Retirement: Life Phases Out, Sense of Loss
by Mike/Spokane WA
My sense about life as we age is that the earlier "modes" of life are mostly all centered around work, career, a home and children to raise. As all of that fades away you are left with a big emptiness that asks to be filled, and it isn't always that easy to fill!
The earlier life phases were mostly filled for us, society dictates, family needs dictate, your job dictates what you are, who you are, and you don't have to try and figure out much. It is all waiting for you every day and all you have to do is "show up" and it was life.
Now, after all that goes away you have nothing dictating to you what/who you are any more. So the sense of loss and no easy answers on how to fulfill your life any more can be painful.
You are also wiser now and not so gullible, so you see through the phoniness of people more, and it isn't as easy to trust others as it once was. I have serious trust issues with humanity any more. It seems like the world of human"kind" is mostly a rather unfeeling, selfish lot that is nice "as long as you have something to give".
Answers? I wish I knew.
I write a lot, used to paint (landscapes). My life partner (ex wife) still works and is 6 years younger so she can't relate to me anymore. My own grown kids won't have anything to do with me. It is like, once you retire you don't even exist. I think the only real "answer" (if there is one) is some sort of inward journey, spiritual or something, although there is so much baloney in those realms it can be difficult to find that inner experience that can replace the outer experiences we once had (and no longer work).
Best wishes, maybe try journaling, it is better than nothing and is one way to get your feelings down on paper, then it "feels" like you are doing something worthwhile in a way.