Heading in to year six of retirement and managing the challenges...

by June
(Deerfield WI)

When I retired after 34 years at the same company it was mostly to be a companion for and care for my Mother. We have shared a big house on 7 acres for more than 30 years. We had some fun over these years. We went to strawberry fields (the last few years just buying picked berries) and apple orchards. We canned tomatoes from the farmer's market. We enjoyed our gardens and our two big dogs.

Last year Mother fell and with her COPD and a recently discovered lung tumor she succumbed at 92. We were never huggy or demonstrative, but we relied on each other for company. It has been tough for me since she passed.

I have tried not to declined any invitations. ( I lost my only sibling, my sister, less than a year before mom.) I like my solitude, but sometimes it gets to be too much. Last fall I had to euthanize mom's 12 year old Old English Sheepdog; he never got over his grief.

I did rescue a companion for me and my other dog Charlie. I have spent about 8 months taming him.

My niece and her husband check on me daily, but they need to get back to their lives after 2 years of caring for my sis and Mom. My nephew and his wife have a six year old and are very busy. Mostly my limited social life revolves around lunches with friends and 2 chair yoga classes per week along with dog activities.

My family was never religious; I guess we were agnostics. As I spend more time alone I see many friends have strong groups of church friends. A friend who is a Unitarian suggested I go there, but it is a 25 mile drive each way so I am disinclined.

Still searching for a meaningful way to make a few friends. I do not want to die a lonely old lady.

Comments for Heading in to year six of retirement and managing the challenges...

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Exploit the social outlets
by: Laura in Vermont

Hi June,

You said you have some social outlets, such as yoga classes. Is there anyone in any of them that you could invite to coffee after? Anyone who shares an interest, such as gardening or dogs? Or just someone who seems interesting you'd like to know better?

Maybe that someone would like to know where to get good berries next season. Or needs to know who a good vet is.

Or is lonely too.

If none of those groups you go to has a prospect, then there's always the Unitarians.

Best of luck!

by: Anonymous

I understand completely. There really isn't anything to prepare us for aging and losing our family and being alone. Are you passionate about any hobbies, etc. I read a lot and have hobbies that keep my mind busy. I pray that you are able to find some comfort and friends.

Share your life
by: Donna

I am sorry to hear about your losses. Try to go to the church 25 miles isn't that far. Get out, meet people. We need each other.

I lost my mom in 2000. I have an older brother and 2 neices. They have kids and lives.

I am single also adopted a stray dog 1 and 1/2 now. I took him to training to 6 months.

We sound similar. Good luck. Let me know how it's going

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