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    So Bored with Life
    Anon_11642 posted:
    Hello - don't want to wine but do need to vent - I live in a small town and am a senior and my husband even though he is 73 years old he still works all day helping our son with farming. I am trying to keep myself busy - I joined 2 knitting groups, a rosary group, a church group all on different days. I meet friends for lunch on Fridays but still feel this huge void in myself. My husband says he has to help our son - in farming you just can't do it all by yourself.

    I have 2 children - all grown, of course. My son and wife and 4-year-old son live down the street and daughter and family live 2-1/2 hours from here. My daughter-in-law is not a friendly person and has no friends and we all have had problems with her - I am close to my grandson and see him a lot. Being friendly with her never works out - she has a lot of problems and almost got divorced from our son.

    I don't want a job - have worked most of my life and now I don't need to financially okay.

    But some days like today - it's 9:00 pm almost and husband said he'll be late as they need to fertilize before tomorrow as it may rain. He rarely calls me in the day - he is so absorbed into his day which is very busy and am sure he finds it hard to understand me. When he comes home, he is exhausted and when he sits down he's out like a light.

    Anyway, any ideas on what else I can do to feel better - we rarely go anywhere but usually each year we will go somewhere for 2 or 3 days - we aren't big travelers. We don't like to be too far away from home but 6-7 hour distance is about the size of it.

    Anyway, does anyone have any ideas - I know I am not alone and there are plenty of lonely people but most people where I live have a lot of family - I have one sister who lives 1700 miles away from here and she rarely calls. She is always so busy she has always put me on the back burner so we both decided that she is to call me only when she has time to talk and even then when she very occasionally calls me she still rushes the conversation to 5 minutes. She has tons of friends and cousins - she lives where we grew up and she doesn't have a clue what it feels like to be so lonely. I do talk with 2 of my 3 sisters-in-laws periodically and they are nice.

    Anyway, guess I have told you all I need to without it being too long. Thanks for listening to me.
    dfromspencer responded:
    I guess you didn't like the one day a week job at the hospital? Oh well, now what to do? Since you don't like to travel much, and driving long distances is out, I suggest more excersize. I know you said in the past, how you liked to walk, so did you join the health club? I believe you said you did, to avoid inclement weather? Not to avoid your neighbor, right?

    I too, am sooo lonely sometimes. I live alone, and being disabled has become a hindrance to dating. Not by my choice, either. I started an excersize routine to help me get into some kind of shape. I quit smoking also, to help me along with the excersize. Now, after about five weeks, I must say I am looking, and feeling so much better. Plus, it gives me something to do every day. After my second workout, I usually take a nice brisk walk, late in the afternoon.

    I noticed I have been meeting more people on my walks. It seems the farther I go, the more I meet? Still, though, when I talk about getting together for a date, they seem to want to run away? Is it because I limp? Even that is not so noticeable any longer. I've been told by many different ladies, that I am handsome, so what else can it be? It has to be my disability?

    I no longer care. If they say no, then its no, and along I go. Who knows, maybe the next time? That is what you need to think, and feel. Who cares about anyone, or any thing, just get out there, and do the things you like to do!!! Is there a local Y? You could always go swimming for the exersize. I'm even thinking of starting some kind of crafts?

    One more thing, you can always come here for friendship, you know??? I have no idea as to what I would do, without WebM.D.? Here, we find help, and give help, there is nothing like it.

    So, come on back, any ol time!!!

    Anon_11642 replied to dfromspencer's response:
    I didn't pursue that anymore since they never called - I could have but my husband was saying just suppose you didn't like it or the people around you - then you would obsess about how am I going to get out of this - anyway, I thought I would figure something else out - anyway, for now have been making any of my dr appts on a Thursday but am still trying how to have more fun in life as we all know life is short.

    Thanks for responding - you were the only one - maybe my post wasn't too important.
    Anon_596 responded:
    A few times a year the churches in my area get together and put together a soup dinner or spaghetti dinner evening that the members donate ingredients or the soups and volunteer their time in preparation and such. They also have an assortment of items donated for raffle tickets sold where a ticket is drawn from the items basket and the winner(s) is announced after the dinner. They will also have speakers, a choir performance, local dance group routine, high school drama club skit, etc.... different each time. The monies they collect are given to the local food pantry, emergency funds like when someones house burns down with all their belongings, school food programs in need, our elderly, things the community is in need of for the lesser fortunate. Alot of the items donated for the raffle are crafts people have made, baskets of homemade jams and jellies, quilts made, stationary / scrapbook kit baskets that are put together using items collected and some of the areas merchants donate swim passes, massage or tanning time, movie tickets, dinner certificates, etc...

    Our area also has volunteers for driving the elderly or disabled to appts, church, shopping, the senior center(for cards games and such), bingo, or just spend some time with those who can't get out of their homes. Our food pantry and family crisis office has volunteers as well. What about something at the library, an animal shelter or the park and rec dept? The volunteering is at your discretion, what you can offer or do for how ever long you have.

    These are just ideas. What are some of the things you'd like to do in your retirement? What are you passionate about? Gardening, canning, sewing, woodworking?

    Walking is great exercise like Dennis mentioned.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to Anon_11642's response:
    You could still pursue the job if you think it might be good for you. For anything you try, there will always be 'what ifs' that would make you not want to do it. But remember, if you don't like a job, you can always quit. And many retirees take jobs for the purpose that it offers them rather than for the money.

    The other ideas offered here are also good. For instance, exercise has been shown to help people feel physically and emotionally better. It sounds like you have plenty of social interaction, so I'm guessing that what you are missing is a sense of deep connection or a sense of purpose. Volunteering - especially when doing it face-to-face - often helps people feel good and gives them a sense of purpose. Following your passions can also help with this.

    Getting started can be difficult, so people often find it helpful to focus on one thing until you've really followed through with it. Then, until it can really have a chance to help, they need to continue to put in extra effort. So, if you are feeling discouraged or apathetic about an idea, you might find it useful to still push on. Reach out here or to others for support. Your situation isn't easy, but try to keep in mind that the opportunity to be more engaged and feel more connected is there.
    Anon_11642 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    Hi - thanks for all your input - I do work out at a new exercising facility I have here which is a beautiful place - I go there at least 5 days a week - usually living in a small town there aren't many people there but just a few and most of them are either watching the large screen TVs they have for our use or are tuned in to their music ipods, etc. Once in a while someone will speak to you.

    I have been doing this since they opened in Sept. Last yr found out I have some osteoporosis and used to take meds for it but when I had cancer the cancer med thinned my bones out a bit - no more meds for cancer either so am trying to build bone with resistance training there so in Aug when I get my bone density test will see if it helped.

    I still haven't ruled out a once a day job - like you said we can make all kinds of excuses for fear of trying it but who knows I may change my mind and ck it out again.

    Thanks for caring - I do appreciate every person who responds here. Hope you all have a good week.
    darlyn05 replied to Anon_11642's response:
    If you like doing things in the kitchen why not try learning to prepare a different cuisine? Or how about making candies, baking and sending them to your children and grandchildren? You could put together a collection of your favorite recipes as a keepsake sort of thing for your children. Same with your favorite literature or pictures. How about embroidary, needlepoint, crocheting, making doilies or table runners. Maybe members of your church are interested in an 'away from church' group activity like these.

    I liked the suggestion of what the other posters' churches do. Maybe you can mention that to your church and offer to organize some of it.
    rohvannyn replied to darlyn05's response:
    A personal project that makes you excited to work on it could help as well. You are an articulate person, maybe even writing a book of anecdotes? One thing I would love to see is a collection of stories from folk around you. What was it like when they were growing up? How has the world changed? It would get people talking to you, and give you a chance to socialize, but at the same time give you something that is yours to work on.

    It's okay if my idea doesn't grab you. But eventually something will. With purpose, so many of the other problems in life seem less important. It's like that with my art. Without it I don't feel useful. With it, my life is brighter.

    'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
    Anon_11642 replied to rohvannyn's response:
    thank you - very helpful suggestions here - getting me to think
    still thinking about a one a day week job - will see - right now we are going to have to harvest our wheat so getting close to that time and will be very busy cooking- already have 2 casseroles made and in freezer and have 2 other meals planned. My daughter-in-law splits the dinners with me so it usually works out 4 dinners each - I do make all the lunches too.

    Everyone is so kind - I appreciate everyone's suggestions. This is a great site - I love it -

    Caring thoughts to all of you always.
    fcl responded:
    OK, so what I'm hearing is that it isn't so much that you're bored as you feel alone (not necessarily lonely) and that it's not in your nature to be a loner. You are a people person, right? I'm also hearing that the options you have open to you and that you are pursuing at the moment make you feel as if you're being funnelled into old age. I also get the impression that you may be used to "dealing with" your issues rather than voicing them. Correct me if I'm wrong - my intention is not to offend.

    So what you need is maybe something more active - rather than go to the gym where everyone is shut into their own little world, why not buy a bike? It's great exercise for your bones and for your heart. Make a list of all the things you have never seen or visited in your region and go do it on your bike. When you're there, read all the notices there might be and take not of everything that might interest you (exhibitions, debates, outings, discussion groups, anything).

    Is there a college near where you live? Go see if they don't have anything on offer that you would like to study just for the sheer pleasure of it. I was a teacher in a previous life and one of my students was a woman of 60 , a very dynamic and interesting lady. She had run the family pharmaceutical firm all of her life and was looking forward to her retirement to go to university to study literature and history

    Along the active lines, how about helping out at your local mother and toddler group (or whatever is the closest equivalent)? Or at your local soup kitchen. You get a fantastic boost when you help others ...

    Something I'd like to suggest that isn't along the lines of the other suggestions I gave is to write down stories about your life. When you have a memory that makes you smile or makes you feel sad, jot it down in a file on your computer. Think of it as a legacy to your grandchildren. This because when my children were born my MIL was in her 90s and seriously ill. I knew that my daughters would never know the wonderful woman that she was and tried to convince her to record stories for them. She thought the idea was ridiculous MAybe it was but it would have left them some great memories of things they may never have known about her ...

    Right - here's a big one. Could you negotiate with your son to take your grandson for a few days? Then book a flight to visit your sister with him? Saying that you're not big travelers is a cop out. There is no reason why you can't go further afield. It's not because you've never done it before that you can't do it now...

    Well, I'm out of ideas for the moment but if anything else occurs to me I'll let you know.

    Good luck in getting out of that rut!
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    sunflower1943 replied to fcl's response:
    Thank you for all your suggestions - the only thing I know I wont do is visit my sister - we do not get along and I always come back feeling badly. BUT, am moving on with that - it's time after 69 years to accept and move on. I cant change her nor can anyone change other people.

    I will come up with something - and do appreciate your many suggestions.

    I still am thinking about a one day a week job doing things I like in a job like answering telephones, etc - I love talking with people.

    Thanks again for your suggestions.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to sunflower1943's response:
    Please let us know what you try and how it goes. And, I wish you well in your efforts.
    Anon_11642 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    You are so sweet and kind. Don't know why I can't decide what to do - I am a nervous type and guess that's why it's hard for me to decide. I do have a lot of anxiety at times so not sure what to do.

    I try to stay busy - but will let you know if I do anything and again I do appreciate your kindness and nonjudgmental attitude.

    Thank you for your support. Glad this board is a neutral board where one can post.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to Anon_11642's response:
    Glad I - and we - can be here for you. I have one other thought for you: When considering doing something positive but scary, many people find it helpful to ask themselves, "What's the worst that can happen?" They find that it's not so bad, or they realize that the possibly bad outcome is something that they can cope with. Maybe it's worth a try?

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