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Old 02-16-2017, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,658 posts, read 2,809,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Well, Slyfox, you have given voice to one camp in its experience of retirement. I'm so sorry that you have had a number of unsatisfactory experiences at volunteer work. I predict you will be receiving all kinds of suggestions for things to try from people along with glowing descriptions of how full and exciting their lives are in retirement. The latter will hardly make you feel better or make your path easier.

Your tale has reminded me of how fortunate I am to have found gratifying and engaging volunteer work. I emphasize "fortunate" because I cannot claim any special merit, skill, or intelligence which led me to what I now do. Yes, I lucked into it seamlessly. So thanks for your reminder that I should be thankful.

I don't know what you should do, to be honest. Seek out a hobby? Try to get interested in reading? The latter is unlikely to happen if it's not already there at this point in your life. It seems you will have to work hard at creating something if you wish things to be different. Do you have it in you to try a few more volunteer situations despite the discouragement of failed attempts? Think of it this way: what do you have to lose? Best wishes in that regard.
Actually, I run an online existential counseling service(free) using Ira Progoff's journaling process. It keeps me thinking and helping others. But nobody in my environment knows about it, since my clients are from all around the world.

I tried to teach a course in it at my local Senior College, but they said it wasn't appropriate for their high-falootin snobby operation. I started out as their ICT person. Every thing is volunteer. But after 4 years of doing that, I realized that they were using me since I was the only person on my committee, and every other committee chair was given a position on the Board. I was required to got to EVERY senior college function and provide audio-visual or computer support(nobody else did that, paid or board member), and I was also required to provide technical and equipment support for 22 classes, sometimes even going to the classes and video-taping them. For all that they refused to even make me a director of something or put me on the board. So I gave them 17 months notice. They weren't concerned since they assured me that anyone could do my job. 17 months later when I quit, after my telling them that a replacement person would need some authority, stripes on their arms, and a board position(all of which they refused to do), they never did find anyone to replace me. At first they abolished my position. Now they have someone who does nothing but store the stuff in his barn.

The above was an example of one of three situations I joined that were just like that. I've given up joining organizations where my 40 years of experience, high level of education, is considered worthless to them, AND they really only want someone with a 4th grade education.

I do in fact read quite a bit. Since I live way up north I have to spend a lot of time dealing with the wood stove and using the snow-blower on the driveway.

Volunteer organizations are happy to have me for mindless grunt work. But I am an excessively educated person who was a professional counseling psychologist for 33 years+, and I simply don't do well volunteering in ways where people don't care about my background, training, and experience, and only want me to do some simple job that any 4th grader could do.
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,658 posts, read 2,809,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
I do truly feel sorry for those who have no goals and passions in life. I see a great many people who retire and are basically just waiting to die. Many seem to also have just drifted through their lives and retirement is just a continuation of the same.
I do too.... I am not one of those, fortunately. However, getting others to allow me to serve them in any way other than 4th grade grunt work has been hard.

Maybe I have misconstrued what volunteer work is. When I was working, I never had tie for that since I was too busy, working and raising a family.
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,658 posts, read 2,809,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borninsac View Post
Thanks for sharing. I enjoy my work but have pressure from my spouse to pull the plug. It's a constant emotional tug of war and related conflict.

Your father's perspective helps explain why so many of us stay riding our work pony, particularly those who are self-employed. Out of curiosity, what did your father do for a living?

Sure volunteer work is an option and it's nice to know so many have found their calling doing this. But for some of us, maybe the self-employed types who really enjoy their profession/trade, volunteer work is like a retired professional boxer who enjoyed the limelight being in the ring but now spends his time shadow boxing at the neighborhood park.
This is right on about the boxer. I have very strong organizational skills, and I cannot find anyone who will take them for free.

My father was a professional musician. In retirement, he worked every bit as hard as he did working(in various public school positions up to Director of Music doing musical as a professional violist, and tuning pianos. He also traveled a lot. He filled up his time as do I. But the feeling of having others want him for his skills and expertise was lacking, and he knew it.
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:53 AM
 
4,315 posts, read 2,520,569 times
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For myself, I need structure in my life.
I, therefore usually go to bed and rise about the same time every day and have certain things I do at certain times of the day/week.


Exercise, go for a walk, watch sporting events live or on TV.


watch the wildlife in the back yard and read the daily newspaper.


When I got drafted into the Navy (1965) pay scale was very low so I had to find things I enjoyed on base at the Naval air station that were free in order to stretch my pay check.
( I mailed half home to be put in savings )


Many of those habits I acquired 50+ years from now serve me well now that I am retired................exercise, taking walks, daily reading the newspaper, attending athletic events that are low cost..............many high schools offer senior citizens free or reduced admission passes.


Plus, my 65 cent senior coffee at McDonalds gives me a reason to chat with other seniors for a few minutes.


I am not bored in retirement just thankful for every day since I retired.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,658 posts, read 2,809,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelinLow View Post
These responses are excellent. OP, you've got to get out there and ''create'' a life, find satisfying activities for yourself, pursue your own interests. ''Life'' does not come to us. We have to go out and make our life what we want it to be.
Start by quitting comparing yourself to your wife. Just because she enjoys volunteer work does not mean you should or should be forced to. Find your own bliss. We never get anywhere by comparing ourselves to others.
Make a list of your own interests: reading, golf, tennis, hiking, cooking, bicycling, wood working, photography, etc. and pursue them on your own or join a club or class to make friends.
Invite your wife to do things and if she declines, then you go do them. Invite her to a movie, to go out to eat, to go for a ride, etc. Create some time as a couple and then have your own interests.
Maybe she is ''so busy'' because you've become a ''stick in the mud''? Think about that! LOL
Get off that couch and make it a point to do something interesting and fun every day. Go get a coffee, hit the library, walk at the park, enjoy your life!
Thanks for your response. Please read what I have written further down. You will find that I already do all that you suggest.

I know that it makes it sound like I am sitting watching TV all the time, which is simply not true. I also play the violin and join my wife in playing duets with her on the Mountain Dulcimer. I was going to do photography, but I live in a place where that is something everyone does. I took it back in 1978 when I enjoyed it so much and became a professional wedding photographer. That destroyed my interest in recreational photography for many years.

I have no money to pay $130 per round of golf. I could never play tennis and cannot now with bad feet. I do bicycle in the summer(but winter here lasts from late October to early May). I have a great road bike, and when I was much younger I cylced to work every day. No place to do wood working that is heated.

I have more friends where we moved than when I was working. Unfortunately they are all older than me and the seem to have the nerve to die on me. In the summer, I do sailing( I have a 19 foot sailboat), but have discovered that sailing in water that in 50 degrees at the warmest, is life threatening if you fall out. Add to that the fact that if you develop a problem the only help is the USCG which is more than 20 miles away, and often hard to reach do to the mountains, so you hve to be totally prepared for the potential of being stranded for days within sight of land.

Again... I appreciate the time you took to offer me stuff. I think that you've missed the anomie that I experience, despite the fact that at least at the moment I am not in financial difficulties.

Perhaps the feeling will pass as summer comes. Maybe I am experiencing seasonal affective disorder.

I've also discovered that people either understand what I am talking about, or they have no clue, and no matter how I explain it, they just don't get it. BTW, my wife is a workaholic who all her life could never say NO, no matter what it cost her in her personal life. She only says NO now when I say, "I won't help you with that in any way, and if you do that you will have to travel all over the state all by yourself.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in deep in Maine
3,658 posts, read 2,809,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David A Stone View Post

I am not bored in retirement just thankful for every day since I retired.
I'm not bored either. I have found that people either understand the anomie I experience or they don't.

I do all the things thst you suggested, several times a week. When I was working I was gifted to have 6 weeks of vacation a year and traveled all over the USA and Europe. Some people can be satisfied with those things. However i spent my working life helping people directly with their emotional and mental struggles. Its very hard to find a way to volunteer to do that unless you live in a big city, which I do not. And for me, I cannot be satisfied jut doing things for me; I have to do things for others in increase their skills in managing their lives.

I have a friend who bought a place next to a golf course, when part of the deal was that he could play whenever he wanted to. He's now in his 80's and has literally played almost everyday since he was 65.

I have another friend who did that and in about 6 month he was so tired of playing golf that he sold the house and moved away.

I've always been a night owl. Now I just get a bit more sleep since I can stay in bed until 9, and still get enough sleep after going to bed at 1:00 because i got involved in some book or something online.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:24 AM
 
4,315 posts, read 2,520,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slyfox2 View Post
Thanks for your response. Please read what I have written further down. You will find that I already do all that you suggest.

I know that it makes it sound like I am sitting watching TV all the time, which is simply not true. I also play the violin and join my wife in playing duets with her on the Mountain Dulcimer. I was going to do photography, but I live in a place where that is something everyone does. I took it back in 1978 when I enjoyed it so much and became a professional wedding photographer. That destroyed my interest in recreational photography for many years.

I have no money to pay $130 per round of golf. I could never play tennis and cannot now with bad feet. I do bicycle in the summer(but winter here lasts from late October to early May). I have a great road bike, and when I was much younger I cylced to work every day. No place to do wood working that is heated.

I have more friends where we moved than when I was working. Unfortunately they are all older than me and the seem to have the nerve to die on me. In the summer, I do sailing( I have a 19 foot sailboat), but have discovered that sailing in water that in 50 degrees at the warmest, is life threatening if you fall out. Add to that the fact that if you develop a problem the only help is the USCG which is more than 20 miles away, and often hard to reach do to the mountains, so you hve to be totally prepared for the potential of being stranded for days within sight of land.

Again... I appreciate the time you took to offer me stuff. I think that you've missed the anomie that I experience, despite the fact that at least at the moment I am not in financial difficulties.

Perhaps the feeling will pass as summer comes. Maybe I am experiencing seasonal affective disorder.

I've also discovered that people either understand what I am talking about, or they have no clue, and no matter how I explain it, they just don't get it. BTW, my wife is a workaholic who all her life could never say NO, no matter what it cost her in her personal life. She only says NO now when I say, "I won't help you with that in any way, and if you do that you will have to travel all over the state all by yourself.
(3rd paragraph)


It explains a major reason I relocated from frigid Minnesota after retirement to a much milder 4 seasons of Ozarks of Arkansas.


I did not want a ......"late October to early May "......winter in retirement
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:32 AM
 
150 posts, read 84,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slyfox2 View Post
My father used to say when he had been retired for about 5 years that retirement was just an extremely boring way to wait to die.

Slyfox, I've read all your responses and I still find myself puzzled by this quote. Obviously, if you are doing/have done all the things you list in your later responses, how can you characterize this as 'an extremely boring way to wait to die'?
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:34 AM
 
6,306 posts, read 5,051,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather72754 View Post
Slyfox, I've read all your responses and I still find myself puzzled by this quote. Obviously, if you are doing/have done all the things you list in your later responses, how can you characterize this as 'an extremely boring way to wait to die'?
yes, he is doing a lot and has a wife and family? What is going on?

Maybe it is the weather.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:35 AM
 
Location: 49th parallel
2,601 posts, read 1,360,393 times
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Maybe you are not the kind of person your wife is (or maybe you are but don't know it).

I mean: are you a people person who needs to be with others most of the time, like maybe your wife is, or do you enjoy your own company most?

I suspect you are a people person since you've decided retirement is so boring. If volunteering isn't for you (maybe it's too much like work, someone telling you what to do all the time and you're the low man on the totem pole) then I suggest you forget that path.

Why not get involved in adult education courses? Every community college has them, lots of libraries have them - your city recreation department might have them, your high school might have them. Most senior centers have them. The courses are as varied as people are: languages, travel, art, music, lectures, you name it. Usually there is something for everyone.
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