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Old 04-28-2014, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Iowa
190 posts, read 153,952 times
Reputation: 385

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Now is a time to cultivate those personal projects that will have meaning to you. What magazines do you like? What trends in articles reach you? That may spark a few ideas.

I am in the pre-retirement planning stage now and exploring new interests now. I live in an area that is great for gardening. Getting out in nature is a salve for me. Fishing, kayaking, hiking are being added. I like biking. I will be splurging on a decent bike. I am not big in drudge yard work (mainly mowing). Some perennials and hardscaping will keep me busy.

I enjoy working with my hands. I have a few woodworking project dreams that I never had time for. A few continuing education classes will have to get fit in. Volunteering will get added. I enjoy giving back. I like some socialization activities. A couple of clubs to get out would be healthy for me.

Just a few ideas...
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,735,102 times
Reputation: 32304
Volunteer activities can be found at:

Libraries
Hospitals
Schools
Police and fire departments
Public parks
Soup kitchens
Museums
(and doubtless others that I haven't thought of).

Interest groups/clubs exist for these activities (and more):

Hiking
Cycling
Motorcycling
Various types of dancing
Bridge
Photography
Chess

Try something! If you really don't like it you don't have to go back!
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,035 posts, read 17,348,573 times
Reputation: 41359
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
Travel - I traveled a lot in my employment, never liked it in the beginning, but I now miss it. There is so much to see in the US...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post

Volunteer - I've been helping out in a few volunteer programs. Some were interesting, some were not. I now take a lot of photos and video's for dog rescue places...

Hobby - Try some hobbies. Photography had been my hobby for over 50 years, but I was short of cash. New digital cameras make it very inexpensive.
A nice summary. Travel, Volunteer, Hobby.

Sounds like great place to start. Let your imagination run wild!
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:50 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,665 posts, read 74,612,986 times
Reputation: 48173
you need a hobby like yesterday.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Center City
6,854 posts, read 7,801,051 times
Reputation: 9473
OP - Yours and my situation are different in many ways but similar in others. One big difference: I have a working spouse so I am not alone all the time (more on that later). Another big difference: We moved 1500 miles and had to find, finance and furnish a new home.

Here's the catch: We didn't know a single soul in the city, but we packed up and moved here 3 days after I retired. Therefore, after we completed most of the tasks associated with creating a new home, I would wake up with a spouse away at the office and think "What now?" Within a few short months, I was volunteering for two organizations in addition to weekly tai chi. Not only did that give me meaningful work, it linked me (and my DH) into a new network of friends. Another benefit I would touch on was offered by newneglandgirl a few posts back - my regular cycle of volunteering and other chores and engagements put some structure into my week. Gosh - you live in NYC! If there is any place where you could find volunteer work or social interest groups, I can't imagine a better place.

Another thing I would suggest is that you get out of your apartment at least once each day. With the amenities my building offers, it would be possible to go a week without venturing outside. Whether it's to buy groceries, pick up a greeting card, check on some theater tickets, see a film, visit a museum, grab a coffee or simply walk to the park, I get out into the open air. I find doing one of these things gives me some sort of interaction with other people, breaking what could be long spells of being alone. I do this almost every day, warm or cold, unless it is pouring rain or ungodly hot and sticky.

I realize this is is coming from someone who has a spouse at home each evening. That said, I hope you are not totally isolated and have at least one friend you can meet for coffee, a movie or some other activity.

I hope you find some of the suggestions I've offered above are of value to you. Best of luck to you.

Last edited by Pine to Vine; 04-28-2014 at 03:56 PM.. Reason: a somewhat more legible version
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,735,102 times
Reputation: 32304
Default Structure

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
..... - my volunteering put some structure into my week....
Since all our personalities are different, some of us need more structure than others. I, like you - and like it seems the OP too is now discovering - need some structure. I don't mean every day, but ultimately I would feel that aimlessness - being at loose ends - if I didn't have some specific activities that I had committed to. Some lazy days with absolutely nothing to do are great, even a month or two of such days can help us detox right after retirement from a stressful and demanding job. But ultimately......

These discussions are fairly common on the City-Data Retirement Forum. I remember posters saying, "No volunteer work for me - it's working and not even getting paid and I retired to leave work behind." Well, O.K., if their lives are happy there is certainly no reason to insist they are missing something by not volunteering. However, I would make these points:

1. Volunteer work, unlike paid full-time work, can be done one day a week, or two days a week, or whatever and it doesn't even need to be a full eight-hour day.

2. If we find that we don't care for the volunteer work that we are trying out, we can put it aside and not go back to it. We can't do that with our regular career job without suffering financial consequences.

3. It is even possible to find immense gratification in volunteer work, although of course it's not guaranteed. I have been very fortunate to find that gratification, and on my own initiative have expanded my volunteer work to three days a week. It's wonderful to look forward EAGERLY to those three days. I never had that feeling as consistently during the 34 years of my regular career. There is something about giving of oneself in circumstances where one is appreciated which is very special.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Vermont
1,018 posts, read 1,420,209 times
Reputation: 1994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Since all our personalities are different, some of us need more structure than others. I, like you - and like it seems the OP too is now discovering - need some structure. I don't mean every day, but ultimately I would feel that aimlessness - being at loose ends - if I didn't have some specific activities that I had committed to. Some lazy days with absolutely nothing to do are great, even a month or two of such days can help us detox right after retirement from a stressful and demanding job. But ultimately......

These discussions are fairly common on the City-Data Retirement Forum. I remember posters saying, "No volunteer work for me - it's working and not even getting paid and I retired to leave work behind." Well, O.K., if their lives are happy there is certainly no reason to insist they are missing something by not volunteering. However, I would make these points:

1. Volunteer work, unlike paid full-time work, can be done one day a week, or two days a week, or whatever and it doesn't even need to be a full eight-hour day.

2. If we find that we don't care for the volunteer work that we are trying out, we can put it aside and not go back to it. We can't do that with our regular career job without suffering financial consequences.

3. It is even possible to find immense gratification in volunteer work, although of course it's not guaranteed. I have been very fortunate to find that gratification, and on my own initiative have expanded my volunteer work to three days a week. It's wonderful to look forward EAGERLY to those three days. I never had that feeling as consistently during the 34 years of my regular career. There is something about giving of oneself in circumstances where one is appreciated which is very special.
I 'm not retired yet but many of my friends are. The happiest ones still get out and do something 3 volunteer at the hospital and love it. 1 got his CDL and drives a dump truck and heavy equipment part time (every boys dream). Another works part time at a golf course for free golf and paid sunshine.
There's a million ways to make a real difference. Volunteer with kids, older people, animals or just about anyone or anything.
I personally can't wait to get out and do something meaningful. Helping others is gratifying, but also help yourself. Join a gym or start walking. Physical health improves your mood as well. Get going and get out of thatvrut before it gets too deep!
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,752 posts, read 1,654,422 times
Reputation: 5951
I retired about two years ago, but I am married, so my social requirements are a little different from the OP. For about 3 months I vegged, then over the next three months I started doing more structured activities I didn't have time for.

I got a mid sized dog to "force" me on a walk everyday (it works excellent for me), and started in dog training classes - we now do Rally competitions together. I "work" at consulting as things come up (I retired on a very good note, and still have contacts familiar with my skill set).

I am also picking back up on neglected hobbies (guitar, kayaking, bicycling).

I would give yourself a couple of months indulgience in wasting time, you'll get bored fast enough, and structure will creep back into your life, and after a few more months you'll wonder how you ever had time to go to work!
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
1,827 posts, read 2,616,901 times
Reputation: 2887
Any interest in buying a vacation home now that you have the time to enjoy it? Back in2005 I restored a beautiful 1800's farmhouse! Talk about a life-changing wonderful experience LSS I met so many wonderful people and LOVED living in the Country. After restoring and decorating (which was a blast) I took up horseback riding, art classes and volunteer work. I enjoyed my volunteer job so much that when they asked me to work 3 days a week I was happy to. Retirement can be the best time in your life! EMBRACE IT Btw I sold my primary residence, moved to the Country have 4 dogs, 2 horses and love it

Last edited by LiveLoveLaugh; 04-28-2014 at 04:57 PM.. Reason: wanted to add something
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 20,256,313 times
Reputation: 31758
I unexpectedly retired in September and I make it a point to do something every day. Our weather in the northeast has been horrible over the winter, but one thing that I did was go to the YMCA almost every day. I have met many new people, some have become friends and others are friendly, but I also look for opportunities.

I wanted to write, so I enter writing competitions that I don't have any expectation of winning but it provides me with a lot of enjoyment. I also have pets, but if you like animals, volunteer at your local animal shelter. They really need the help. I also have a friend who started a business and I help her out one day a week. Lunch with friends is also nice.

The really nice thing about retirement is that you don't have to do anything that you don't want to do. I agree with Tuck's Dad that you should give yourself a couple of months of wasting time. As you do that, start thinking about what you would like to do, what you wish you would have done when you were younger, and take a look at what is going on in your neighborhood. There is so much out there. I know that I am exhausted at the end of the week and I haven't even done most of what I would like to do.

Good luck in your retirement and enjoy it!
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