Stuck in a rut

by John

I retired in 2015 and could not wait to get out after 45 years of the same old same old.

Lost the mother of my four kids in the 90’s and got all of them through college. I was a “star”. Now it was my turn to enjoy what was left.

Initially life was great. I planned good enough financially but I was and am not prepared mentally. I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression mostly over the last few years.

Couldn’t put a name or a reason for it until I stumbled over this website last night. It’s becoming clear to me that retirement, if not all of the reason, it definitely has a lot to do with it.

My life has no purpose at this time and what’s scarier is there is nothing that I want to do. Every day runs into each other and life has become mundane.

I plan on talking to a new therapist in hopes he can help me figure this out. Ultimately it comes back to me.

Boy am I stuck.

Comments for Stuck in a rut

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Climbing Out of Rut
by: Canadian Retiree

Wow I can totally relate. I had a year of anxiety attacks and depression after I retired. I felt like I had fallen off a cliff and into a giant hole. I thought my life was over. I saw a psychiatrist and a psychologist. I was on anxiety meds and an antidepressant.

I’m finally feeling better but I still miss my job and coworkers and routine. Retirement has its ups and downs. I realize you can’t work forever. It would have been nice to have worked part time then retired but it didn’t turn out that way for me.

Oh well. Take it one day at a time.

by: Connie/Palos Park il

Try volunteering at your local church and offering your talents. This past Christmas we had a Giving Tree for young families in need. The voluntary help required were people to make sure the kids Christmas presents went to the correct person/place. There were 6 various places to assist. Needed men to sort, put into transport vehicles, distribute and drop off to the needy children. Some kids requested warm clothing, so you can guess how happy they were to receive any gift at all. Well, there are many more opportunities just like this if you seek them out.

Your reward is more than you give. The commarade with the fellow volunteers brings friendships. Call your local place of worship and reap the rewards. American legion, St. Jude, etc. check them all out.

You will be so busy you will enjoy your retirement immensely.

Reach Out
by: Catherine/ Florida

Unfortunately I am familiar with that rut. UGH. Its important to push yourself out of it.

Focus on the fact that this is supposed to be a time of reward and enjoyment, not punishment. Take it one small step at a time and focus on just completing the one step. Repeat. Looking at the bigger picture can sometimes just be too much, so just do the first step, one step at a time.

Create a list of possible activities:

What interests you? Are there any free classes on U-Tube, at the library, or Home Depot or some place similar? Classes like wood working, home or yard renovation, cooking... the potentials are endless!

What about organizing a block party and getting some of the neighbors to help? What about organizing a Neighborhood Watch?

What about doing volunteer work - pet rescues, animal shelters, hospital or rehab volunteering, or what about service at the church of your choice? They always need volunteers.

The bottom line is that giving back in some way and investing in the lives of other people or animals can both bless those receiving the service and be very rewarding for you!

Have you also considered adopting a cat or dog?
The unconditional love they give is unlike anything else. They will steal your heart...

Moving Forward
by: Anonymous

Wendy put a great post on here on 24th December, 'Moving forward in Life 2020'

Do yourself a favour and answer the questions. I did and it helped enormously. It helped clarify exactly where I was unhappy or having problems and to focus on resolutions. It breaks things down into manageable chunks.

I worked through it last year, I took my time and kept coming back to it over a couple of weeks, but by the time I finished I had much clearer sense of what I needed to do to move forward. For me, there were definite recurring themes and resolutions.

Everyone is different, others can say what worked for them but you need to figure out YOUR way forward, I can recommend it as a great place to start.

by: John/CT

Here is a big thank you for all who reached out to my post. This in itself is a community of like minded people just trying to figure out feelings that are new to us.

Just knowing that what we are dealing with is not happening to you alone but is common among other retirees is somewhat comforting. It means we can do this.

If it means therapy, meditation, or medication then I'm doing it. I will take those suggestions that some of you shared to heart and give them a try. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to the gym or the grocery store or the local coffee shop instead of waiting for an inspiration to move us.

Once we allow ourselves to leave the house then thats a battle won. (Wendy: Love that!)

Lets stay around to help each other through the next chapter of our lives. Not going to be easy but lets try.

remembering the things you used to do
by: didgens

I was and am still struggling ,however your comment was totally me, there was nothing i wanted to do, so i did nothing, even the projects i had put off around the house because there was not time to work on them on weekends plus all the other chores are mostly still sitting waiting for me to do them.

i have gotten many things organized, i find when i get really anxious i pull out a drawer and "declutter", or get things together for Good WIll, I think for me
having lost my husband also is part of my problem, as these were supposed to be our Golden Years.

I have thought about things i used to do and signed up for water color painting class on fridays. its taken 6 months for me to take that step.

commit yourself 1 day a week for a few hours,, you'll be surprised how just comitting to one small thing a week for a few hours can pull you out of that rut and start doing more...

so much to do, so little time
by: Bob/Indiana

The keys to a great retirement: 1. using your talents 2. acquaintances becoming friends 3. contributing to society 4. loose structure.

If you find the right non-profit, they help you figure out what skills you enjoy you meet others in the organization...while you are helping them in their mission...without making it into a second job.

We can help, John. So much to do, whether you are a social butterfly, an analytical, a person who wants to help 5 hours a week or 1 hour per month.

Reach out. What do you have to lose? Bob

Bouncing Out of Rut
by: Bernard Kelly - Geelong

Hello John and Welcome

Actually it should be Congratulations as you have made a momentus step in exposing your soul to us.

But let's get down to offering a solution to you - which of course I don't have, except to say that you've still got 25 or 30 years to go before your "estate event" occurs, and that's a long time to be bored.

You just need to get out and about, and find your tribe. And the best method appears to be to jot down your recollections of when your were say five, and again for ages 6-10, the 11-15, and 16-20.

Do this - over the next few weeks - in a spiral bound school exercise book that you can buy in a supermarket, and you'll be surprised to learn what your latent interests are.

Then you'll know where to find your tribe.

Let's keep chatting - and I'd be delighted to know if this thought does help you.

cheers ..... Bernard Kelly, Geelong

by: Brian Sullivan, UK

I am totally the same I closed my business last year and we moved to a small village by the sea but we have struggled to make new friends and life has become dull. It is difficult to see an easy way out. I would be interested to hear how you get on with your therapist.

Feeling stuck
by: Mary Ellen

John, your post describes my situation perfectly. I retired in 2015 after teaching 23 years. I moved from NJ to Alabama to be close to my son and his children.

I struggle daily with boredom but I am a lifelong introvert, so I have no desire to join anything to meet new people. I have no hobbies other than reading voraciously.

My routine consists of going to my son’s house during the week to hang out with his dogs, and seeing my grandchildren on weekends. I return to NJ occasionally to see my NJ grandchildren and to visit with friends.

I am seriously considering therapy as I benefited from therapy when my children were little and I know I need some insight into my situation. I may also get a dog as I’ve always had one, and a dog forces me to get out of my house more frequently and provides constant companionship.

I wish you luck in finding your way as I try to find mine.

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