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Old 08-12-2011, 07:51 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,901,398 times
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Really sounds like many have nothing much in their lifes than their work to me.If that is the case the you definitiely may want to keep working.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:54 AM
Status: "0-0-2 start!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,289 posts, read 15,342,559 times
Reputation: 9463
I've always been more self-directed - we retired to a place 45 minutes from a small town and we can easily go a week without talking (well, face-to-face, I do a lot of email and txt) to another person (other than each other). I hated cubicle life as an engineer and the tedious day-to-day nonsense that working for a large (and then a not-so-large) company brought and couldn't wait to be GONE and on my own.

My project list gets longer and longer the longer I am retired - in the last year I've learned to use a plasma cutter and a mig welder to make myself decorative gates and various bits of yard art (took a class in metal art at the community college and they have all the equipment you could ever want), I bought a mandolin and am learning to play it, even though I've never played an instrument in my life, I've been learning Spanish on my own and will start going to a conversation group shortly. We've been walking every hiking trail in an increasing radius from the house. We bought a very small trailer and do a lot of camping during the week in the summer and fall.

An odd fact about me is that I am easily bored, but I am never really bored - while I might find weeding boring, as soon as I am done there are a ton of things that are very interesting to do, even if it's just to sit on the deck and read.

Last edited by PNW-type-gal; 08-12-2011 at 09:10 AM..
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,726,438 times
Reputation: 32304
Default Human contact is what you say you were missing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janeace View Post
I have a week off from work and am staying near home and seeing what retirement might feel like. Yesterday I went to a small water park and was there alone among 100s of people. I then went to a few stores and through a fast food drive in. The only people who spoke to me were the store cashiers, and the fast food order taker throughout the day.
I knew a man who worked for decades for the Post Office, After he retired his wife told me he said he would pay the Post Office if they would let him come back and work.
Yesterday I thought how he must have felt. At least at work it's a good bet someone might talk to you besides saying, "Can I take your order?"
To me it says to get thee to a 55 + gated community where others might acknowledge your prescense, possibly smile and say hello...comment on the weather!!!!
I had a 7 day pass to a fitness gym. I went once after work. Went into the female workout room. The 20 something gals with the Ipods in their ears didn't even seem to see me. I began to wonder if I was there at all.
Could it be this new generation only communcates via computer and phone to the real people in their lives? Real people in front of them are just wallpaper?
If this is what it is like retiring around here, it looks pretty lonely.
Yes, human contact beyond the level of giving your order is very important. Those who do not have activities outside of work which involve human contact will have to work at creating them. Craft or hobby projects that you do at home alone will not fulfill the need, although there is nothing wrong with these and it's better to have something to do rather than nothing. Here are some ideas, some of which have been mentioned in other perceptive posts already.
1. At the gym, attend some group classes. Over time (not necessarily on the first day) it is more likely that you will strike up conversations, which can lead to friendships.
2. Are there recent retirees from work that you are in contact with? If so, start a once-a-month lunch at a restaurant. Or perhaps a few people will be retiring at the same time you are. If none are compatible, this won't work, of course.
3. Are there any relatives that you have good relationships with? You could travel to visit them.
4. In some parts of the country, the Sierra Club conducts group hikes. People are likely to talk to each other on these kinds of events, especially if you keep seeing the same faces.
5. Volunteer work. This is the biggie. Libraries, schools, senior centers, hospitals, police departments and other places need volunteers. You may have to jump through some hoops such as fingerprinting and references, and you may have to try a few different situations before finding the one that feels right to you, but this is an almost guaranteed route to some meaningful human contact.

My list is not exhaustive, and not everything on it will necessarily work for you personally. But please keep this in mind: You will probably take a few wrong turns and hit a few potholes in the road while finding your way in retirement, but that's O.K. Just continue the journey; it can lead to some amazing places.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,677 posts, read 49,430,310 times
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Retirement is all about what you want it to be.

If you want to do nothing, than you can.

I got active with my lodge, and with the American Legion and the VFW post.

We are active in our church.

We garden a bit, and market veggies to a Buyers Club.

Granted it is all at a slower pace, but we are still active.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,291 posts, read 4,943,964 times
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Half the battle is ones attitude. I recently retired, I am finding my way. Joined a few clubs, go to the gym twice a week, have met some other women my age, we gab while peddling our azz's off while on the bikes.

I think that I will be ok, because I want to be ok. My past working life is my guidepost...not my hitching post.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:09 PM
 
4,477 posts, read 4,738,767 times
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Wow, what a narrow view of what could and can be a great time of your life. Sounds like you need to reprogram your thinking.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:06 PM
 
701 posts, read 1,530,799 times
Reputation: 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janeace View Post
The 20 something gals with the Ipods in their ears didn't even seem to see me. I began to wonder if I was there at all.
Could it be this new generation only communcates via computer and phone to the real people in their lives? Real people in front of them are just wallpaper?
If this is what it is like retiring around here, it looks pretty lonely.
Life is indeed lonely for those depending upon strangers in locker rooms for human interaction.

For those volunteering at the food shelf, teaching children to read, shelving books at the library, serving lunches at the Habitat for Humanity job site... not so much.

My dear next door neighbor had a life full of people right up to the end. She was interested in others, volunteered at her church and at a nearby nursing home, baked caramel rolls so good my eyes water at the memory of them.

An aunt the same age, retired 30 years ago and spent the rest of her years chatting up cashiers, trying to make small talk with strangers and complaining that her kids didn't visit enough.

Wasted a third of her life when she could have been living it up.

Last edited by PatRoy1; 08-12-2011 at 07:15 PM..
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:53 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,849,575 times
Reputation: 8956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janeace View Post
I have a week off from work and am staying near home and seeing what retirement might feel like. Yesterday I went to a small water park and was there alone among 100s of people. I then went to a few stores and through a fast food drive in. The only people who spoke to me were the store cashiers, and the fast food order taker throughout the day.
I knew a man who worked for decades for the Post Office, After he retired his wife told me he said he would pay the Post Office if they would let him come back and work.
Yesterday I thought how he must have felt. At least at work it's a good bet someone might talk to you besides saying, "Can I take your order?"
To me it says to get thee to a 55 + gated community where others might acknowledge your prescense, possibly smile and say hello...comment on the weather!!!!
I had a 7 day pass to a fitness gym. I went once after work. Went into the female workout room. The 20 something gals with the Ipods in their ears didn't even seem to see me. I began to wonder if I was there at all.
Could it be this new generation only communcates via computer and phone to the real people in their lives? Real people in front of them are just wallpaper?
If this is what it is like retiring around here, it looks pretty lonely.

Our society being what it is is not very community oriented. That said, it sounds like you have a bit of an entitlement mentality if you expect everyone to drop everything and approach you or entertain you . . .people are busy. Did you really think you were going to meet social contacts on the street?

If you want to meet people, join Meetup.com . . .problem solved. In the meantime, think about your expectations maybe related to "reality."
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,119 posts, read 9,073,863 times
Reputation: 11540
Fear keeps many of us retirees from doing things we really would like to do. Fear of spending too much money, of not fitting in, of not being able to leave, of deciding the activity isn't for us, etc etc. Even fear of being afraid of strangers. Its all about what you are saying to yourself, while going about your day. And these little self conversations are really hard to change when you are older.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:08 AM
 
5,425 posts, read 3,442,945 times
Reputation: 13698
I think Janeace, the original poster who started this thread, has legitimate concerns. She may not have stated the concerns in a way that everyone likes, but I really think her concerns have merit in that it can be a bit lonely in retirement when one is cut off from the automatically provided human interaction in the workplace every day.

I do not have answers other than what others have already posted, but I empathize and sympathize with those who feel a bit lonely when no longer working every day at a fulltime job.

Some people have it a little easier when they have a natural inclination or interest in church involvement. But many of us are not interested in church involvement or religion. I think churches are a great community resource for all kinds of involvement and meeting people - but unfortunately, if one does not have a interest in religion, it cuts off a natural and easy avenue of involvement.
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