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Old 12-31-2015, 01:26 AM
Location: Washington state
5,440 posts, read 2,764,764 times
Reputation: 16373


OP, let me ask you something. Why do you have to have a purpose and a meaning right now? Why not give yourself 6 months and just "float" for a while? Try different things, maybe take a class, think of things you've always wanted to do and try to do something as close to that as possible. What it sounds like is you're looking for something to reach out and grab you by the throat, something that will interest you to the point of diving into it head first like you may have done with your job, but something that doesn't take over your life like your job did. A captivating interest that will give you a purpose in life is like finding the perfect person, though. It's not going to come out of the blue; you have to go look for it. That's why I suggest you give yourself some "free time" to just see what's out there without putting any pressure on yourself.

I think trying to find purpose in life without first figuring out what that life is going to be about is sort of backwards. Find what you want to do first and the purpose will follow.

Hopefully that didn't sound too crazy. LOL
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Old 12-31-2015, 01:31 AM
Location: NY in body, Mayberry in spirit.
2,692 posts, read 1,770,877 times
Reputation: 6324
I worked at a job that was enjoyable for the first half, not so much the second. I very much looked forward to retirement, and have have adapted quite nicely. Several friends of mine are retired NYFD. Both of them really miss the comradary of the firehouse, and have a hard time finding ways to fill their days. In a crazy way, my basic dislike for my job in the last years of employment made retirement much easier to handle. My friends loved being firemen, but now are not nearly as happy as I am. I guess life has a way of balancing out.
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Old 12-31-2015, 06:09 AM
4,481 posts, read 4,743,979 times
Reputation: 9940
I plan on keeping a sense of humor my purpose for a fulfilling retirement.
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Old 12-31-2015, 06:25 AM
536 posts, read 631,961 times
Reputation: 1473
I had a very close friend and mentor who committed suicide after 4 years of retirement, perhaps in part because his work-life had kept his depression at bay. Yet I have also known people who retired and found joy and fulfillment in new pursuits, or in just kicking back.

It is not necessarily about the money, either. People's personalities differ, and work is a big part of life--a space that asks to be filled somehow. One of my brothers had a terrible job with a difficult commute and uncertain schedule, and he took retirement as soon as he could--but he doesn't like it as much as he expected. He'll probably end up getting some kind of part-time work.

I will keep at my work as long as I enjoy it. It isn't the only factor in having a sense of purpose, but it is a factor. Some people really do like their jobs...not necessarily every minute of every day, but overall they are buoyed by working.

And while it's not all important to me, I admit that for me income is also a factor. I fear that the income I'll lose in retirement will restrict my travel, for instance, and like everyone in my family, I love to try new places and learn new languages.
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Old 12-31-2015, 06:32 AM
5,822 posts, read 13,318,850 times
Reputation: 9290
I had two careers, retired military and civilian, traveled the world and retired at 62. Our purpose now is to enjoy the fruit of our labors. We travel, volunteer, take part in kayaking, line dancing, etc. We enjoy our grand children and grown adult children, extended family and friends. We have never looked back and wished we worked longer.
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:21 AM
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,522 posts, read 8,765,146 times
Reputation: 12215
"real sense of purpose". It's right in front of you. Just get on it!
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:56 AM
Location: Chicago area
14,407 posts, read 7,926,626 times
Reputation: 53524
I was defined by purpose for decades. I have no structure, no time constraints, no sense of purpose. I'm learning to be more like my happy dogs. They live in the moment. Nothing else really matters. I was a high octane hard core workaholic until that switch flipped off...just like that. This is all new territory for me and the wonder of it hasn't worn off yet. I can't even think about being anything else but like my boys right now. Maybe some day when this life style stops being so fun, but for right now.....lunch.
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:42 AM
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,487,261 times
Reputation: 29071
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
If work is your only "sense of purpose", I feel sorry for you. I could not wait to be done with the corporate rat-race, working 16-hour days because with e-mail and telecommuting you were never really "off", management who care more about metrics than their employees. I have not looked back at all. I don't know what exactly consumes my days, but they are busy!
I always referred to email, cell phones and telecommuting as an electronic leash. So glad to be done with work related ones, and I was "management."
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Old 12-31-2015, 02:09 PM
237 posts, read 161,230 times
Reputation: 946
I am eight years from retirement. My purpose will be no different than what I've done in my spare time for my whole life, except I'll have more time to do those things. I am also looking forward to trying new things. I have enjoyed my career, but when I think about retirement, I feel like a kid in a candy store.
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Old 12-31-2015, 02:22 PM
Location: Las Vegas
13,889 posts, read 25,327,549 times
Reputation: 26385
Work was always how I paid for my life. NOT my life. So this has never been an issue for me!
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