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Good Friend Bored in ER fter only 2 Months!
Old 07-31-2015, 11:44 PM   #1
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Good Friend Bored in ER fter only 2 Months!

Good friend I have known for 30 years just retired from banking (and, before that, insurances sales.) He confided that he is already bored. I do not understand this for several reasons. He has children and grandchildren close by with whom he interacts at least a couple of times per week. He still has his big home (not quite a McMansion) which he has landscaped and manicured the lawn (mows at least twice a week.) He has tons of friends who exchange visits on a weekly or more basis. His DW has a to-do list for him as she still w*rks. They are active in church. They participate in bible studies. On and on and on. Who has time for boredom with so many activities. I asked him how he ever had time to w*rk!

Any suggestions for this poor, wretched creature?
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:20 AM   #2
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Koolua,

Is your friend bored or does he actually miss his old j*b? For me, being busy does not preclude boredom. After all, I was very busy on my old j*b, but was bored to tears. Maybe he's doing stuff out of "have to do" or routine, but it doesn't resonate with his heart. To a small degree I occasionally bore myself after 5 months of ER, but I realize this is probably because I'm doing something that I really don't want to do, but feel like I have to do. So boredom encourages me to find something worthwhile, even if just for "fun".

BTW, I love Ko'olau's Law. I saw numerous applications in over 2+ decades in corporate engineering.

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Old 08-01-2015, 12:44 AM   #3
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You may be correct. My best guess is that dear friend is missing the daily interaction with loads of people. He is the quintessential "people person". The "few" folks he now gets to interact with may simply NOT be enough for him. I'm guessing all of this, so I could be wrong. If his boredom continues, I'm going to suggest some sort of volunteer w*rk which brings him into contact with more people.

Thanks for the kind words about my tag line. It is something I have come to believe in even more than E=mc^2 or even my old tag line: "Murphy was an optimist."
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:43 AM   #4
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My best guess is that dear friend is missing the daily interaction with loads of people. He is the quintessential "people person". The "few" folks he now gets to interact with may simply NOT be enough for him. I'm guessing all of this, so I could be wrong. If his boredom continues, I'm going to suggest some sort of volunteer w*rk which brings him into contact with more people.
"
There's been tons of discussion here suggesting that introverts are better represented than extroverts on this forum and perhaps in ER in general. Makes sense to me, although online forums are inherently self-selecting for introverts.

Extroverts seem to miss the tons of people interaction from their old w*rk lives and seem less than comfortable just "chilling". It's not surprising that your friend from a sales background finds retirement too quiet. A similar friend of ours, also a retired sales guy, is very prominent, even competitive, in a hobby club. We joke that this hobby is his j*b replacement in retirement, complete with rigid early morning schedule, formal commitments, tons of foreign travel, and lots of people interaction. He loves all of this, but it would be the death of an introvert like me.
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:49 AM   #5
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....Any suggestions for this poor, wretched creature?
Golf

It is both physical and social.
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:01 AM   #6
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Any suggestions for this poor, wretched creature?
How about a poor, wretched job?
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:49 AM   #7
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Golf

It is both physical and social.
He has never been interested in sports - especially golf. I think golf would bore him even more - I know it does me, but YMMV.
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:53 AM   #8
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How about a poor, wretched job?
I actually could picture Dear Friend as a Walmart greeter! He is a "hugger" so, if he didn't get into trouble for it, he would be perfect for the j*b. I've often wondered why we have been such close friends. We are certainly opposites in the M-B scales of intro/extro-verts.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:39 AM   #9
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I'm happy as can be, holing up in my home, away from people. My spouse has assembled a frantically social life revolving around sports and is bitterly complaining about his sports group with the same zest that he used to complain about coworkers. Your friend needs to find some social activity outside of the house. Volunteering, college classes, hobby group, etc.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:49 AM   #10
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Any suggestions for this poor, wretched creature?
I worked with people that just didn't like their life at home. They spent long hours at work not because they liked it, they just enjoyed being there. Not saying this is the case here, but one never knows. The alternative for someone like that is to find something to do away from home, such as volunteer work.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:08 AM   #11
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My buddy drive 40 miles to his son's business and does menial tasks to keep busy. He also goes out to buy his wife a coffee and bun.

I spend each morning online and then do social things in the afternoon. There are lots of retired people who love to do things in the afternoon but I have to reach out and ask.

Find out what aspects of his former life he liked and search for similar activiities in retirement.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:27 AM   #12
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The stolen saying goes, "When I get bored, I don't think 'I'll go to work!'"
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:29 AM   #13
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I worked with people that just didn't like their life at home. They spent long hours at work not because they liked it, they just enjoyed being there. Not saying this is the case here, but one never knows. The alternative for someone like that is to find something to do away from home, such as volunteer work.
I was refraining from saying this but it's the first thing i thought of. Working was his coping mechanism for Real Life, from which he was hiding. But I didn't want to sound judgemental. Saw tons of this in the military

But to sound judgemental, as a former banker/insurance guy maybe finding a part time job that involves subtly stealing from people would cheer him up.
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:20 PM   #14
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I'll be honest. As I get reaaallllyyy close to ER I worry about this.

A great site I read was zenhabits (zenhabits.com).

The school-work life paints a picture that fast, more, goals is how life should be. Externally imposed lower gears can exact stress because there is a sudden change. Work becomes the crutch that replaces internal purpose and satisfaction.

So I think your friend needs to "learn" how to relax. This sounds nuts... But I needed to learn how to relax and it's taken the better part of a year.

Now I'm much more chomping at the bit to retire. I'm learning that the act of doing things is the value... Not the goal of the result.

Since then I've:
-starter to teach myself to draw (always said I had no talent, but that's a BS way of thinking)
-lost 15 lbs and exercise 5 times a week (always told myself I was undisciplined and had slow metabolism)
-don't work at home
-leave work by 6 and eat dinner with family
-learned to cook my wife's favority deserts
-have much more patience with kids
-smile a lot more

It's hard to learn how to relax and enjoy after decades of external measurement and demands. Your friend is probably "trying really hard" to enjoy retirement... And instead he needs to detach and let go. Don't try so hard to enjoy it and he probably will

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Old 08-01-2015, 05:22 PM   #15
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I am still working and I cannot understand this at all. I love weekends. I always have more to do than I can fit in. If I get a surprise day off, I always have lots of things to do, and if I don't I can amuse myself for hours reading, listening to music, walking, watching movies, reading internet or a bunch of other ways.

Is this the kid who whines to Mom on day 2 of summer vacation "I'm bored" ? How is this possible?
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:32 PM   #16
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Any suggestions for this poor, wretched creature?
A bad day in retirement is better than a good day at w*rk.

Seriously, it just sounds like he was unprepared for retirement and didn't give enough thought to what he was going to do. So now his task is to find a way to keep himself busy enough.

Myself, I don't have the problem. I can read a book, browse online, post here, watch movies, go for a walk or the gym, play with the camera and Photoshop and such and that's enough for me. Clearly he needs to be busier than that.
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:34 PM   #17
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Time for some heresy: I fully expect to be bored at least some of the time in retirement and think that's a good thing.

Throughout my life boredom has been one of the things that pushed me to get outside of my comfort zone and try new things. Sometimes the process isn't fun, but that's the way I've found myself to many of the experiences and pursuits I've most enjoyed as well. The trick is not to just wallow in it, but let boredom actually drive you just crazy enough to try stuff.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:09 PM   #18
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I had been bored much of the time at work for years. It was not for a lack of things to do, but rather a lack of interest in what needed to be done. A lot of stuff was repetitious, and a lot of the “new” questions and requirements (WAY to much “training”) were to me pointless.



In retirement, I have very little that I “have” to do, but I tend to be busy 7 days a week, at things I choose to do. I do volunteer work a lot at the library, some at the chapel, tend the garden, ride bicycle, read and integrate notes into “planning” documents for the family. I try to keep an online course in the works on something I find interesting, but would have never had the time to spend while working.


I credit greatly reduced stress, and increased physical activity, for the 65 or so pounds I’ve lost so far. Some credit also goes to reading, and determining changes to eating habits.


I might have gone for the Wally “greater” job, but it’s too far from us. I doubt though I’d want a paid position, where there was an expectation of a regular schedule.


I’m looking forward to the wife joining me in the retired ranks, and moving to a location where there are a lot more opportunities closer to us.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:48 PM   #19
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After 1 year and 8 months of retirement and my relocation plans being put on hold, I feel I'm more in a holding pattern of boredom. At first I loved having so much freedom and recuperating from years of work - the last few being particularly stressful. I'm afraid to make plans (beyond social plans) because of this eventual move (I'm on a waiting list for a townhouse co-op). I'm starting to sleep - A LOT! I'm getting lazier about everything, barely getting the dog out to walk. I could be decluttering for the eventual move, boxing things up, etc. Instead, I'm depressed because my "plan" didn't immediately happen and I'm still waiting for that life to begin.

Pity party here! Motivation is not on the menu at the moment. My boredom, I believe, is from my depression and lack of motivation.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:50 PM   #20
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LinCella, I'm going to give you a little bit of the tough love that I learned on a running-focused forum:

Tomorrow you are taking the dog out for a walk in the morning and another in the evening. You have to walk for at least twenty minutes each time. If you are miserable at the twenty minute mark you may return home. But if you are enjoying yourself you can go a little longer. You must do twenty minutes, twice.

The next day you also will do two walks, and you will also throw away five things.

You can get out of this rut you are in, just do a little bit each day. You can do twenty minutes.
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