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Old 07-23-2014, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,365 posts, read 10,352,123 times
Reputation: 28548

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You mentioned in another post that you like old needlework. Why not take photos of your collection and describe it-where/when you got it and any history you know about it. maybe even what threads or cloth and stitches were used.

Even carefully preserved needlework doesn't last forever. Bet you could find a few locals to join you. Rather than a needlework guild that stitches, you could have a needlework group that helps record.

Once you get started, show what you're doing to a local museum-ya know the little historical societies that are almost unknown except by the locals. Maybe they'll let you catalog their collection. Wouldn't that be awesome!


Then you could post it in a CD forum album for all the hippos to see.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,143 posts, read 45,675,592 times
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These are all good suggestions, and I thank you all for them.

I KNOW perfectly well I could volunteer for any number of things (I have volunteered for many things over the years), and I have nearly finished a novel, and I have PLENTY of interests I pursue.

My question was how do YOU keep from feeling irrelevant when you don't get validation from the same sources you have all your life, like job, friends and family?
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:43 PM
 
26,591 posts, read 52,334,622 times
Reputation: 20438
Keeping busy...
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:44 PM
 
98 posts, read 101,097 times
Reputation: 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
These are all good suggestions, and I thank you all for them.

I KNOW perfectly well I could volunteer for any number of things (I have volunteered for many things over the years), and I have nearly finished a novel, and I have PLENTY of interests I pursue.

My question was how do YOU keep from feeling irrelevant when you don't get validation from the same sources you have all your life, like job, friends and family?
Nowhere near retired but personally struggle with that "relevance" dilemma that I view as part of my existential angst!

Thus ask yourself what kind of validation you're looking for, that you used to receive and value.

Be specific.

Is this hearing people say, "Thanks, your advice really helped me!" or "I really learned something new from you" or "I knew you'd be the only other person who would know the answer to this" or "I can always count on you to see the big picture" or?

Only when you get specific can you then look at the ways you can cultivate new sources of this type of validation. Otherwise it's this vague amorphous feeling of not mattering much, which sucks.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Sunny Florida
7,136 posts, read 11,020,638 times
Reputation: 9460
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
These are all good suggestions, and I thank you all for them.

I KNOW perfectly well I could volunteer for any number of things (I have volunteered for many things over the years), and I have nearly finished a novel, and I have PLENTY of interests I pursue.

My question was how do YOU keep from feeling irrelevant when you don't get validation from the same sources you have all your life, like job, friends and family?

It's interesting that you brought this up. My DH and I just had a long discussion about my parents feeling like they are being dismissed and aren't relevant any longer. For them it began in earnest when Jimmy Fallon took over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. They loved Leno and understood his references, but Fallon's jokes and references are totally foreign to them, so they've resigned themselves to just going to bed. It's kind of sad. We are doing our best to prop them up and make them feel they matter, but it's hard. Idk if it's part of life's trajectory or something else at work, but I can see that we are next in line for these feelings.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,372 posts, read 9,869,967 times
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I feel relevant when readers like my words (and tell me so), when I do a great job in fund-raising for the Friends of the Library, in being a compassionate friend and lover to my husband and female friends.

And in taking tender care of my pet clients and their humans.

In picking a tomato I grew.

Mostly, though, I self-validate in knowing I'm a good-enough person doing a great job in my life of making sense of a complicated world. I treat myself with what Buddhists call "loving-kindness."
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Scranton
1,384 posts, read 2,722,377 times
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Why did you move to a new state where you don't know anyone? Being that you two are retired, it may just be easier to move closer to one of your kids.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,988,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
When the children are grown and gone, the pets have died, and you don't have a job to prove your worth, what coping skills do you find successful?

Us:
Kids and grandkids live far away
We're always watching our weight, so I have lost my urge to cook and bake
Our old friends are spread around the country, so frequent socializing is over.
We have both retired early(against our will), although DH has a part time job.
We live in a new state where we don't know anyone to hang out with.
We choose to be pet free right now, so we're freer to come and go, but our travel budget is limited.

We keep pretty content by the fun of working together on home improvement projects, but really, I'm not sure how we'll fill our time when we run out of them.
We have each other, enough money to get by, and fairly good health, but the things we do just seem like filler. They aren't really fulfilling. We miss being important to our kids and our work.
What would it take to move back nearer your kids? Are you living in a place bigger and more expensive than what you truly need? Since connections to others are more important as we age, what about living in something really modest and affordable, unless you've moved to do just that?

What you described is what keeps me from really wanting to move away.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,988,950 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post

My question was how do YOU keep from feeling irrelevant when you don't get validation from the same sources you have all your life, like job, friends and family?
i've found that even though my kids are loving, I cannot depend on them for validation. Nor can I depend on my former career, which is gone baby gone. And I am challenged physically. So...I teach one class per week, I write and send out for publication, I dabble in art, I encourage my dogs and spouse to depend on me (haha), and I study theologies including double-belief systems (at the moment, Catholicism with Buddhism). And my new discipline, yoga. I can't do better than all that, and yes I do get bored more than I'd like to admit.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:30 PM
 
3,945 posts, read 3,266,434 times
Reputation: 11331
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
These are all good suggestions, and I thank you all for them.

I KNOW perfectly well I could volunteer for any number of things (I have volunteered for many things over the years), and I have nearly finished a novel, and I have PLENTY of interests I pursue.

My question was how do YOU keep from feeling irrelevant when you don't get validation from the same sources you have all your life, like job, friends and family?
The thing is......We are irrelevant... But if being irrelevant is the worst thing one endures then one has a reason to find a contentment in such irrelevancy. I don't care that the movies I watch are not in vogue, I don't seek to be in the "loop" per se, I live as one who has gotten old should live--- on the outside of popular culture. The American infatuation with being "busy" is simply humorous on it's face, but on closer scrutiny there seems to be a certain pathos connected to this focus on activity as being the validator of us all.

I always laugh when I see the ads in the AARP magazine depicting the forty something guy with a full head of silver dyed hair appearing as the "model" of what we old guys are supposed to look like in our sixties and beyond, no fat gut types, no balding types, no disabled types, no, the men look as if they stepped from the pages of GQ, AND, they just happen to look mighty relevant. Let me feel the irrelevancy and bask in it's anonymity, I fled the work world to find a better world, not relevancy.

Validation comes from within, and not from work or the need for approval from others. Find a part of you that empathizes with those inflicted with pain and loneliness, and thus suffering greatly, find others in the far corners of nursing homes and adult group homes who just want to feel the caring of another, shining on them. If you've got your health think about those who don't, if you've got food, think about those who don't, you will soon find that our validity stems from that which allows you to reach from within, out to others.
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