Good Life, but just not happy.. WHY?

by carol

I'm falling into depression before I retire but I want to...

I'm 68, lost my abusive husband to alzheimer's. My younger sister and I had to take care of our sick mother since we were teenages, after our father bolted. She died 30 years ago.

I'm realized my college dream including a Master's in my 40s even though my husband threatened to harm the kids if I went to class. I could not afford to leave him as I didn't have a decent paying job. The part time job I had and scholarships paid for my education. Then I got a decent job and he got alzheimers, became psychotic and a locked ward was his home until he died.

My kids are married, live nearby, hear from two of them many times during the week, my son calls occasionally expecting me to call if I need help in anyway.

My girls include me in many events, besides babysitting for them.

So why do I feel so down on myself. It's like I can't enjoy happiness.

I enjoy my 5 grandkids (ages 1-7) they are at that age where Grandmom is wonderful and perfect. No bills, house paid for. So why can't I enjoy life and be happy.

I took my work week done to 4 days a week and have health benefits. I know the boss would like me to retire. I have resisted this for two years, becase I needed money to fix up my old house and get all the bills paid off, which I did. I belong to a great health club, go occasionally.

why do I feel miserable? I have a nice house to retire in, live in a town I like, love my kids and grandkids. have decent health, a car, a health club, a dog, a cat, 2 fish, talk by phone everyday to my sister and visit her once a year. don't have a huge retirement amount but will get by.

so why do I feel blue most of the time? Has anyone else dealt with the blues, and anxiety when they should be happy?

Wendy: Carol, It certainly sounds like you've got your retirement under control and should be able to life a happier lifestyle.

Who knows the workings of the mind? Not me certainly.

Some folks have a harder time than others retiring.. so boss or not, if you aren't ready,
you aren't ready. You'll know when you are...

One thing -- if you don't know what you'll do every day after you retire, it's a good idea to consider that before you do. If not, being a bit down already, retirement could really send you into a tailspin.

I wonder what your occupation is, must be something you love since you went to college late and got your degree at 40! Is there some way to use that after you retire? Some way to stay active in your field, and yet, not have to work every day? Could you be a consultant after you retire? Write a book or website? Volunteer somewhere where they need your expertise?

In today's economy, so many organizations would be thrilled to get an educated volunteer.. you feel good getting out and helping, they get someone who loves their volunteer job.

How about a new hobby that would take you into retirement? Something you did years ago? Something that you could meet new friends and share with same?

Many opportunities and adventure await you~!!!

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same topic over and over
by: Anonymous

That title sounds sarcastic but that's not the way I mean it. What I mean is that we all are repeatedly discussing the same topic. Are we just picking up the vibes from each other or do we really feel as we write.

I think the later. We know we are old and that we've lived most of our lives but we would still like to find some enjoyment out of whatever is left. But how do we do that?

Same answers all the time. Book clubs, card games, walks with groups. Even if you can find those and enjoy them it's a pretty small part of a day. Used to be the problem was trying to find time to fit everything in. Now it's a case of trying to make whatever you're doing last longer. Otherwise you end up going home with nothing in particular to do.

Let's be honest. For many of us nobody really needs us anymore. I remember and maybe others of you also do when there were several generations of a family living together under one roof. Grandma and Grandpa were needed as much as anyone else.

They had a job and it didn't consist as it does today of trying to find something to keep themselves busy. We are financially better off but we have no job in life. We've sort of served our purpose and now we're unemployed.

Not sure how we resolve that kind of problem. Wish I did.

Wendy: I think part of the "over and over" is that people find my site in the search engines for the same retirement depression types of keywords.

I really want to publish more HAPPY Retirement stories to prove to retirees that there are thousands of different ways to conquer retirement.

Retirement is definitely changing in our society... very different from my grandparents retirement, and also my own retirement is different from my parents retirement.

by: Retd. Prof. Mr. Durgesh Kumar Srivastava, C-3, Janakpuri, New Delhi-110058, India.

I have been sleeping an extra 3 hours in the morning allowing my wife to finish all her home chores without any interference or disturbance, which she detests. When I get up, the swept, washed and polished floor has dried completely so that I cannot leave any foot marks on it even if I walked all over the house.

None of the family members have to wait their turn to use the two washrooms in the house. I quietly and without saying a word tightly shut each and every dripping water faucet in the whole house. Other members of my family have finished reading the fresh newspapers and now no one will mind my pencil marks, cuts and disturbed pages. I welcome my breakfast and am always ready to finish off any left overs of the previous days without complaint.

Before retiring for the night, I ask for and finish doing any difficult school work for my grandsons, fixing knots on their ties, and getting their school shoes cleaned, dried and repaired. As my wife takes a forenoon nap, I attend to phone calls, receive mail deliveries from courier boys, buy vegetables from itinerant sellers and turn away unwanted door to door salesmen. I wake up my wife with a cup of hot tea at 10 am and then, carrying some food for wild city birds and squirrels,leave for my two hour gossip session in the park with 8 to 10 fellow retirees, leaving the TV free for the exclusive use of my wife.

Before returning home for lunch, I finish bank/sundry jobs for all family members. After lunch, I sleep and also attend to any repairman who visits us for repairing house gadgets/plumbing /electric-cable lines.I also give and collect washed clothes from the press man.In the early evening, as I go to the park for the evening round of gossip with a different group of fellow retirees, I combine with it the duty of watching my youngest grandson bicycling near by.

I also fill the drinking water pails for stray dogs, cats and birds twice a day. When guests visit us , I sit with them and talk to them freeing my wife to cook for them and my sons to go to their work. When any family member is unwell, I provide overnight hospital stay service if need be. I also respond suitably to all invites for any member of the family and if required go to attend the function/event. When festivals like HOLI, the festival of colors and DIWALI, the festival of lights come, I represent the family in community celebrations. i do not ask for any money from my children, managing my simple expenses with my own small pension. I have built a 9 room house and given portions to my sons for their rent free use, paying all property taxes myself. I will go when the time comes without leaving any liabilities. I am happy, busy and useful. DKSrivastava

Do tv shows reinforce our negative sense of self?
by: Carol from West Chester

Sad. Funk. Odd person out. Busy but not satisfied at the end of the day. No or little purpose with each day. I read these or variations on various posts and each and every one resounded with me.

My previous life was full of being busy with work related issues to resolve, being bored at work, of having to find things to do to keep from "going stir crazy" at work. Sure, being the odd person out at work was not satisfying and hurt, some days had purpose and some days did not seem to have any purpose except to keep my desk from floating away. Hmmm, life now sounds like a repeat as I reread my words.

Change of attitude? Maybe, but at my age what I am is what I am. However, I would like some positive, reality reference to help me through this maze of life.

Tv shows, ads, movies do not address the older person in a positive role. Before you say Turn off the TV!!! let's admit most of us do watch it at times. All people do not watch tv but for those of us who have and do so I believe the tv shows, and even the advertisements set up negative expectations for us in retirement.

How many tv sitcoms have older people with canes the Father in Frazier) or older people who are sad and feel like the odd person out.

Ads - Take your choice, undergarment pads, medications with side effects, or the Happy, smiling, flexible, youthful older person delighted to move to XWZ residential care. I know a couple who moved to a Residential Village and they are very happy there - they also have the financial means to enjoy life without worrying about costs.

Movies are doing a bit better for us older folks. The Bucket List comes to mind. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a fun movie about older folks and how they enjoyed being retired. Once again behind the scenes is the fact that these folks had the money to travel.

Would we watch a tv sitcom about older people? Would it influence differently how we live our retirement? How would you create a tv sitcom for people in retirement? What would they do daily?

Or maybe I just need to give myself permission to enjoy each day and to not worry about frittering away a day now and then.

by: Anonymous

There is one recurrent theme in all these postings. Unhappiness. We need something to look forward to other than going to lunch or going to the store etc. Remember when we were young and we had a hard time trying to figure out how we would fit everything into the time frame available? As much as we groaned about it sometimes, it actually made life interesting.

The question now is what makes life interesting? Since I've retired I sort of feel that I have no real purpose in life. It's not that I sit and contemplate my navel all day. I find things to do but at the end of the day I feel like it's another day of just trying to find a way to stay busy.

I've found you can be physically busy and still be bored.

So--next thought was--poor attitude on my part. Go learn to do something new. Yep, great idea but this is a little town and nothing here has changed in the last 50 yrs. Consequently I have tried at least once just about everything there is to do here.

So now I'm starting to sound like a curmudgeon. I'm ok it's the world that's all wrong. UGGGG! I'm getting no where.

Maybe I should go learn to fly a plane or something equally far removed from my previous life.

What are you guys doing to keep your mind from turning to rust?

by: Anonymous

I've been reading these posts for a while looking for ideas to help me find a solution for what to do with whatever time is remaining in my life.

I live in a small New England town. Not a lot going on around here. Local library clubs start and stop for lack of participants. Church groups pretty much the same.

I am a camera buff but the local camera club only meets once a month from Sept. to April.

When I could find no one in my age group who wanted to do anything I just put my great little dog in the car and drove all over New England shooting photos. It was fun except that my little dog didn't seem to get too excited about the view from Mt. Washington or the seashore in NH. Ha!

I'm just wondering if anyone has found a way of living at this point in their life that makes them look forward to getting up each day. I hate that sort of sad feeling that comes over me when I least expect it. That 'wish you were here' of old friends + family.

I do have two kids who are married and live far from me. Yes, I visit them and could move there but their lives are busy and I don't want to make them feel like they've just inherited another person who may need their care.

Wonder if others have the same alone kinds of feelings i've been experiencing and if so did you find a remedy for it?

It makes me really angry at myself that I can't see to get rid of this funk I'm in. I once upon a time was a really happy person, not much ever got me down for long.

Is this just another part of old age that you just have to put up with? I sure hope not.

how life changes
by: Kathy

If you read thru these many letters there is one recurrent thought. Everyone is lonely for companionship.

Why is that? The more I thought about it the more I realized that what I think we really want is what we once had. An active life, friends and family near by, a feeling of being needed by someone- anyone.

This world doesn't have much use for an older person anymore. I remember, as I'm sure many of you do, when we went to a grandmother or grandfather for advise assuming that because they had experienced more of life's issues they might be able to advise us.

But attitudes have changed about the value of the thoughts of an older person. I don't say this in bitterness but rather as just an observation of the way things have evolved. Some of that may have to do with the fact that we live to such a greater age than in the past.

Family groups used to live in close proximity to each other. Family groups now are spread across the country. I, for example, have family members in Ca., Fl, Az, Al and Ct. Many of my acquaintances have a similar family arrangement.

I'm not sure there is much of a change that any of us can make to get back that feeling of home and hearth and all that goes with it. . I wish it weren't so but I think it may be.

by: Tracy

Your story has been moved here: Depression at Age 78.

WHY? So that others can comment on it and hopefully help you!

Is it loneliness or the fear of aging?
by: Carol

This was so well said, " Being busy defers loneliness, it doesn't solve it." I wish I know what solved loneliness. I go to water exercise and our class has evolved into a caring group of women. That's nice and I feel part of the group but I don't know if any of them get together for lunch or dinner. Weekly my daughters call me to chat or we get together with their young children and do day trips or lunch. In fact, in 16 days I will be cruising to Bermuda with one daughter and her four-year-old daughter.

With all the snow and ice storms of this past winter (2014) the young, college age kids on my street many times cleared my sidewalks before I got out of the house, and 3 times they got my car unstuck from the ice. It would be reasonable to tell me - You sound like you have friends and you don't sound lonely.

I just feel like I should be busy, busy, busy all the time, everyday. And that is not realistic with my age (70), lack of ability to walk distances, etc. I do use a scooter when possible. I do not want to volunteer because I did that all my life. Ditto for going to Church.

For the second year I am paying a service to cut the postage stamp of grass in the yard because using a cane and a weed wacker, well, let's just say it's not pretty. I don't know how to relax, to not feel guilty, to not feel like I am wasting my life and time. I have always taken care of others and now I find that others are taking care of me. I appreciate all the help but I don't like getting old.

If I would be honest with myself I would admit I am not lonely but afraid. Afraid of growing older and afraid of being a burden and afraid of dying. I feel that I am being cruel to myself and not living life fully. But I don't know how to accept myself growing old.

Does anyone else have these fears?

Being busy defers loneliness, it doesn't solve it
by: Anonymous

Where do you "belong"? Where is your "connection"?

Sometimes we get busy DOING and don't nurture BEING.
I find the making new connections - consist, reciprocal ones at this stage of life is extremely difficult. It takes time to find someone you can be be with.

Activities end, even visits with grandchildren, phone calls from caring offspring to be sure you are well, book club meetings (I had the same low/no start).

Trying to fit in takes work - lots of work - and fitting in isn't the same a "belonging". Who can you talk to about how you really feel, besides this website?

There's different happiness just as there is different types of love (love of child, love of pet, love the feeling of a nice breeze). Love that comes from external sources (people, activities...) is hedonic well-being. It makes you feel good emotionally for a while, but it wears off and doesn't really impact your health.

The love that bubbles up from inner happiness (purpose and meaning, connection,..) is eudaimonic well-being and it impacts health (enzymes, neurotransmitters, hormones; reduces inflammation, improves immune system,..).

Loneliness is known to adversely impact your health.
So what do you really want?

If it's activity to minimize boredom, there's lots of ways to do that - and relatively fast. But you are still alone and my guess is too much aloneness is loneliness. Loneliness is known to adversely impact your health.

If it's "belonging", a trusted relationship where you can let your guard down and still be accepted, appreciated, that is much more difficult. You may connect with someone through all the activities, but it doesn't happen fast.

partial reply to Wendy
by: Kathy

Your idea of starting my own book club utilizing the library sounds fine in print but in actuality it doesn't work. Here's why? The library has tried to start a book club on three separate occasions. Each time it failed for lack of participants.

The library also tried a cooking club--didnt' work--then a knitting group, same problem.

For whatever reason there was not enough interest.

We have a nice little park in the center of town with a decent body of water in the center of the park. There is a paved trail around the pond. So we decided to initiate a walking group at the park. Three people showed up. At the end of the first walk two of them said they wouldn't be back because it was more work than they expected.

I'm beginning to think I must be in a town of very sedentary people. Something I wasn't aware of while working.

It's really kind of sad living in a place where people just don't want to get off their bums and enjoy life.

Wendy: It could be that you live in a very uninteresting neighborhood. BUT -- my guess is they need an inspirational leader... Y O U (Grin!)

Walking Club -- think out of the box. Monday and Wednesday, you do a shorter walk; Tuesday and Thursday, a longer walk -- something for everyone. OR you do shorter walks when you begin the club, until the majority are ready to step it up. Do Chair Yoga instead -- maybe you can teach them how, after watching you tube videos. You lead the class (even via adult education classes). Maybe, you start out with 3, after a week, one of them tells a friend or folks see you and inquire about joining.

Same with the Book Club, I'm betting. If Library runs it, they have little time to actually think about options for it to make it fun. The Library might Sponsor and House it there, but YOU could do your own Seniors Book Club. They likely put it in a catalog of groups held there, end of story. You can go further to find great reading friends.

My friend has been in one for over ten years, some come and some go, but they continue on. They meet at a different local restaurant each month, makes it interesting! They chat about the book, offer new book ideas, and get a one page flyer on the next meeting which shows the When, Where, Book details. My friend took over flyer duties this past year, so I do them for her. It only takes a few minutes to make a nice flyer she can print and pass out.

I guess I'm saying -- pick one. Stick with one until it really gets going. Put your heart into it. If you aren't really chatty, find a chatty friend who will help you do this.

Just think out of the box - where there is a will, there is a way! It might take some time and effort, but it will be worth it in the long run

  • Community Bulletin Boards
  • Senior apartment/condo buildings
  • Any senior newspapers in your area to put your ad?
  • is great too!

    Nothing that is worthwhile, is easy! (or rarely is... )

    Best Wishes!

    by: Sharyn~~~CANADA

    ME~ l misunderstood~~ l am 66 female~~ when l was a young girl l thought l would grow up meet a wonderful man get married have children and l would be happy forever ! WOW !

    l had the perfect pair of ROSE coloured glasses. Life wasn't going to be that easy. nope ~ l have been through this & that some good some bad but mostly just unhappy all my adult life. l've often felt mostly ignored by family, l think because l was the only 1 of 8 children to graduate from college (nursing) & also, l was never there for celebrations of any kind mainly due to shift work & 12 hr days & nights.

    When l could, l would visit family & enjoy their company. My first marriage ended with divorce, nice man just no chemistry. Husband #2 lots chemistry but he was a brute so l divorced him ~ loved him ~ still do.

    l've been alone for the last 16 yrs. & unhappy! When 1 has doubts ~ there is no doubt~ what l mean about that statement is~ l have considered getting in touch with the #2 husband because we were very happy once & thought maybe we could carry on~in our old age... However ( DOUBT ) small word but a very big emotional word, makes me take a step back & think about why l divorced him in the first place. And as unhappy as l am l just can't & won't go back to that.

    So, what is a lonely 66 yr old healthy tall attractive gramma living on pension going to do with the rest of my life?

    l want excitement, fun , and 1 or 2 loyal friends, to not have to do lunches & dinners out alone.

    Computer is great, but 1 can't make love to a computer? At least l don't want too !

    by: Don

    Seems that money or things don't really do it.

    It's something that comes from within and I believe it has a bit to do with how life unfolds for you. Everyone's hand is a little different.

    Also as the saying goes: [ It's not what life deals you, but how it effects you, or rolls off your back!]

    If you ever lose everything, but your life you soon realize that God really does provide.

    Happiness comes from knowing what really counts and whats important. That concept is really clouded in this day and age.

    Keep your life simple and honest.

    Don't do things that make you feel guilty.

    Being happy while learning to live alone
    by: Kathy

    So many comments about being happy. Just "learn to be happy'. Sounds great but how do you do that?

    I am widow, have been for sometime. I have two sons but they live on the opposite of the country. Almost all my closer friends have either moved south or have died. My one last close friend lost her husband slightly less than a year ago and she has decided to move back to Germany, her home of origin.
    So, seriously, what does a person do?

    It takes time to establish a meaningful friendship with another. I tried joining a local book club. It had only 5 members and so disbanded for lack of interest. Other than that I have found no groups for older persons in this area.

    There is a senior center but on any given day there might be 5 or 6 people in attendance.

    So what's the solution? There must be one that I haven't thought of.

    Wendy: What about doing your own Book Club? Post a notice in the local library (maybe they'd help you promote one), grocery store, whatever.

    Maybe you could volunteer somewhere.. think about what you enjoy and go talk to them, maybe even the library. My buddy Pete volunteered at one in CO, and made calls to people waiting for books they requested to come in, shelved books, worked the counter, whatever.

    THEN when you see unsuspecting readers who are seniors -- ask if they want to join YOUR NEW BOOK CLUB!

    Double Dipping!

    THEN make lunch plans and book club fun!

    Retired 10 yrs
    by: Anonymous

    I've been retired for ten yrs now. I am a widow and was when i retired. For the first 4-5 yrs. I was very happy that I no longer had to go to work. I was the anesthesia coordinator in a large city hospital OR. Very taxing job requiring good mental skills. Initially it seemed so great not to have to mentally keep track of a million things all the time.

    As time went by I began to be concerned that I wasn't using my brain to it's full capacity so took a few classes at a local community college but actually found them to be rather boring. Too slow.

    I had a number of friends of similar age so there was always someone to do things with.

    Some of those friends have since died or moved to the most common state for retirees, Fl.

    Consequently my friend base has lessened quite dramatically. I've tried the local senior center but found that very few persons were actually using this facility. On any given day I would find only 5-10 people in attendance. I think part of the reason for that might have been the condition of the facility. It used to be a grammar school some 30 yrs. ago. It has had little upkeep since then internally and is in bad need of refurbishment. I think that may be a big reason for the lack of participants.

    So I'm back to trying to find things to do with others but clearly not having much luck.

    The local library had a book reading group but it disbanded due to lack of participants.

    I surely can't be the only retired person looking for others to do stuff with. Anyone have any ideas that I clearly haven't come up with.?

    Let go
    by: Carol

    I agree with Margaret. It wasn't until I hit the darkest place I'd ever been in life (and I was there in some degree many times in my life) that I sought a solution and became free.

    I prayed, searched and found my answer = a deeper faith and personal relationship n/with Christ. That was the beginning of a truly joyful life. Not problem free for sure but free indeed. It's hard for some to grasp - you have to get 'the 'wanna, wanna s' .

    Someone told me once, He is a gentleman and wants to be asked into your life.

    When I finally asked. He provided me some of the best folks to help me along the way. So thankful!

    Big hug!

    by: Anonymous

    The colors of abuse r many. Today l am 65 yrs old however, like many of u that r my age, we don't feel that old.

    For as far back as l can remember, l do recall so many times when abuse was taking place. As far back as 1950, when l was only 3, a very young child... sexual abuse by a family member on my mothers' side, an uncle! But only just realized this when l was able to recall past memory situations.

    My step-father was a BRUTE, to this day l still don't know what mom ever saw in him?

    l have never felt loved, cared for, important enough, to anyone on this planet ~ and still don't!

    My life has been a long rough ride, looking over my shoulder, wondering who l might trust, who l shouldn't trust, did l say the right thing, or did l say the wrong thing, did l do the right thing or do the wrong thing, life for me has been a whirlwind of rights & wrongs.

    Even now, so many years have past & l'm still wondering, am I making the right decision or the wrong decision? l am 65yrs old & l only see a flicker at the end of my tunnel...

    Yes, many colors of abuse have followed me along my path & the path is not getting any shorter.

    Comment for good life
    by: Nancy

    Carol, I was also in a depression the last year b/f I retired.

    I found out I wouldn't be able to collect one of my pensions for a couple of years, and that might have been a good time to decide to work longer. I felt through prayer that what God wanted me to do was retire.

    I was depressed afterwards, too, but it is getting better. I also got my Master's degree in my 40s. My job for 7 years b/f my last job was in a job where my supervisor and most of my co-workers didn't even have Bachelor's degrees. My last job required a Master's and I got a professional certification also, so that was one reason why I didn't want to retire.

    You are lucky you found this website b/f you retired. It has helped me so much. It helps to know I am not alone in my struggles.

    by: margaret

    thank you every so much for all your comments especially to Sharon who wrote that beautiful poem.

    Please please everybody write to my email I don't know whether I should put my e mail here. I am at a loss here as to write it here is it safe?

    The only real way we can get healed is through Jesus. I will just add this little poem if you don't mind.

    I will speak to you if you will listen,
    I will come to you if you will invite me.
    I will show you then that I have always been there all ways.
    I will speak to you on the whisper of the next river, the next ocean, the next breeze that caresses your ear- on the chance utterance of the next person you meet.
    God in in the sadness and the laughter, in the bitter and the sweet.
    There is divinbe purpose behind everything, and therefore a Divine presence in everything.

    God Bless, Margaret

    by: Sharyn~~~CANADA

    She does not NEED a good man! She needs loyal friends 1 or 2 ~~~

    Happy Talk
    by: AnonymousPaul

    South Pacific
    . Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II Copyright © 1997
    Happy talk, keep talking happy talk

    Talk about things you like to do

    You got to have a dream, if you don't have a dream

    How you gonna have a dream come true?

    Talk about the moon floating in the sky

    Looking at a lily on the lake

    Talk about a bird learning how to fly

    Making all the music he can make!
Happy talk, keep talking happy talk

    Talk about things you like to do

    You got to have a dream, if you don't have a dream

    How you come not have a dream come true?
Talk about the sparrow looking like a toy
Peeking through the branches of a tree

    Talk about the girl, talk about the boy

    Counting all the ripples on the sea
Happy talk, keep talking happy talk

    Talk about things you like to do

    You got to have a dream, if you don't have a dream

    How you come not have a dream come true?

    Talk about the boy saying to the girl

    Golly, baby, I'm a lucky cuss
Talk about the girl saying to the boy

    You an' me is lucky to be us

    Happy talk, keep talking happy talk

    Talk about things you like to do
    ou got to have a dream, if you don't have a dream

    How you come not have a dream come true?
If you don't talk happy, and you never have dream

    Then you'll never have a dream come true!
It's good idea, you like? Ah ah ah!

    "Impossible Dreams are happening every day!" Cinderella

    What's your official wish? Start by treating yourself special!

    What are some simple thing you like, want or seem frivolous? Start there Keep your mind on what you want and off of what you don't want. Stop watching TV and reading the paper - immediately!

    Find a hobby, take up learning a musical instrument, find some good books to read at the library.

    Watch the DVD - Groundhog Day and Dead Poets Society!

    Move out of the problem house in to the solution house. Right now, if you want to!

    about depression
    by: margaret

    I lost my husband 3 months ago to cancer after being married for 62 years. It wasn't a brilliant marriage but it did have its good times. I am left living alone with family around me but it is the nights that are so lonely. I love writing and have some e mail penfriends but would like more if anyone is interested I would love to hear from them as I too am depressed.

    I get down too.
    by: Eva

    I believe we all get lonely,even with husbands and children around us. I don't have a lot of friends and my husband passed in Nov,2011. Today would be his birthday.(July 22). My friend and I visited his grave yesterday.

    I do have a love bird, but it isn't like having a human being around. I have a vegetable garden,I got a late start, but I think they'll make it. I have beans making and will be ready in a couple weeks. It's exciting. Yes,I get lonely, but I try not let lonely get me.

    Don't dwell on things or blame yourself on things
    that you can't change. My sister claims she don't ever get lonely or depressed. Sorry,I don't believe her.

    Winter is worst for me. But I will be finding something to do, like quilting, also chopping wood for my stove.

    God bless you.Hope you do OK.

    Good life but not happy
    by: LaVonne

    I need friends but can't seem to find them. There are many wonderful people but they have their own friends and family.

    Therefore I feel like a lonely married woman at the age of 70. I dearly love my husband and we are both retired.

    I would like to know where I can seek friends in my locality that feel the same way as I do. It would be nice to be able to contact them via e-mail.

    wendy LaVonne, Click on the two faces to the right to join my Retirement Community. You will find 700+ seniors there who are seeking new friends. You might even search (under members tab) for people in your local area.. ya never know1)

    by: Marie-annette

    Yes my dear, people need people and that's why we are in this World together..... we can have all kinds of friends.... some friends use us for what they get out of us... we must be strong and know that Friends are about sharing, from one to the other.....

    We can help each other, can motivate each other, go out together, live, love laugh together.... in other words.... we can become our brother's keeper.....

    So much out there to learn and sometimes we just need a supportive friend who would encourage us.
    A good friend will touch base with us daily and even go to lengths with a helping hand.....

    As we get older friends disappear, and we can count them the real ones on our hand. I have had one great friend who now resides in the States.... she became for me a sister.... someone who listened, we need this at this time in our life... However, she is just a phone call away and we still chat daily, sharing the joys and news of everyday life.....

    I understand, feel free to write and share as the spirit moves you.... Be blessed......

    by: Marie-annette

    In reply or to add to ...FRIENDS.....

    This is what i truly miss now as i am retired and trying to do the best for myself..... before i retired i believed that being out there in the work force allowed me the things i did, certainly i was able to pay my way and took in the things that made me feel free and alive even in a crowded area....

    This is because as i believed... money is no object.. no one can make style on me, i had it all and the flair to put together whether it be a get together with special friends and take up the tag too... being a people's person also one that could hold anyone's attention whenever.... some of us just lead and others need to be able to follow.

    Now as i am at home and still searching and hoping that maybe a three day job would be available soon.....

    I will stay positive...and be grateful daily for everything that i have just as it is and leave the rest to life, love

    Hi Carol
    by: Beth

    Have you thought about talking to a therapist?
    A lot of times what we need is somebody to talk with other than family and friends. Somebody that you can say anything to about anything and nobody else can hear.

    I also went through years of physical, mental, and emotional abuse. Physical abuse is horrible but mental abuse seems to stay with us for years and maybe always.

    Talking to a therapist helped alot and getting back into church and personally know Jesus as my savior was a life saver. I still have bad days but now Jesus helps me get through them.

    Good Luck and prayers are with you.

    Awareness is more empowering then Self Awareness
    by: Anonymous

    Fixing yourself is like putting whip cream on poop. Because it starts always with the premise I'm not OK the way I Am. The first step in personal growth is making it OK to be where you are. Because that's where you are.

    Give yourself a gift by suspending your present judgements of your present circumstances or issue's that are keeping you stuck. Any and all contrast is the inspirational launching pad to new desires.

    Imagine an 8 1/2 X 11 piece of white paper with a small ink spot in the middle. Consider that the white space around the dot is the world of options and possibilities and the dot your story, beliefs and circumstances.

    The unawareness of your own power, brilliance and loving voice screaming to be free is keeping you stuck in your limiting story and belief system.

    Anita Moorjani has a book Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing which is her NDE (Near Death Experience) which opened her up to an awareness of how stuck she was and shares the empowering insights she gained while in a coma dying from cancer allowing her to go home free of cancer weeks later fully cured. It's a powerful book. She is also interviewed on You Tube. The best on your journey!

    by: Ricardo

    As I read these posts, one thought in particular comes to mind. I think many of us try to find contentment from things or other people.

    My thought is that contentment and "peace", must come from within.

    Do not depend on others around you to create YOUR happiness, nor surround yourself with "things", this just masks the problem.

    Strive to reach inner happiness and it will endure and take you through those "peaks&valleys in life that we all face on occasion!

    Pursuit of Happyness
    by: Goldy

    It sounds like you are on the right track. A different perspective can change totally change a life. You've come a long was and now it's your turn to enjoy YOUR LIFE...your way!

    I wish you the best...God Bless You

    Good Life, but just not happy ..Why?
    by: carol

    Thank you for all the suggestions, comments and thoughts. I have taken all seriously and have tried to think them through.

    I never thought retiring would be so hard mentally. I am trying to give myself permission to move forward.

    I cannot undo the abuse, the allowing myself to be unhappy, the not speaking out when I should have. Wendy you asked about my college - My degree is,M.A. Literature, BA English. I work in a graduate library, Head of Circulation, for a major university.

    Throughout my life I have participated in volunteer work including the rewarding work of teaching a lady how to read English so she could read to her grandson. She worked hard and in two years read at the 5th grade level. She was then already retired!

    I live in a town that has interesting small shops, is walkable from my home, membership in a super gym/spa/water pools, belong to a guild for embroiders, a loving family, some very lovely penpals from this website, etc.

    Yesterday from this website I went to the Oprah life classes and truly made myself work some of the classes. Something there spoke to me - about me, how I was living mentally in the past, -- All the wonderful people who wrote to me in response to my posting, their comments became my Ah Ha moment as I worked the Lifeclass questions.

    Thank you All. I now feel ready to retire, have 20 more actual working days and I am looking forward to enjoying the next chapters of my life.

    Wendy Carol, I am sooo thrilled for you. Retirement IS harder than anyone imagines... until you've "been there", you just don't get it.

    I love Oprah Life Classes too. Added the link in case other readers want to check them out!

    I wish you many happy and fulfilled days ahead, Carol!!

    by: Anonymous

    The one thing I noticed was no mention of friends, I also suffer from feeling low mainly due to having no friends, where I live is a very small town and no real chance of having a close friend, one to sit with, laugh, cry what ever, maybe you need someone special as well, helps lift your mood, write to me if you wish, would love to have someone.

    Retired but not yet lovin' it!
    by: MzEda

    Hi Carol~ My retirement was unexpected. I adored my job of 20 years then the recession it. I identified with my work.

    Then my parents passed on within five months of each other and I lost my home to foreclosure. I moved into a teeny tiny retirement apartment. My only child lives in Hawaii. I have a 21 year old dog.

    But you know what, I am learning to enjoy the fact that I no longer need an alarm clock, nor do I care what day of the week it is. I have a community garden plot and love digging around in the dig and growing veggies. I enjoy talking to other gardeners. I force myself to take part in free community activities and walk around my neighborhood every day.

    I have a very limited income but am taking much pleasure in the simple things. I also have a very strong faith and that has helped me a lot. I try to stay busy and active. I prepare nutritious meals for myself.

    I consider myself blessed and pray that someday I will be able to say that I LOVE my retirement.

    Wendy: I LOVE posts like this... low income but life is ok! I love that you keep busy, that is just SO important to keeping yourself happy!

    It's not easy to retire, especially when it wasn't a voluntary retirement... just keep on moving forward, give yourself time, it sounds like you are a survivor -- and you will figure it all out!

    Sending prayers your way!

    by: Anonymous

    Depression is sometimes a matter of brain biochemistry. Perhaps that is your problem.

    by: Linda in IA

    Carol, if you would like to talk more, you can email me at live dot com, mcschuler --

    I understand the types of feelings and thoughts that you are dealing with now that retirement age is here (and so much of your life has changed outside of work).

    I've had experiences similar to yours, and with more than one man/person. In the 1970s, I helped some university women set up the first women's abuse shelter in our county. The idea for the shelter was only because I shared my fears and stories with them. They insisted we take my stories to the Gov/IA.

    Upon reflection I realize that the first male (husband) abuser was not my first abuser and not my last. It started as soon as I was born, just different stories/ways/styles of abuse. I am sure that is how I ended up marrying an abusive man--because I was used to it and drifted toward it.

    I always knew that I was/am a wonderful person and none of it was my fault, and yet I did not live a better life because of that knowledge after the first abuser was gone, but slowly dipped lower over the years.

    It is a form of learned helplessness, which is not easy to break free of.

    You and I were living a Life RollerCoaster Ride, and without those major highs and lows, the calmer, more stable, medium range leaves us feeling dull.

    Think this way: unfortunately we don't have those exciting highs of the past, but in exchange, we no longer have those hideous, frightening lows, either.

    We have become addicted to the excitement, and it takes time and great effort to feel happy in the middle more even course. Another way is to replace the negative excitement of the past with a positive excitement. You have to figure out what that would be for you.

    If you wish to talk with me about what happened to you and how your life was and now is (good and bad), I will gladly tell you some of my stuff so that you can feel less alone in this, and perhaps we will each learn more and grow healthier.

    You must learn to love yourself in a true way, renew your love for yourself, or increase your awareness of who you are, not who you were during those awful times. [I am still working on me.]

    Linda-- dot com, live, mcschuler

    Wendy: Linda, I love this thought. "Think this way: unfortunately we don't have those exciting highs of the past, but in exchange, we no longer have those hideous, frightening lows, either. "

    So true! I hope your words help MANY retirees!

    Thank you!

    "Good deeds" are the medicines that you need ....
    by: Anonymous

    Dear Ms Carol,

    I once wrote on this site the story of a King in ancient India who was in deep grief after his 100 sons were burned to ash because of the curse of a sage. He was unable to come out of his grief.

    He sought the advice of his Guru (spiritual teacher) who advised him to devote his life to doing good for others. From that day onward, the king immersed himself into a life of doing good deeds for others. Soon enough he forgot his grief.

    The sage who had put the curse on the King's sons heard about the King's good work. He lifted the curse and the King's 100 sons rose from the ashes and regained life. The King was happy again. He continued to do good deeds all his life and achieved Moksha - the deliverance of the soul from the worldly cycle of births and deaths.

    Retd. Prof. Mr. Durgesh Kumar Srivastava,
    New Delhi, India, 31st Aug, 2011

    My two cents worth
    by: Anonymous

    What I think is you need a good man now since you had an abusive one.

    Good LIfe, but just not happy...why?
    by: Melva Colburn

    Carol, I too had an abusive relationship and it took me several years after I left to realize it's ok to be happy.

    You may have done what I did and taught yourself to not be happy and to not expect to be happy because of your situation.

    My suggestion is to seek a counselor, find someone you feel comfortable with and discuss these feelings. When you're ready to retire, you'll know it and you'll have all your "ducks in a row" and be ready for it.

    I suspect there's still a little "healing" needed before you embark on your new phase of life. I wish you much luck and happiness!

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