What to do?!

by Vava
(Canada)

Retired at Christmas 2014 after 30 years of teaching. Spent part of first year travelling. Spent much of second year (2016) being caregiver for mother who is now much better. Am bored out of my mind!


Most of my friends are still working with several years to go before retirement. Have too much time on my hands, suffering from panic attacks, aware of every ache and pain in my body like I am falling apart.

How do you figure out what you would like to do to fill the time? I do dance and art but they are not enough. How do you find your passion? I was so busy working that I never thought about it and never prepared for retirement. Now what?

I'm not a senior yet but I dread years ahead of me without excitement and purpose. I'm single as well which seems to make it worse.

Can anyone give me some ideas? All gratefully accepted. Is there a worldwide lonely and bored retirees club that I can join? haha

Wendy: Yes, join the Retirement Community (right column) then you can find new email friends or write in the community to retirees worldwide.

Comments for What to do?!

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Update
by: Vava

Thank you to all of you who have written, sharing with all of us your tales of encouragement. It is reaffirming to read that many of you have experienced the same feelings of loss and initial boredom after retirement.

I have begun to get a more pleasant rhythm to my life. It's only taken three years! Modern line dance classes twice a week, water colour painting classes, rhumba and fitness programs with seniors (even though I am not one yet!)and now that summer is here, lots of gardening. I have come to enjoy just reading a book all day as well and have managed to make a small dent in the ever growing pile of second hand books that I keep acquiring from the Salvation Army charity shops. Another fun activity!

I have discovered great joy in volunteering and would highly recommend it. I don't take on the long, drawn out positions but shorter ones that don't require too much commitment. I've varied them as well - sports, culture, literature and film.

Unfortunately, I live in an area that has a loooong winter and this is not conducive to a sunny and positive attitude. There may be a trip to a warmer clime if we have a repeat of last year's winter.

The world is becoming an uncertain place. It is good that there are so many things to do at home. I continue to wish all of you a happy retirement and please continue to share your stories and encouragement.

These comments are helpful
by: Mary/Wi

I have retired after 20 yrs of military service. I agree with all the comments here. I feel relieved knowing I am not alone in this adaptation of retirement and also single.

retirement
by: Spain

Ah, i know exactly how u all feel. Me too. Acceptance is the most important. I like reading, beach walks, cooking etc...but yes do feel this void and look at the time almost every hour happy another hour has passed...i feel better on cloudy days than sunny day and after 5pm knowing in my heart...well everone else is at home....yes keep your sence of humour.

Busier than ever
by: Boston, ma

I was bored and unhappy my first year of retirement. I was sorry I had left my job.

Then I joined a Walking group at my Senior center and met some great people. I also signed up at a temp agency and they found a part time job for me. It keeps me in the work force a few days a month and gives me some extra travel money.

You have to find ways to keep busy and involved with life.

What to do?
by: Anonymous

Vava,

I just retired Aug 11, 2016 1:00PM (yes I remember the hour as well) and at first .. I was free from the alarm clocks, and the rushing to get to work, and the trials and stress of the job!

I was able to get up any time I want, go to bed anytime I wanted (sometimes stayed up to 4am!) but after 4 months ... YIKES! I was questioning retirement.

I found that by planning trips (I do the Amtrak Coast Starlight and Southwest Chief long haul trips) as well as going overseas, Thailand make it more pleasant!

Make sue you have something to look forward to, even if it is just to go out to lunch / dinner at a favorite restaurant, a weekend at a hotel in another city etc.

Having a hobby would be helpful (do I have a hobby? NO, can't have a garden in a condo LOL and I could continue learning how to play piano (my piano just sits there) ..maybe volunteering?

Anyways, welcome to Retirement... the Golden years? if only I had some Gold in this economy! ;-)

Encouraged
by: Anonymous

As another retired teacher, I was thinking the same thing about how educational programs for retirement is vital, it is more than just having enough money! Thank you for validating my dream!

What to do?
by: Linda/Atlanta

Check out meetup.com for groups in your area. I joined several and it very quickly expanded my social circle and social calendar both daytime and evening.

thank you
by: vava

My thanks to everyone who has responded to my tales of woe - who should have them when we have all the freedom to do what we want!?

I am feeling more inspired by your words of wisdom and will make a good effort to get out there and get involved with the world around me.

I'm still searching for my passion and will keep you informed.

Happy retirement to you all!

Its all about how we think
by: Anonymous

I too am retired and have faced some boredom and periods of feeling down. I recently made up my mind that I would change my thinking and outlook on life to what it was back when I was in my twenties.

Like most people, when I was in my twenties, I was excited and thrilled about all the opportunities and new adventures I had before me for what seemed like forever. I think the secret to an exciting retirement is to realize that we don't have to think old -- we can think as we did back when we were in our twenties.

Some people never get old and naturally maintain a youthful state of mind. For the rest of us we need to consciously work at it. If we are physically healthy and if we exercise and eat right we are halfway there. I find if I go out and hang around people who never lose there youth no matter their age, their attitude towards life rubs off on me.

So go ahead and force yourself to get out of your house everyday. Join clubs, take exercise classes, volunteer, take college classes etc. Meet lots of new people. You will need to push yourself at first, but you will be surprised at how soon you will be back to your younger self.

What to do?
by: Rosey

If you have the means, travel, travel, travel. Open up your world and mind to what's out there. There is so much to explore and learn that you could spend the rest of your life doing it. Meet different peoples, experience their culture, customs and food. You'll find that above all, people are just people like you and me.

What to do at retirement
by: Anonymous

Dear Vava:

When I see what so many Canadians do -- like amazing work on TV, and when I know how creative so many teachers are, I had to write.

Wendy's Retirement Online has taught us that most of us are not alone as we listen to so many depressed, bored and unmotivated people when they leave work. I know how I felt when I left teaching in my thirties, to stay home to care for our four remarkable children. This was at a time when women didn't work outside the home. At marriage, I lost my name and lost who I was when I left teaching.

That was my "first retirement" . I really feel it is Necessary to have classes in high school that give realistic information to teens about marriage, and/or living together - what is requires and what it demands.......especially if children are involved. We either grow up and face the challenges or we can get into quite a bit of trouble.

Likewise, I think it is necessary to have important classes for adults who are planning to leave their work and retire .

It is not easy to leave the social interactions and challenges of work life and go home, and have to face who we are ....this is one of the biggest challenges of our lives. But it can also become life giving and creative if there were classes where we could share our stories and network areas in which we can help each other.

Teachers of the world-- unite. Go out there and create classes for people who face retirement and classes for those who already are home, wondering what do I do--or what comes next. Help them join this Retirement site.

I went through what everyone went through. I am 86 right now and find this one of the most cherished times of my life.

I feel half my age. We renew ourselves constantly through our cells and through our thoughts. The body slowly ages, but We don't have to.


Volunteer
by: Ontario

Volunteer work seems to me what you need. You can find many organizations which count on volunteers to help. There are some in education, communication, arts and crafts, but many are about health. There is usually some training available in this field.

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