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Is this it then - bored and slightly sad until I die?

(57 Posts)
retiredlady Sat 29-Aug-09 18:11:52

We have lived in Northamptonshire for nearly 20 years now and my husband took early retirement 4 years ago.

Our two daughters have left the family home to follow their careers and we just seem to sit here ticking off the days and weeks waiting to die. We both do voluntry sector work but are very much aware that the moment we stop doing this type of work the organisations involved will simply forget all about us.

We wondered if moving closer to my two sisters might be the answer in terms of seeing people that are actually interested in us?

I am close to tears as I write this and I hardly ever cry. Can somebody please suggest a possible escape route?

rubyslippers Sat 29-Aug-09 18:14:28


It isn't clear whether you are doing paid or voluntary work from your post ...

take up and evening class to meet new people

house swap

take up a hobby

how old are you?

rubyslippers Sat 29-Aug-09 18:14:53

are you happy with your partner????

Sagacious Sat 29-Aug-09 18:17:13

You sound so sad

If you are in reasonable health theres no reason not to do ANYTHING.

Learn to tango/speak swedish/keep chickens

retiredlady Sat 29-Aug-09 18:17:19

We both do unpaid voluntary work in schools and with old (even older than us!) people.

We are mid 50's and have a happy, stable but perhaps slightly boring marriage.

dittany Sat 29-Aug-09 18:19:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sagacious Sat 29-Aug-09 18:20:17

You need to get out of your comfort zone.

Things can get stale

But only if you let them

[Am aware I sound like a crap fortune cookie]

LaurieFairyCake Sat 29-Aug-09 18:23:01

Any chance you're slightly depressed or having an existential crisis?

Is your life full enough? Are you busy most days?

Are you happy in your own or partners company?

I think also we tend to underestimate our effect on other people and also the rippling effect. You have brought up two children and the way you've brought them up ripples into the next generation - their children if they have any, the people they come in contact with.

It's the same with voluntary work - I volunteer at a centre where my 'place' would be taken immediately if I left. It doesn't negate the good work I do, the impact I've had on the clients I've worked with, their families etc.

We all impact each other and part of self-esteem is recognising who we are and being happy with it. Recognising our accomplishments - children, voluntary work etc.

trefusis Sat 29-Aug-09 18:24:28

Message withdrawn

LaurieFairyCake Sat 29-Aug-09 18:26:20

Learn something challenging.

I never give up learning. I have to do it as ongoing professional development as part of my job so this year I did a 13-week art therapy course.

I was the youngest to retrain out of my group (was in my early 30's at the time). The oldest in the adult-ed class I teach is at least ten years older than you (I teach counselling).

<thinks up existential phrases that may help>

"Consummate your life"

"Where death is I am not"

phatcat Sat 29-Aug-09 18:26:37

charity trekking / skydiving / bike riding
go back to Uni
small business based on a skill you have
climb all the Munroes
book group
part time care support work (excellent for making you grateful for what you do have)
wild camping

what did you used to fantasise about doing when your time wasn't your own?


BonsoirAnna Sat 29-Aug-09 18:26:59

You need another interest that isn't voluntary work giving out to other people, but that is going to nourish you. Voluntary work is fine, but it is not enough to fulfil you in retirement.

What are your interests?

catinthehat2 Sat 29-Aug-09 18:27:10

Honestly, you are very young yet.

Get the impression you do things TOGETHER rather than SEPARATELY.

If you do different stuff on your own you have more to talk about in the evenings

Also, do you take much exercise? That's essential to keep up morale.

And, don't get stuck in a rut - make yourself do something new (and if necessary dump something you are fed up with) every 6 months.

Certainly organisations will forget about you if you leave. Why should this be a problem for you?

BonsoirAnna Sat 29-Aug-09 18:28:12

Have a makeover and new clothes.

hocuspontas Sat 29-Aug-09 18:28:29

Buy a camper van and travel round the coast for 6 months.

Join 3rd age.

Do things seperately so you have stuff to talk about.


Get a dog?

phatcat Sat 29-Aug-09 18:29:44

wise words Laurie

my favourite existential phrase is 'bite the arse of life' (from Big Night I think) grin

LaurieFairyCake Sat 29-Aug-09 18:30:52

Oh god yes, foster - they are desperate.

And all the bloomin' meetings and endless boring training will keep you very busy.

Seriously I've barely had time to floss since dd moved in 18 months ago. And she will be here til 18.

retiredlady Sat 29-Aug-09 18:32:08

I am going to love this group - you all seem so friendly and kind. I am starting to feel more positive already.

trefusis Sat 29-Aug-09 18:34:05

Message withdrawn

mamas12 Sat 29-Aug-09 18:45:22

retiredlady What do you want to do?
Apart from moving closer to your sisters, which I think is a good idea.
What does your dh want to do.
Sit down and make a plan and do it.

YohoAhoy Sat 29-Aug-09 18:50:20

I'd actually go in a different direction from Mamas12, and suggest don't actually plan at this stage, but write a list each of 10 things you'd like to do. They can be big (travel the world) or small (learn pottery).

Then look at which you'd like to do together, and which separately, look at the logistics (time, finances etc)

Then do some planning.

It does sound like you might simply be in a rut, and a few small changes will give you the impetus to widen your horizons.

I'm glad you're feeling a bit more positive

Pielight Sat 29-Aug-09 18:54:49

I think this is really, really common. It's a sort of extension of empty nest syndrome isn't it? Everything is mapped out for so long, either by education, marriage, the stages and markers that come with children, jobs etc - and then suddenly there is a stretch of time, with no markers, no signs, no stages, seemingly stretching ahead into forever.

i think the answer is to make your own signs and stages. Have projects, keep curious, challenge yourself.

panicpants Sat 29-Aug-09 19:00:50

What about a cat or dog?

twentyoneagain Sat 29-Aug-09 19:01:17

Retiredlady - please don't think of mid 50s as getting old, it most certainly isn't.

Now that your DCs have left home and are getting on with their own lives, this is the time to be enjoying your own. There are so many good ideas on this thread aready, you just need to find the enthusiasm for some of them. Obviously funds may be an issue but I intend to travel when my DCs have flown the nest, and just having nights out eating or going to the cinema with DH can be fun if you try to make it.

Good luck..

alypaly Sat 29-Aug-09 19:07:48

Retiredlady i am 53 and still play county and national badminton. My boys are 21 and almost 17. One is touring Oz for 5 weeks and the other is always out.I am virtually alone..i have no live in partner. I am also a single mum but in a slightly boring 13 year relationship with a very kind man. I sometimes feel near to tears and wonder if this is my lot too. Also spent the last 5 years lookinf after my mum at home and in nursing home b4 i lost her. You have to grasp the nettle and decide what u want from life cos we are a long time dead.
what does hubby like doing?

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