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(11,349 posts)
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 12:05 AM Apr 2019

You ever ask yourself where the last twenty years went?

I did nothing but work and be mom for so long. A retired embalmer/funeral director, I felt like i was making a difference when families lost loved ones.

Now that I'm "retired" I'm a bit lost.

I look back and I honestly don't know how I managed such an incredibly difficult career and be a single mom doing it.

It's almost like it was another lifetime.

Twenty years spent never slowing down.

Tonight I'm having a few glasses of wine and reflecting... I really need a hobby.

21 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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You ever ask yourself where the last twenty years went? (Original Post) backtoblue Apr 2019 OP
Frequently Bayard Apr 2019 #1
It really does backtoblue Apr 2019 #4
Yep. I was single with 2 young girls going to junior college AJT Apr 2019 #18
I'm totally becoming "the dude", girl style backtoblue Apr 2019 #20
Yes, all the time True Dough Apr 2019 #2
I'm not even 40 yet... backtoblue Apr 2019 #3
I am in the same situation. I am kind of lost. AJT Apr 2019 #5
I still gotta get up to get the kid to school backtoblue Apr 2019 #7
Oh, hell yes... All the time! TygrBright Apr 2019 #6
Hey Bright backtoblue Apr 2019 #8
Trippy concept to me ... probably why I could never have kids and wasn't married til my 40's mr_lebowski Apr 2019 #9
Ah, that's how I envisioned my life... backtoblue Apr 2019 #11
Message auto-removed Name removed Apr 2019 #10
Hi backtoblue Apr 2019 #12
Message auto-removed Name removed Apr 2019 #14
Strange how the Night Moves ... (nt) mr_lebowski Apr 2019 #13
Congratulations on realizing that you can now have a different life Sanity Claws Apr 2019 #15
Thank you! backtoblue Apr 2019 #16
First, congratulations on your retirement! femmocrat Apr 2019 #17
Thanks femmocrat! backtoblue Apr 2019 #19
you sound so much like me, dear backtoblue... CTyankee Apr 2019 #21


(11,349 posts)
4. It really does
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 12:42 AM
Apr 2019

I look back at those years and it's kind of shocking to me now how much responsibility I had.

I went from a wild and selfish teenager to being responsible for another human. Mortuary school was only a two year degree and it provided a quick entry into a career.

I look in the mirror now and I think, oh my god. I cannot believe that I did all of that.

Cheers my friend. I hope you are having a good weekend.


(5,240 posts)
18. Yep. I was single with 2 young girls going to junior college
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 02:37 PM
Apr 2019

for programming while working 3 part-time jobs. I worked in IT for 35 years while raising the girls. I don't know how I did it either. Now I am lucky if I am dressed by 11am....


(11,349 posts)
20. I'm totally becoming "the dude", girl style
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 07:20 PM
Apr 2019

Sweat pants and t-shirts are my new dress suits.

I don't know how you did it with two kids. It takes superhuman strength to be a single parent, let alone doing it while going to college and working.

True Dough

(17,440 posts)
2. Yes, all the time
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 12:15 AM
Apr 2019

It's often a headline about a movie or a song turning 20 or even 30 years old that makes me stop and shake my head. Where the hell did all the time go?

You need a hobby? I'd recommend volunteering. You felt you were making a difference working in a funeral home. You could be having the same impact as a volunteer. You'll brighten others' days. It's your call to decide the capacity that works best for you and how many hours a week you'd devote to it, so it's not draining your batteries too much. It is rewarding!


(11,349 posts)
3. I'm not even 40 yet...
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 12:31 AM
Apr 2019

I feel like my career and parenting let me "hide" from the real world.

I always had a reason for not getting out and dating or visiting friends. I was on call for work almost every day for so long. I took the "first call" when someone died, so I had my phone on constantly.

Im so freaking awkward. Kinda feel like the old man on Shawshank Redemption who got out and couldn't deal with the outside.


(5,240 posts)
5. I am in the same situation. I am kind of lost.
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 12:49 AM
Apr 2019

I will say that I do like going to bed at night and not setting an alarm.


(11,349 posts)
7. I still gotta get up to get the kid to school
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 01:11 AM
Apr 2019

Sometimes I go back to sleep when I get home.

Im just bored. Bored with absolutely no energy or motivation.


(20,783 posts)
6. Oh, hell yes... All the time!
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 01:04 AM
Apr 2019

Coming to terms with the reality that the "now me" is different than the "then me".

Things I took for granted about myself, for years. What I "knew" about myself. My likes and dislikes.

I formed patterns and they became like an exoskeleton, defining a "me" presented to the world AND myself.

So now I'm testing all that stuff. I don't like such-and-such? Really? Well, it's been decades since I've even TRIED such-and-such. Let's see if that's still true.

I "always" do this-or-that? Why? Is it still necessary? Do I even really enjoy it anymore? What happens if I don't?

I've given myself permission to explore.

It's a little unnerving sometimes.

But on the whole, it's rewarding. I'm discovering stuff about myself, and getting comfortable with it.



(11,349 posts)
8. Hey Bright
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 01:34 AM
Apr 2019

An exoskeleton! That's exactly how I feel too.

Ive let "single working mom" and "mortician" define me for so long.

I'm completely different now.

I've turned into a hairy-legged hippie!



(33,643 posts)
9. Trippy concept to me ... probably why I could never have kids and wasn't married til my 40's
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 02:55 AM
Apr 2019

and now ... not terribly shockingly ... divorced in my early 50's.

I never had the capacity to be anyone but ... Mr. L. To do much different apart from 'what I wanted to do'.

I admire people who can put 'themselves' aside for years and years, and get lost in responsibilities and child-raising and marriages and such.

I never really could. Born an only child (though I had 2 half-brothers, but not til I was 12/14 yo, and I never lived w/them, though I love them dearly), and having moved all over growing up, never in the same place > 3.5 years, ever ... both parents worked ... HARD ... I always felt it was ... just me. Doing what I do. Made it really hard to 'settle down' and I didn't do a great job of it, obviously.

I wish I were different. I wish I were more like you, honestly. Be proud of who you are, and what you did with your life. The alternative isn't necessarily better. Trust me.

You'll figure what to do ... I know your kinda folk, and that's what you do


(11,349 posts)
11. Ah, that's how I envisioned my life...
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 03:27 AM
Apr 2019

The girl I once was, was like that. I really enjoyed exploring EVERYTHING. Just going with the flow and doing whatever I felt like doing. (Usually up to mischief). A gypsy soul.

Honestly, having a kid probably kept me from being too wild.

I think I want a piece of that girl back.

Response to backtoblue (Original post)

Response to backtoblue (Reply #12)

Sanity Claws

(21,872 posts)
15. Congratulations on realizing that you can now have a different life
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 06:36 AM
Apr 2019

Change is good.
You did a good job in the first stage of your adulthood. Now you are ready for the second stage and whatever that will entail. Good luck on choosing the next path!


(28,394 posts)
17. First, congratulations on your retirement!
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 10:29 AM
Apr 2019

I taught off and on for almost 40 years. The last position was 20 years in the same district. While I was relieved to be free of responsibility, I did feel lost for a long time.
I have never found another hobby or interest to fill up my days. I just keep muddling through. It’s really great on snowy days though, knowing I don’t have to drive!

I hope you find your way and now you have time to enjoy your family and other interests. Best wishes to you.


(11,349 posts)
19. Thanks femmocrat!
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 07:01 PM
Apr 2019

I was not ready to retire. I was the first female funeral home general manager in my county. (Not a huge deal, but it's definitely a traditional men's profession)

I actually loved my job. To be able to comfort people in their darkest hour was such an honor. That was what kept me sane and able to endure the physical and psychological challenges daily.

Now I'm kinda looking around thinking "now what?". I went from superwoman to disabled so quickly that I didn't have any time to adjust.

DU has become a bit of an addiction lately Lol.

We'll just muddle on together!


(63,942 posts)
21. you sound so much like me, dear backtoblue...
Sun Apr 28, 2019, 07:49 PM
Apr 2019

I retired from Planned Parenthood after a career of some 10 years fighting for reproductive rights for women. That was both and elation and a deflation for me but I was still taking care of my mother's affairs long distance and there were other responsibilities. When my husband had to have 2 back surgeries I had even more caregiving duties.

But that was when I decided to make a study of art history. I had finished up a Masters Degree and knew I loved doing research, so I did that. Then I wrote little trivia challenges for DU, then I got down to researching and writing those art essays for publication here at DU. They were well received and my daughter and I conspired to put them in a book, for which she is doing layout and design, and is finishing up now. And so I am looking for my next research/writing project!

My reason for telling you this is to show how you can stumble on or find all on your own other paths that open up for you. I did some travel also during those years, going primarily to Italy, France, Britain and the Netherlands. I took ten trips and loved every one of them. I made new friends on those trips and visited many art museums and churches that held great art. That was a very rewarding time of my life.

And yes, DU was my addiction, too! Why not?Trust me, other opportunities will present themselves to you and you will be very happy. Your background in a caring profession will always be a source of pride for you...I know my career raising money for causes that I believed in really makes me feel fulfilled at this point in my life (late 70s). My kids are grown and have kids themselves so I go visit them and it works out very well.

As it will with you I am sure!

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