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Old 07-23-2014, 11:06 AM
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,724 posts, read 4,455,655 times
Reputation: 11765


i enjoy fostering dogs for a few rescue groups. When we move I will likely help out at the local animal shelter.

There's always children that need tutoring in after school programs.

Having a vegetable garden is great for healthy eating and sharing your bounty with the food pantry,
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:18 AM
Location: in the miseries
3,302 posts, read 3,589,998 times
Reputation: 3810
Volunteer at a nursing home.
You'll reap many rewards.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:43 AM
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,259,649 times
Reputation: 14870
"you don't have a [whatever] to prove your worth"

Prove my worth??

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Old 07-23-2014, 11:48 AM
Location: delaware
688 posts, read 866,702 times
Reputation: 2367
i don't have children so that was never an issue of relevance in retirement. i worked for almost 40 years but that never defined me. i've always had pets and will probably always have one or two. yes, they can be trouble, but they contribute immeasurably to your overall sense of well being, that for, at least at this point, i would feel very lonely without them.

i teach several courses for a life long learning program to adults over 55, as well as serve on their curriculum and marketing committees. i have done this for four years and it would be difficult now for me to think about not having this as a part of my life. i have gotten tremendous feedback from students and have met some interesting people. it has truly expanded my world, and i feel it would have that affect whether teaching or taking courses.

i still have contact with friends i've known for many years, but most of the people i see frequently are people i've met in the last 10+ years or so. it has taken time to establish myself in a location that was new to me, but it does involve putting yourself out there, and yes, taking some risks in terms of involving yourself in activities that may not have been a part of your former life.

aging is a new world especially if the props we have had- familiar locale/friends, children, job are no longer in place, and it does require thinking of yourself in a different way. but it can be at times exciting and the new feedback you receive about yourself can help in developing another persona- different but relevant.

catsy girl
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:06 PM
1,317 posts, read 1,740,501 times
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I think about that quite a bit as I am contemplating retirement in a year. I don't want to end up watching television 24-7 like my in-laws; their have allowed their world to become very small but I guess they are OK with it. I think I would find classes or meet-ups doing the things I love - in my case gardening, birding, hiking, painting - in whatever locale I end up in. Book clubs. Volunteering - there are always opportunities there. My goal would be to remain connected with other people doing the things I love and so I would look for any opportunity to find those things.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:07 PM
1,779 posts, read 2,451,005 times
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I am not relevant and never thought I was. That is egotistical. I ran into people in search and rescue who were desperate to feel needed/relevant and what a collection! The egos were enormous and the competition amoung themselves to see who had the better equipment, took the most classes, went on the most searches, etc. UGH!!!! A good reason NOT to volunteer.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:14 PM
98 posts, read 101,250 times
Reputation: 158
Since you don't know many - or any - people where you live, maybe a new "project" can be a social one, build a community for yourself and make a point of introducing yourself to a new neighbor a week? We've always appreciated when neighbors take the time to say hello and introduce themselves if they moved in.

Not sure if you're into online learning but Coursera offers many free MOOCs in all subjects - you may find one that you're interested in.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:24 PM
10 posts, read 11,521 times
Reputation: 60
As a lot of other posters suggested, try volunteering. If kids are your thing, how about donating some time at a school, library, day care, zoo, crisis center, hospital, etc? If pets are your thing but you can't commit to owning one at the moment, there are plenty of rescues and humane shelters that would benefit from your time.

Maybe it's time to try some new hobbies? Meet some new friends? Traveling doesn't need to be expensive--are there state parks or museums in your area? Often, there are free days or discounted admission for seniors; why not make a date with your spouse for a weekend visit to one of these attractions?

What about a community education class? Is there a college or university in your area that offers short, non-credit classes for non-traditional or casual students?
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:32 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,372 posts, read 9,885,796 times
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Oh gosh, I do understand what you're saying. There can be a loss of self-esteem when stepping out of the corporate world into a world of self-choice. I used to own an marketing communications firm in a large city. No kids, dog died of old age.

Then we moved 3000 miles away to a community where we knew not a soul, and I retired from my career. Talk about being at sea, adrift...but...

I stepped up to the plate and:

--wrote a novel
--got articles published in a bunch of magazines
--joined the board of the Friends of the Library
--learned and practice yoga
--belong to a writers group
--raised a small vegetable garden
--joined the gym and learned to lift weights
--started a local pet-sitting business
--established a community blog

My future goals are to learn how to paint (watercolors) and to do more nature-based frugal travel. Love camping and bicycle-riding.

I'm not stating these things to prove how "cool" I am, for I am just an everyday type person -- but to set forth that retirement can be, with some effort and a curious mind, a time of "re-firement" rather than retirement.

Now is your time to bloom. Look around your community. Is there a need you can fill? What excites you?

Don't like where you live? Find a more congenial place.

You're a wonderful empty vase waiting to be filled with vibrant new growth. What will you pick?

How exciting for you! Put your wisdom to work and move forward.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:00 PM
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,030,959 times
Reputation: 1047
I'm confused by the question, because I've never thought of myself in terms of being "relevant" or "irrelevant".

Never thought of my job(s) as being a means of proving my worth; it was a means by which to pay bills and allow me to do or get the things I wanted. The only time "self worth" ever entered my head in relation to my job was when salary was being talked or thought about, LOL. If I didn't think I was being paid what I was worth, I looked for greener/fairer pastures elsewhere. But the lack of worthiness was in my employer's eyes, in those cases; not in my own.

In terms of being relevant to offspring, well, the nature of kids is to grow up and make their own lives. Are we "needed" as much as when our kids were not yet adults? Of course not. In fact, a needy adult child can easily make anyone's "worst nightmare" list. ;-)

I guess I've never felt a need to be relevant, and so if it's true that I'm not that any longer, I don't miss it and thus don't feel any need to cope with its supposed loss. (did that make any sense at all? lol)

As the great sage Popeye often said, "I yam what I yam". ;-)
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