Depressed or just bored?

by Mike

I was wondering if anyone can relate to my situation…

I am just turning 60, have had a very successful career in the arts (music) .....

I've been fortunate to have been successful this long both financially and from a satisfaction point of view, but I'm having trouble coping with the fact that my services are no longer needed, I've become no longer "relevant"

Money is not an issue, not that I'm filthy rich, but I'm probably set for life & can live quite comfortably. I think my problem is my mindset .... dealing with my career being over, and how to occupy my time.

My wife is of the thought that I should just get over it & get out there & do something, which is probably true, but it is difficult to communicate with her my thoughts on this & how difficult this is for me. Don't have many hobbies, bit of a loner, and my wife thinks I should be able to occupy my time without spending money on niceties like golf, drinks with friends, etc.

With me having trouble coming up with things to fill my days, it's depressing, a bit embarrassing, hard on my self-esteem, and for someone who was quite busy and fulfilled most my life .... this change of lifestyle has been very hard.

I know many of you have easily picked up hobbies, met friends and are enjoying this new found freedom, but for me it's been quite hard.

For me it's just not that easy .... and I can't help but think there are others that feel the same way :)

Thanks for letting me rant ....

Comments for Depressed or just bored?

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My story too
by: Nancy

I wish I had found "Retirement Online" 15 years ago when my husband retired at age 55. I am 2 years younger than he is and in the 10 years before I retired, too, I changed jobs 2 or 3 times.

The last job change, a drastic change at age 58 to a very difficult job. I would be frantically getting ready for work and he would stroll in and say he was going on a shopping trip that day. That was one of the reasons I joined him in retirement.

I had depression very, very bad for a couple of years after I retired. It has been 4 years now. If I felt better physically, I would substitute teach. I would make that my job.

You feel well, so you will find something to fill your time, too. It may take time.

I finally found my passion which is quilting and collecting vintage sewing machines. I also found some online groups through Facebook for my socialization.

I wish you all the best.

I am 50 and WAS that out going person
by: okc ok

I am married to the most out going 65 yr old man. He has always supported my work. He owns a pharmacy.

I however have always been that people person as a hairstylist. I quit that Job at 37 to go into my rental businesses for houses. I achieved all and now retired at 50. I have someone working all my headache rentals. I mean they are going well today so money is not an issue.

Now I am home cooking and doing what I thought I wanted. However, he just turned 65 (still working because he loves it) and I sit around thinking about how I will be alone if he dies before me! How terrible is that.

I will probably go before him since I am thinking this way! I have to say that I have too much aniexty and a bit of depression now that I don't have co-workers around me all day. I feel as if I don't want to spend our retirement money to jump back into rentals or flippng homes.

I now sit around and the height of the day is right before he comes home so he can eat my new recipe and go to bed. That is only 4 days a week and then we travel on the weekends. Poor me. Right?

I know what you are thinking but the aniexty and stress that I hide is killing me!!! I don't want to be the women on the sofa. Ever!!!

Wendy: You definitely need to find something to suit your time. You don't have to work full - time, but you can find something that keeps you feeling full of life and fulfilled, while allowing you enough time to make new meals and enjoy life too. It IS possible.... No Couch Potatoes!

Thank you
by: Linda

It is so comforting to read all of your comment. Like so many of you have stated - misery loves company - and I love that I have an opportunity to seek comfort for my "retirement depression !


Preach it, Mike
by: Susan, California

I also relate to what you are writing. That part about feeling younger than you are chronologically, wanting to contribute, knowing that you can. You sound like you have a very strong need to be engaged and relevant in a way that you value. I'm betting that you will find a way to do that, as well as to enjoy the freedom that retirement can bring.

I hope for the best for you, fulfillment and happiness.

You are not alone
by: Anonymous

You are not alone. Ironically, I feel alone at times after such a long working life. Retirement is a big step in life's cycle. I miss my work, work colleagues and daily schedule.

Strangely, time seems to go by quickly, weekly, not daily. I fill in my time with exercise, walking, gardening, reading, television, the computer, going for drives and occasionally meeting old work colleagues. But, it doesn't make up for a past working life.

Millions are in the same boat(s). Good luck.

Bored... go places alone
by: Anonymous

I know what you are experiencing . I am a recent retiree and very outgoing volunteering, exercising, meeting friends, going on some trips but all this's I do alone.

My spouse appears to be married to Television and Spirits, He controls the remotes, even if I am engaged in a program. Sometimes I sense there is resentment, because he was retired sixteen years before I.

I spend a large amount of time at church, exercising and at the local library. I volunteer at schools which is very rewarding. My sixteen year old grandson keeps in touch with me via texting and my two adult sons, so I am not too alone. I would like to travel with spouse but he creates excuses. If I am insistent an argument will break out.

I am in the process of getting some counseling for some coping strategies. Wish me well!

by: Anonymous

Your mention of relevance struck a cord with me. I have felt something like that, and I know that feeling "no longer relevant" is a major issue for my husband.

He had to retire 2 years earlier than planned because of illness. When you know that you are needed to do an important job, and that's been true for all of your adult life, that's not a role to easily step away from.

There is frustration that comes from being held back by illness, but being healthy and strong might make adjusting to retirement more difficult.

I know that in the short time since I found this site, I've found it helpful to read about how others view retirement, and to discover that my feelings and struggles are in no way unique.

I hope that in time you will find your way to a lifestyle that's meaningful and rewarding for you...and that you will have fun.

The new you!!!!!
by: Anonymous

Dear Mike

I stopped working full time in the healthcare field.
I don't miss the stress of the job. Much to my surprise, my job was my identity.

I had a period of restlessness, "the now what" feeling. I began slowly to do things like walk, have lunch with a friend, etc. I began at slow down and enjoy my day.

Your feelings are normal. I can assure you, you will feel better soon. Take things slowly, go for a drive or to a local coffee shoppe. It will feel strange at first, but soon you will reinvent yourself!!!

Give yourself some time~~ You will soon be enjoying this time of your life!!!

depressed or just bored
by: diane canada

I too retired from a career that was all encompassing . I had no friends (except at work) and when I retired I had nothing in common with them anymore.. I began to think that this was an opportunity for me to do things that I never did before.

I am comfortable enough financially so started to do volunteer jobs where I met lots of people. I picked jobs that appealed to me but would have been lowly paid if I had to do them. so now i do fun stuff.

For me I work at a senior activity centre on the front desk greeting people and helping, i also do some of the accounting for the centre, and now i also work at a food bank.

My philosophy is that now I don't have to interview to get a job i can just offer myself at anything that appeals to me and I am having fun..

by: Loyce!

Play to your strengths and golf and hang with your friends. Having financial command and being able bodied with loads of time/freedom put you in an enviable position.

by: Anonymous

Golfing is great and so can be camaraderie with your friends so dive in and do it.

Re: Depressed or just Bored?
by: Anonymous

It could be a bit of both. I think we are so defined by our work that when we retire we don't know ourselves or what we like to do outside of our jobs or careers. We spend so much time being busy and doing all the things our jobs demand that we have lost the ability to just be and enjoy ourselves.

I have been retired for a little over a year now and I am still learning about myself and what it is I want for my life.

My biggest difficulty is my limited mobility which keeps me at home most of the time. But I am exercising and recently I started drawing again, something I used to love to do but somehow just stopped. I have also started meditating which helps when I am feeling depressed.

It is a huge change of lifestyle, a loss of the familiar and I think we go through a time of grieving. And the media doesn't help when it paints a rosy picture of retirees traveling, participating in sports, working on hobbies etc., making us feel even worse if our retired lives don't quite measure up!

But you are not alone.

Already several have posted who understand what you are going through! All I can say is go easy on yourself and try to relax and let go of the guilt!

You'll figure it out eventually!

by: Lynda

I hear you...but one thing you said resonated with me especially and that was what your wife was saying. Not that spouses should be ignored or excluded but it's your life and your retirement - do what feels right to you.

Try some things and see how they fit. If you want to play golf, play golf. Have a drink with a friend or lunch. Get someone to join you to take in a movie if your spouse isn't interested. Not everyone 'thrives' volunteering or gardening or collecting stamps!

I left a high visibility, high responsibility leadership position and floundered for a year or so. Coupled with the grief of losing both parents, an aunt, an uncle, a sister-in-law and a best friend, it was a rough time.

Depression can rob you of your energy, willfulness, and vision and grieving takes time. We're all different in that regard. But it doesn't last and you can get though this 'haze' to the sunshine on the other side.

Give yourself a little time and do something - anything! Just moving will restore your energy and outlook.

Best wishes,

Thanks for your comments
by: Mike

Thanks everyone for your comments .... wasn't sure I'd hear from anyone :)

Very helpful to hear that I'm not alone in having trouble adjusting to retirement.

I have one further observation that I'd like to point out ..... and that is:

I think the crux of my problem is that in my mind, I still feel young .... I feel physically and mentally like I'm still 20 or 30 years younger, which obviously isn't true, but ..... I still feel I can somehow concur the world, or be relevant in this world like I used to be.

Unfortunately at my age, the options become limited, for all of us I guess, and there lies my problem, not finding that fulfilment I've had most of my life.

It's a challenge .

For some it's easier than others. But I'm at the stage that I'm at a loss what I can do that will provide that passion, an importance, a purpose, and when the options become limited ..... it's depressing.

I'm not into gardening, card games, woodworking, hobbies, etc ..... that works for a lot of people and that's great, but I guess I'm just not ready to settle down :) ..... it's frustrating, I get bored and depressed in my quest for some purpose .....

I don't want to sound like a whiner; and I'm not giving up .... LOL .... but I've never experienced this before now .... and it's very helpful hearing from others who seem to be in the same boat :)

Thnx to you all :)

Depressed or just Bored
by: Soky/ Tampa FL

Hi Mike, welcome to the club! I was feeling the same way as you.

I retired from the federal government, DOD after 40 years. I remarried and moved to PR where I was so miserable that I too had to send an SOS to Wendy!

I received so much comfort from here that Identified with me, and that helped me to make the decision of returning to the States and be close to my children and grandkids.

It's not easy, but as Dave said, try to find something that holds your interest.

Man, it gets so lonely, but guess what? We are here and can relate. We are blessed with health, economically stable and the liberty to travel and meet others.

I am amazed at how many of us feel the same way. I thought I was alone. But we have each other.

Take care and keep on keepin' on!

Sounds familiar
by: Kaylee

This resonates with me as I was in the same position a year ago. I gave up a successful career when I became tired of long commutes and internal politics.

For a while it was hard realizing that my previous life was going on quite nicely without me.

After a few months I took a few consulting contracts and realized I did not get a lot of pleasure going back to my previous line of work even though it was a fulfilling career.

Where I live, in a small community there seems to be a vibrant community of musicians, artists, local theatre. My husband, who played bass guitar, became part of a group that played for seniors residences and at local events.

Musicians are always in demand so I think you will find there is a demand for musical skills when you are ready to reach out.

by: Nancy

This website is a great group to be in. There are lots of people going through the same thing you are. Myself included.

I was also embarrassed because of what I was feeling i.e. grieving the loss of my career.

Sounds like you had a wonderful career. It would have been a dream of mine to have a career in music.

You will hear just what you need to hear on these pages. You will find your niche. It just takes time. Don't be hard on yourself.

To Mike
by: Carolyn

Mike - I totally understand exactly what you are going through - I live alone too so its even more difficult - I have been depressed for a year and can't find the motivation to create a new fun life as I am so low and anxious.

I am trying medications with no success so far and seeing a doctor. I am bored yes but too depressed to change it.

I wish I had never retired and I keep obsessing about my decision - I should have thought it over much more carefully. Your feelings are very common.

Depressed or just bored
by: Beverly/huntsville al

I understand completely. I just retired a month ago and am wondering what's next.

I don't miss the stress of working for Department of Defense but also identified myself with work. Mostly the feeling of belonging to something.

I wish I had a passion to do something as many folks do.

Right now floundering a bit but trust that I'll find a way to re-engage.

by: Linda

it is natural to mourn a satisfying career. If you no longer enjoy the arts that maybe a sign of depression.

Sometimes as it was for me difficult to grasp you can do what you want , as you get older I am 70 you realize your new career is to stay independent and well.

Take an online test for depression and if you need see someone. Creative types are easily depressed at times.

I there, too!
by: Dave, Calif


Boy, can I ever relate and sympathize with your situation. I’m in a similar situation and feeling the same. 69, retired 2 years ago from NASA.

Loved my work with the shuttle program. Lots of excitement working with the astronauts for a guy like me who loved aviation & aerospace. I was not a fed employee with lifetime pension. I was a contractor. But still OK money wise (I hope).

And like you, I have that useless, out to pasture feeling. Drift from day to day with no direction or goals. Not very interested in home improvement chores.

I’m single, so not even a lady to share meals, trips, TV, etc. 20-30 friends, mostly married or couples who are mostly interested in their kids & grandkids. No kids of my own. Most of my former coworkers are much younger and so we don’t keep in touch.

Traveling by myself gets old quick. And it doesn’t help that I’m a traditional conservative in the middle of liberal lunatic land, aka, San Francisco area.

I’ve been doing fun volunteer stuff (street fairs, wine & art shows, summer lawn concerts, etc) for the past 10 years. But I just don’t get a feeling of fulfillment there either anymore.

Yeah, the "Golden Years", huh? Kinda reminds me of that Peggy Lee song, "Is That All There Is?"

I’m not trying to bring you down lower, Mike. But, I think there will be a LOT of us feeling like this as the boomers hit retirement. So maybe, we’ll just have to enjoy the "misery loves company" aspect.

Fortunately I don’t seem to be depressed. Not down and out and feeling despair … just lonely. I’m trying to avoid the part where Peggy Lee says, "Let’s break out the booze …" . But it’s starting to sound tempting.

Anyhow, let’s both (all) hang in there and maybe, like a runner getting his second wind, we’ll soon get a second boost of excitement and start enjoying life again. It’ll happen, I’m sure. Best of luck to you.


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