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Old 07-23-2014, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,967,079 times
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We can be relevant though not necessarily in person. Writing letters to grandkids (or texting), sending them meaningful things like DVDs and books, chatting on the phone, gaming online, skyping, etc. is all it takes, imo, to be relevant, even to just one other person. None of us were or ever are going to be relevant to the world.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:17 PM
 
14,257 posts, read 23,974,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunnydee View Post
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.

When I want to be entertained, I always find myself going to one of the iTunes Radio channels listening to old time radio. It is amazing that the old guys (Benny, Skelton, etc.) could do stand up for hours without dropping f-bombs and the like.

==========================

To get back to the OP's question, I strongly recommend doing some kind of volunteer activities as a way of being relevant. First, others will benefit from your activities. Also, in most cases, they will express appreciation for your efforts, even though they may not always be perfect. Finally, when you volunteer, you meet a whole lot of similar minded individuals who are friendly, optimistic, and the like.

I retired in May 2013, by choice, and in my new location, the most difficult issue has been how many hours to volunteer for and which organization to choose. I have had at least ten different people ask to volunteer for their organization. However, I do not want to get back to 60 hour work weeks which was my reason for retiring in the first place!
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,924,480 times
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So, you're only relevant when you're doing things for other people? Bah! Let other people be relevant to you for a change.

Whoa is me, I don't have to work for someone else's profit, or wipe a kid's butt anymore, and I'm still in good health and have enough money. What a horrible state to be in.

Plenty of people around the world would kill to be in your state of relevancy. You won't get any sympathy from me.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:22 PM
 
10,812 posts, read 8,056,502 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
So, you're only relevant when you're doing things for other people? Bah! Let other people be relevant to you for a change.

Whoa is me, I don't have to work for someone else's profit, or wipe a kid's butt anymore, and I'm still in good health and have enough money. What a horrible state to be in.

Plenty of people around the world would kill to be in your state of relevancy. You won't get any sympathy from me.
well-said, right there with ya. OP, I don't mean this as a slam but rather a wake-up re what others here have said: your idea of self-worth is entirely in your own head.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:20 AM
 
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As others have said, validation and relevance should come from within.

But, I wonder if what you are really missing is connection with others.

If so, then the only way to solve that is to make new connections by getting out there and getting involved or to make the effort to maintain old connections despite distance.

As for grand children Skype is a wonderful thing. Also, engaging grandchildren with things they are passionate about. Most small kids are passionate about something.

Old friends......visit them or invite them to visit you.

As others have said volunteer. Hard to feel down about yourself when you are helping others.

Reconsider owning a pet as its pretty easy to travel now a days with small pets. The last hotel we stayed in was dog friendly and even gave our pet a goody bag.

My father is 84 and he has always said that in order to keep going you need a reason to get up each morning. For him its as simple as walking his dog and making breakfast for himself and my mother who likes to sleep in and hates to cook breakfast lol.

Find your reason for getting up each morning. It doesn't have to be complicated.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:08 AM
 
Location: in the miseries
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Helping others always makes me feel good.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Sunny Florida
7,136 posts, read 11,008,830 times
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If you don't want to volunteer or get a pet, I understand that, perhaps you could consider doing activities you enjoy. I know when we retired and moved to Florida it was a bit hard because we didn't have any friends here and my parents were an hour away. I did some research and went onto meetup.com (no, it's not a dating site), and started trying out groups. I've stuck with kickball and Bunco for three years now via that site. DH found a book club through a church posting and that put us in contact with people who play pickleball, which we've been playing ever since. I find walking the dogs and gardening rewarding, as well. I think getting out and doing things and making friends is essential.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:41 AM
 
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Not a great admirer of Dr. Phil but occasionally he does spout out some pearls... one being..."We teach others how to treat us"

That, of course, can be applied to a gazillion aspects of our lives but I think it is a good one for this OP.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:54 AM
 
13,314 posts, read 25,546,272 times
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Can't say my current job makes me feel "relevant" even though it purportedly helps people (and is wrecking my health and taking over my life. Three years and eight months to go to the pension). I don't have kids (by choice) and am not coupled (by circumstance/choice/whatever). I feel emotionally somewhat irrelevant since I don't have any close connections, at least none nearby and none that are, well, romances. I adopt senior rescue dogs and they make my dream house a home.

Don't know if "relevant" is the right label. I will feel freer of the stress and depression-inducing elements of my job when I am no longer working. I might pick up a couple of shifts a week because the money can't hurt and because it's the only place I've "belonged" in my life in recent years.

Or maybe I'll indulge myself and be a full-time bitter hermit. I used to think I had to move somewhere isolated to do that, but now realize I can do it right where I am.

Maybe I've never been relevant, so don't imagine less work as a change.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Conroe, Texas
62 posts, read 70,564 times
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Go visit a wildlife rehabilitation facility, ask to volunteer helping to feed infant/orphaned animals. If you enjoy the experience, they will train you in all aspects of wildlife care. You can do as little or as much as you want as a volunteer, but nothing makes me feel more relevant in this life than to fill a baby's belly with warm formula, look into their grateful eyes, and receive sweet nuzzles and kisses from them. Pure joy comes from being kissed by a sweet little fawn.

Every phase of raising wildlife to be released is relevant and critical to their survival - nurturing, playing, teaching them to hunt makes use all of your creative resources.

You will also develop a new social life because your network will include veterinary professionals, master gardeners, master naturalists, biologists and your state's Parks and Wildlife agency.

My kids are gone, I'm retired, but I have never felt more relevant in my life than when I release a wild animal or bird that I've nurtured and raised. All of nature needs a second chance.

Best wishes,
peep
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