LOVED the comment above. I don't have much to add, nothing as useful as that most wonderful post above,
but, i also went through a period of loss almost,
having dedicated so so much of my energy to focusing on others, on helping others, on the invaluable connections i had with coworkers as we bonded, in part, over the shared experiences of our work setting/the unusual and sometimes dramatic situations we went through together.
I found myself slipping into a bit of slump, actually, and eventually i took action to prevent that.
I did many things to help myself transition into dealing with this in a more positive way. Among some of the things i did, include focusing on my overall fitness,
(i have floppy heart valve/arrythmias and i had let that turn me into 'cardiac cripple')
my nutritional status, ever increasing my energy tolerance, lost some extra lbs i'd been carrying around after joining MYFITNESSPAL.COM,
practiced mental exercises of all kinds to stay sharp,
as well as making actual lists of things/people/activities/events that left me feeling good/energized/positive,
and those that didn't or seemed to have opposite effect.
I found for me, personally, music is almost like a drug on my mood, and i often turn to it to boost myself up, and walking/exercising as i can with my heart valve/arrhythmias, to get the endorphins going, and forcing myself to socialize more with those i noted do leave me feeling positive, joining in activities and causes that i support, and accomplishing tasks,
all helped me find my way back to my usual, baseline, more-positive outlook again.
I am not exactly 'retired' but, out of work x 5 years now, but hoping to go back, in home care or hospice. this might not happen, but, due to financial reasons, i have to try. I am returning to the work force, at any rate, whether or not i secure a nursing job or not, i have to return to work. I am having to face i might not ever work in that field again, as i am not that marketable nowadays.
I second the person above suggestion, to find outlets, activities which please YOU. Finding ways to volunteer might be enjoyable. For me, oddly, of all things, i ended up volunteering with dog rescue of all things. I'd never much thought about dogs, but, I've learned a lot, (in USA, we kill almost 6 million dogs per year, for lack of homes/overbreeding)
and for me, this satisfies some need in me to care for another creature, and i smile, wondering if i am possibly also drawn to this, as my kids are grown and gone, too.
Turns out, i rock at dog training. who knew? I am considering becoming a dog trainer, more for fun than income.
I've also become increasingly politically active, and enjoy being amongst the like minds i find there. I've found various other ways to feel i am useful, contributing to my community, and do some volunteer work with a few other organizations i believe in.
i GUESS probably each of us,
being a unique individual,
faces various challenges as we learn how best to transition to an entirely different chapter of life in most positive way. I did not do well right off the bat, i admit, took ME a while to get the hang of it. But, i can honestly say, "Sure, if i stop to think of it, yes, i do miss the action of nursing, and many facets of it. But, it's not on my mind anymore, unless i stop to think of it. Now, i do feel pretty joyful, useful, and content most of the time."
IF IF IF you are currently not doing as well as possible, know this:
that probably also you will also find your way, too, to finding the outlets for your skills, your interests and passions. Might not happen right away, but, don't beat yourself up, give it some time and thought and take some of the effort that you spent decades caring for others
into taking good care of YOU now.
YOU CAN DO IT!!!!! Best of luck in your future.