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Old 01-14-2018, 02:17 PM
 
2,734 posts, read 721,741 times
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OP, I'm not sure you are in a rut. You may have an established routine, one that may not appeal to people that want to be more active or more social. But that in of and of itself is not a rut. A rut is defined as a pattern of behavior that is dull and unproductive. If you are enjoying yourself (doesn't have to be bouncing off the walls manic happiness, but a peaceful contentment), then that's (good) enough. You may not be in a rut any more than people who are told to get a life are actually lacking a life (I hate that expression). They may not be living the life that someone else wants, but it's still a life. There's a Meetup group locally where the organizer makes fun of people who don't want to participate (or who cancel due to adverse weather conditions), saying "So you'd rather stay home and take a bath or watch a PBS special about mushrooms?" Well yes, some people prefer watching a documentary or taking a bath to a happy hour with 200 people making shallow conversation or dancing to extremely loud music---so what? A compulsion to have to be with other people or to be out to me seems just as dull and unproductive as the mushroom documentary or bath seems to them.

OP, by your posts, I know you have an active, quirky mind---so your life is likely not to look like that of someone who doesn't. Only you can figure out whether your life is fulfilling or not. The winter doldrums can get to us when we hibernate more than we normally would, and do less than we would typically do, even if we are quite introverted and homebodies to begin with. But the turning inward can be so fascinating and rewarding.

I tried to fight my extremely introverted highly sensitive nature by loading up my "dance card" as much as I could. I tried to socialize whenever I could and befriend anyone available, thinking that everyone has something to offer and that social contact is the key to health. I tried part-time employment. I did my version of volunteer work, running Meetup groups. I did as much exercise as I could. I tried to go to as much cultural/artistic stuff as my finances and time would permit (and much more than my energy level really accommodated). To an outsider it would look like I was living much "more" of a life when I was so busy and social. But I was getting drained and never fulfilled. I found the stuff I was doing son unrewarding that the second it was over I was already planning and looking for the next social or artistic thing since there was still time and space that needed to be filled and maybe, just maybe, the next time would be more fulfilling.

I socialize a lot less now. I don't go to every cultural performance I can. I stay home almost every night. I go to the gym virtually every morning and sometimes out for lunch, but then the rest of my time is at home. But dull and unproductive it's not. I have the same routine day in and out (I don't even travel). But every day I learn something new. There's always something to explore online and learn more about. I read good books. I cook great food and spend lots of time online treasure hunting for recipes. I watch one hour of TV a night, always carefully chosen, never just channel surfing. And a TED talk a night that educates and inspires and uplifts me. Combined with daily yoga and meditation, I've never lived such a full life that gives me so much contentment. The one thing age doesn't have to take from us is the wisdom to learn about ourself and what happiness/life is really all about. When you are younger, you think that happiness is having what you want. But most young people will never understand that happiness/contentment is wanting what you have!

Meghan Daum, an author I like, says "The key to contentment is to stay within the confines of your comfort zone. Keep to safe waters, but tread as deeply as possible." That nails it for me! I don't need/want to explore the world by traveling to see it. But treading deeply to learn and experience and just be when at home---that is a fulfilling life to me. When done mindfully and gratefully, even routine chores can be quietly rewarding and enjoyable. One TED talk that I watched suggested that people learn to appreciate what they have to do and reframe it as "getting to do"---so that instead of dreading having to clean your home you think "Great, today I get to clean my home---which is wonderful since I will enjoy a clean home and how wonderful that I can physically do it." Not trying to be a Pollyanna about it. I will never be totally enlightened---no one ever is (I think even Buddha admitted he wasn't). Just trying to maximize my moments of enlightenment so they come a little more frequently, deeply, and authentically...and since that is happening (maybe not to the extent I would wish for, but more than they did when I was younger) I will never consider myself to be in a rut, no matter how much time I spend in PJ's/leisure/exercise clothes (they are kind of all combined for me) at home by myself.
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:23 PM
 
Location: interior Alaska
4,476 posts, read 3,314,870 times
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If you like being at the computer during the day, but feel you're...in a holding pattern? Wasting time? You might think about making your computer use more structured. Maybe picking some competitive strategy game and playing against other people - can help you stay sharp and social - or using the computer to work on a specific project or learn a specific skill? Online classes, maybe?
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:48 PM
 
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Since the time this thread was started a few days ago, I have felt cooped up with bad weather. The wife is no fun. She has a deadline and is trying to finish mock ups for a children's book. I have been feeling like I am not doing much. So I thought about the past few days and what I did. I split and dragged a pile of firewood to heat the garage studio my wife is using. I put together a presentation for a photography group. That included reviewing my last photo book and a series of electronic images for group review. I had my annual physical. Did the shopping. Worked on my archery hobby including rebuilding a target, fletching arrows and spending half a day in practice. I prepared some watercolor paper my wife needed and spent some time helping her. I started a 16x23 pastel painting yesterday and finished it today. I met with friends and spent an afternoon at a gallery reception that included one of my prints. I spent time trying to set up photo shoot for next Fall. I did some online photo critiques including providing post processing for two images where the original photographers had difficulty. So, I can complete the registration on Tuesday, I spent time reviewing information so I can pick the courses I will be registering for this coming semester. I helped the son in law and grandson with a miniature soap box derby project.


I rarely feel I fall into a rut. Even when things are slow, I find things to do that I am passionate about or at least interest me. As I have said in the past, without that we are all just waiting to die.
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Central NY
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jrkliny: You can count me out as being one waiting to die. What a grim way to think.
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post
I am a night owl and don't normally get to bed till about 1 a.m. I have a cat who wants me up between 4:30 and 6 a.m. I have a one-bedroom apartment and I have put him out of the room and shut the door. But he makes plenty of noise about that so I usually give in as I don't want him to wake my downstairs neighbor. So no, I won't create a barrier to not going back to bed. I don't do very well on 3-4 hours of sleep. And I can't always nap in the day. I do think about re-homing him, but feel guilty about doing that, as he sat in a cage at the SPCA for a while before I adopted him.

Since I am retired with not a lot of scheduled things to do, I give in to him. I'm an animal lover from way back and yes, it's my suffering for allowing this to continue. But I think I would suffer more not knowing where he went.
Here's a suggestion for dealing with Sam. I am a night owl with two cats also. But I've found some ways to keep them from starting their day _ and mine at 4am.

Do your cats free feed? Mine don't because one of them in particular is already a behemoth and would be the size of a small bear cub if I let him. He quickly steals his brother's food if I'm not watching. They get a little grain-free kibble available during the day (just enough to cover the "hole" in the bottom of the eaten kibble), but they get a small planned meal of canned cat food in the morning when I get up, some around 6 in the evening, and again between 11 and midnight. Not a lot but it's something they look forward to.

Does Sam want you to get up and play or does he want you to get up and feed him? If it's play he's looking for, get one of those toys on a stick and when he wakes you up, spend a couple of minutes dangling it over the side of the bed so he can chase it without you getting up unless you're making a bathroom run. He might be satisfied enough to come back to bed.

If it's food he wants, feed him a bit before you go to bed. Then, a few hours later when he usually gets active, you could try one of those timed bowls. I suggest canned food we call it "stinky food" around here and after a few days, he may get accustomed to expecting it to pop open, say, at 5am. Cats generally get their snooze on for 14-16 hours split up into several naps in 24 hours. Sometimes you have to trick them a little to get their bedtime synched with yours.

If I get up and feed mine, I can usually count on them going back to sleep even getting into bed with me in fairly short order but if you don't want to go back to bed, you'll have to find a way to force the issue. Virtually nobody does well on 3-4 hours of sleep I will testify!
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Central NY
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CatzPaw: Thank you for your post.

Both of my kitties came from the SPCA. GG was first and then later on I got Sam.

They are both wonderful cats and like each other a lot. They play together, tease each other. But Sam is a bigger cat and he likes to be "boss."

There is always kibble in a dish and fresh water next to it. They both get dishes of canned food in the morning and at night. But they are very picky about the food. I do give them treats a couple of times a day, so that could be why they aren't so crazy about the canned food. But I've tried every flavor you can think of and most of the time they put their noses in the air and walk away.

When Sam wakes me up in the morning I am pretty sure it's because he wants his morning treats. So does GG but she waits patiently for hers. She knows Sam will do the "dirty work" for her. LOL He is also a big lovebug and demands attention. It is not an all day thing, but a few times a day and when he wants attention, he wants it now.

So I have a feeling I'm the guilty one, I created the situation. There is no going back.
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post
jrkliny: You can count me out as being one waiting to die. What a grim way to think.
Not at all. I assume you have things that interest you, activities that you are passionate about, goals you want to accomplish. You just need to pay them some attention. If you are feeling that you are in a rut, you are not doing that.
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:25 AM
 
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NYgal:

I'm not too far from you where ever you may be, in in the central southern tier.

If you have read my story, you know i was early medically retired at age of 40 on SSDI. I have 23 medical conditions, I've had 21 surgeries including another double hernia just last week, and I take 19 prescriptions to keep this aging (now 54) body going.

I used to be busy all the time though I did do my share of channel surfing. I was busy with gardening, quilting, model railroading, daily household chores done on a schedule ( we'd and sat were vacuuming days, Sunday change the bedding after finishing the regular laundry), etc). I stick to my schedule to be sure things got done.

I also volunteered as a medical records tech at the hospital, I'm trying to get in the hospital pharmacy tech volunteering job.

I've done the most horrible! I actually went back to work! Part time is all I can handle, but it was financially driven more than "something to do". Not sure what jobs you can do or how limited your vision is, but I'm a hotel front desk clerk, enjoy the people.

I'm also bipolar and winter takes its toll as depression and seasonal affective disorder sets in. I keep telling myself ( st this point) "only 2 1/2 more months of winter". Thank god that February is short. I can't wait til april gets here because it gives me hope for spring and that the worst of winter is behind us. These bitter cold temps we've endured here don't help.

In shirt, whike I had my tv time, I always also kept busy to doing something.

I also was headed for 300 pounds, and that's not good on a short 5'5" frame, man or not. I turned diabetic last year and radically changed my diet. More fruits and veggies, less potato and pasta, and other carbs. I'm down to 226, and lost 9" off my waist, almost 10". And no, with a bad back, hip and torn ligaments in my knee, I can't do a lot of walking. I use a cane to get around, also not the best but necessary for about 10 years now.

So as you said YOU have to make the changes, get off the pity pot and get going!!!

We are also waiting here in this weather until at least my 89 yo FIL dies, unless my 83 yo father beats him. Then we are outta here to a small-mid sized city in the south where housibg is cheap, and taxes are low and COL comparable or lower. We can't wait. If you want to know more private message me, and I'll tell you more. I'm keeping it secret, and no, it's not in florida.

Best of luck to you
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:27 AM
 
6,306 posts, read 5,046,206 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
Not at all. I assume you have things that interest you, activities that you are passionate about, goals you want to accomplish. You just need to pay them some attention. If you are feeling that you are in a rut, you are not doing that.
And goals don't have to be significant to anyone but you.

My goal yesterday was to organize my sock drawer and line up my pants according to fabric and style.

Both goals accomplished and it was awesome!!!

Today I am getting rid of about 5 pairs of sneakers and making chicken and rice for my older dog.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:41 AM
 
6,223 posts, read 4,721,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
And goals don't have to be significant to anyone but you.
......
Absolutely, but the OP was complaining about boredom. In that case it is time to reconnect with interest and passions or to consider ways of seeking new opportunities. Many people are satisfied with a lifestyle that would totally bore some of the rest of us. That in no way means they are looking for more.
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