Then try to make it fun. Do you have anyone who would come over to help? You may not need the help, but the company would be nice plus someone to hold the ladder. Afterwards, have pizza to relax.


When you do other chores, play music or do them while you watch a game or a show. It distracts you and makes the time go faster.


Take one chore at a time. Even just one a day. It may be easier to decide to do it in the morning, before you do anything else. Get it over with. Then you can relax and have fun the rest of the day.


Rewarding yourself is a good idea. Or you could reverse that idea and for each chore you complete, you put a dollar in a jar. When you are done for the week, do something you really enjoy.


In dealing with your money, try making a budget. It is not fun, but if you do one budget, you can use that each month for a guideline. Write out all your expenses, but don't forget savings as well.


Also, write down what you buy. Keep the receipts in a certain area and add it all up so you know what you are spending your money on. This will help you see where you can cut down and save more for the end of the month.


If none of these ideas work, you may want to consider that you are depressed. Retiring sometimes is not all people think it will be. When that happens, people can have a difficult adjustment period. This can include a short bout of depression. Seeing a therapist for a brief time can help you feel more focused and get back to yourself again.

I hope this has helped,

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