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Old 10-25-2007, 08:12 PM   #41
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I agree with you. I just hope the answer that you guys come up with is not work.
Nope....no work here! If I hear about or read about something going on that interests me, I'll try to fit it in to my very hectic non-existent schedule.

The 'time-occupations' that I mentioned are (to me anyway) anything that I do during my non-sleeping hours.....reading, hitting the coffee shop, having dinner with a friend, staring at the clouds, going to a club meeting, taking a day trip, or whatever. Being ER'd I can do whatever I want, anytime I want to. I have no forced regimen to adhere to.....no 'work'!

I have former co-w*rkers who have similar interests as I do, and so we still communicate and get together occasionally. Of course several of my former co-w*rkers and I had nothing in common other than the j*b, so we no longer interact.

As far as replacing "a complete 40 hours of social interaction everyday at work", thank goodness we don't have to!!! I usually (though not always) have some social interaction each day, but certainly not 40 hours worth per week. I don't have that much free time now that I'm retired! I'm too darn busy living!!! And part of that socializing is with people with whom I have NO w*rk related connections. Like Nords said earlier, "....the world is full of people who are.........a lot more fun to be around than the work-related stuff. Activities can center around shared interests instead of shared misery." To which I say "AMEN!"
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:28 AM   #42
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How did you adjust to this change in social life. One of the advantage of working is meeting lots of people, more or less friendly (one would hope so), sharing ideas, opinions, and feelings.

In retirement there are much less chance to meet people. Some may have clubs or an extended family life. Othere may relocate to a complete new place and start anew.

This thread is not about having things to do. Most people have hobbies and plenty of activities. It is about relationships and talking to people.

Is ER more for lone wolves rather than gregarious dogs?
Loneliness can set in or is there ways to avoid that?
Very interesting topic. Thanks for bringing it up.

I read through all the responses, and didn't notice anyone mention church involvement. I know people range all over the board as regards church life, and being involved or not going at all.

But for myself and my wife, we have been going to the same church for 17 or 18 years now. Our kids (mostly) grewup in this church. My family has a sense of "extended family" because of that in this church.

But this sense of family does not just stop with the local congregation. There are ties and opportunities for relationships all over the country. I suppose, if one looks at church in a broader sense, it doesn't entirely matter that much about particular denominations. One can readily find "new family" in any of several new churches wherever one may move.

Just the simple act of going to worship and/or Sunday School classes once or twice a week is a powerful antidote to loneliness. The relationships one can find within a church can happen just by showing up on a somewhat consistent basis. And we have found there are so many activities, functions, volunteer opportunities that come thru church, it can be "harder" to be lonely than not. The fact that people are going to the same church as you means you already have similarities in lifeviews and belief systems. You have something in common just by being there together.

Relationship possibilities are everywhere if one simply keeps ones eyes open to the possibilities.
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Old 10-26-2007, 10:53 AM   #43
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I spent a little time doing a book search on making friends. There are some for children and there are some that don't quite hit the mark:
Making Friends, Training Your Dog Positively -- WRONG
Making Friends with Frankenstein -- I don't think so !!!

There is one that covers women's friendships:
The Friendship Crisis by Marla Paul

This one might be better for both men and women and got good Amazon reviews and is available in paperback for around $5 w/shipping :
Making Friends by Andrew Matthews
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:12 AM   #44
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...But this sense of family does not just stop with the local congregation. There are ties and opportunities for relationships all over the country. I suppose, if one looks at church in a broader sense, it doesn't entirely matter that much about particular denominations. One can readily find "new family" in any of several new churches wherever one may move.

Just the simple act of going to worship and/or Sunday School classes once or twice a week is a powerful antidote to loneliness. The relationships one can find within a church can happen just by showing up on a somewhat consistent basis. And we have found there are so many activities, functions, volunteer opportunities that come thru church, it can be "harder" to be lonely than not. The fact that people are going to the same church as you means you already have similarities in lifeviews and belief systems. You have something in common just by being there together.

Relationship possibilities are everywhere if one simply keeps ones eyes open to the possibilities.
You are so right, RRobert! My mom had many relationships that started outside the church but were reinforced because her best friends just happened to attend the same church (which she started attending after my dad died). They were the people who told us when it was time for her to move out of her house (at age 89!). She then went into a senior apt. complex, also church-based.

You are also right on the money about it not mattering which denomination. I'm not religious but when I have occasion to attend religious functions, I feel right at home and welcome.

Oh, yes, relationship possibilities are everywhere! Even if it's only to chat in line at a museum cafe or theater or sporting event. Take a class and you might have to talk to someone sometime.
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:26 AM   #45
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Oh, yes, relationship possibilities are everywhere! Even if it's only to chat in line at a museum cafe or theater or sporting event. Take a class and you might have to talk to someone sometime.
Good idea about recommending classes. Language classes are great for this! I've taken a few at our JC. They are fun and you can really meet a lot of people plus they are great for travel and pushing your brain around. In conversational classes people are forced into opening up. Most start out shy but if the teacher is good they don't stay that way. There is also a good URL to check out some teachers for many educational institutions: RateMyProfessors.com
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:55 AM   #46
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Does anybody else see the irony in the fact that most of the people who are worried about social interaction are logged on from computers at work ? They can have this same interaction from the comfort of their lazy boy without working .
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:12 PM   #47
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Does anybody else see the irony in the fact that most of the people who are worried about social interaction are logged on from computers at work ? They can have this same interaction from the comfort of their lazy boy without working .
That's true! I guess they are worried that they might miss interacting with people face to face.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:54 PM   #48
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Does anybody else see the irony in the fact that most of the people who are worried about social interaction are logged on from computers at work ? They can have this same interaction from the comfort of their lazy boy without working .
I thought the same thing, but then I remembered that a recent study said that employees "goof off" two hours of every eight hour work day, with being online, personal phone calls, and inperson socializing at work, so we can only assume that the people who post here will working are not using up their entire two hours just on this board but are also chitchatting in person---and then that doesn't include going out to lunch together, parties, etc.

I was quite introverted when working since it drained me emotionally (working with people with disabilities and special needs, and co-workers whom I had nothing in common with and couldn't really be myself). Now that I've retired, I am wanting to be with people a little more. But since I haven't cultivated many friendships before hand, it's hard. It seems like people have their friends, be it a large or small number, and would prefer to continue with the tried and true than to make the effort to enlarge their circles. Someone on another bulletin board actually said "I'm not looking to make any friends. I have all the friends I need." While I envy him for being so content, it does seem like he is limiting himself.

I have found a few friends here and there (a 90 yo neighbor---almost double my age, but she's great) and someone I met online on another site for introverted, sensitive types and actually see in person now. But it's difficult because so many of my interests are solitary, such as reading. I've looked at meetup.com, which is an interesting website, but very much geared for singles to hook up. For example, a coffee group sounded nice---just a bunch of people getting together over coffee, but it seemed like the agenda was really to meet people to date. And of course, most everyone was way under 50!

I think that church does allow people to establish new friendships---problem is for us nonreligious types. Unitarian churches are very relaxed and don't specify a specific spiritual path---but at my local church, I found them to be very intellectual but not at all warm. All head, no heart.

It's hard, but it seems worthwhile to try to connect...
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:07 PM   #49
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I have found a few friends here and there (a 90 yo neighbor---almost double my age, but she's great) and someone I met online on another site for introverted, sensitive types and actually see in person now. But it's difficult because so many of my interests are solitary, such as reading. ..
A book club sounds perfect for you .
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:19 PM   #50
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A book club sounds perfect for you .
To some extent, yes, Moemg---except that a lot read fluffier things than I like. I like contemporary literary fiction. And to be honest, I guess I enjoy reading more than talking about books. Wouldn't like a book to be overanalyzed. And then again, I wouldn't like some clubs where most of the members don't read the books and it's just about the socializing.

And unfortunately in my area, there aren't any public book clubs at the libraries or book stores. But I appreciate teh suggestion.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:27 PM   #51
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But it's difficult because so many of my interests are solitary, such as reading.
Tango, you remind me of myself. I've been planning for the time when SO might be gone, although I believe I will go first. I find when I try to get to know people with similar interests, their interest is always a little off from mine: I go to the opera to hear the orchestra, most people are more interested in the singing, however it is very important for me to be among people who love it. If you check out Literaturenetwork.com or the book club at Amazon.com, the discussions, IMO, are too shallow. It's rare to really click with anyone. My mom always said she visited people she didn't even like because she needed lots of people in her life. She was the one who would bring a cake over to new people in the neighborhood.

I meet two types of people on trains: those who really really want to be there and their SOs who want to fly everywhere. Lots of compromises.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:58 PM   #52
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I think that church does allow people to establish new friendships---problem is for us nonreligious types. Unitarian churches are very relaxed and don't specify a specific spiritual path---but at my local church, I found them to be very intellectual but not at all warm. All head, no heart.
Ditto your observation on Unitarian/Universalist, etc. Can be kind of excessively intellectual.

I also think a church would be excellent, but it does present problems for those of us who are or have become largely secular. I grew up in a pre-Vatican 2 Catholic parish, in a Catholic urban neighborhood in a largely Catholic city. The church and school and extended families and neighborhood all reinforced one another to create a solid feeling of belonging. Like many young men I drifted away after not long after puberty. When I tried to go back to the church, (not to the neighborhood as I had moved) it had undergone revolutionary changes. I had found it comforting and esthetically pleasing in Latin. Once I heard all that in English I wasn't so sure!

When I lived on the east coast long ago I regularly attended a big Afro-Am Baptist Church that I really liked. I might try that again, but I am not sure that the times haven't changed so much that I may not be welcome.

Every parish or congregation seems to be different, so it takes a while to visit a bunch of different churches in your neighborhood.

I do want a church that I might link up with to be within walking distance. I want to be able to join in fully, and to expect to make easy connections outside the church doors too. Nothing like proximity to enhance friendships.

Question- what is an acceptable pledge amount for a non-wealthy single person who joins a congregation?

Message to Tangomonster- Book clubs, creative writing clubs, even university or CC classes in literature or creative writing might be a fit for you. When I was 20 and a full time student at university I took a night class in 20th Century American novel. I did it because I couldn’t get a day class into my schedule. This was at an SEC school; the professor was a Jewish guy from Brooklyn who was wonderful. About 1/3 of the students were young college age, the rest all ages from the community. It was one of the best classes I ever had. These older people really had some idea about what life was about, whereas most of us youngsters were totally callow and clueless. I'll never forget the prof, or many of the older adult students. OTOH I have forgotten all the other kids in the class.

We went out for beers from time to time; it was definitely a quality social experience.

Ha
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:21 PM   #53
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Joe, I appreciate the suggestion about literaturenetwork.com, but have you been on the site recently? It connects you to educationcentral (a for-profit trade school type thing, it appears). There is a good site all about books---readerville.com, but they want $8 a month to join, even just for lurking! And I enjoy the opera too---like you, I like the music more than the singing, as well as the theatre part of it. But you can't believe how many people (at least here in Atlanta, which tends to be on the superficial side in a lot of respects) are attending just as a gala dress-up night out and could care less about the music (so this extends to lots of talking and cell phone use during a performance. Once the overture started and a woman in front of us kept talking. We tried to shush her and she said "it hasn't started yet---it's JUST the orchestra!"). I do like cultural stuff very much, but it can be frightfully expensive (we started going to events at a local college where performances are free or low cost) and can be snobby (some people who are novices clap after every movement and the more experienced patrons snicker---okay, so you're not supposed to---but isn't it good that they are at least trying live performances out and supporting the arts?).

Ha, that night class sounds terrific! In terms of a pledge, all I can go by is Unitarian Universalist standards, where there isn't that 10% tithing expectation. Average annual pledge is about $1200, with some pledging much less and others much more. It seems to be a problem that people don't wind up giving as much as they pledged. Some people didn't join but were just considered "friends" and didn't make a pledge but just contributed what they wanted, when they wanted. You sound so open to all different types of worship---it must be nice to be like that and take the good from all types of traditions and practices. I just can't find any that I'm comfortable with. Buddhism intrigues me, but more to dabble in and be intrigued than to fully commit and practice it. The Unity church is flexible and open, but a bit too New Agey for me.

Maybe a generic senior center will be in the picture for me someday, but at 53, it would be a little premature (although I am considering high-energy water aerobic classes for seniors).
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Old 10-26-2007, 08:34 PM   #54
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Tangomaster, Since I've had to regroup a few times in my life and find new friends I'll share what I found worked for me .I got a list of all the clubs in the area and circled all the possibilities .Some were instant losers but a few were winners . I joined an investment club , a computer club ,a newcomers club and the local Y . Even if I did not find friends something positive came from each club.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:11 PM   #55
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But you can't believe how many people (at least here in Atlanta, which tends to be on the superficial side in a lot of respects) are attending just as a gala dress-up night out and could care less about the music (so this extends to lots of talking and cell phone use during a performance. Once the overture started and a woman in front of us kept talking. We tried to shush her and she said "it hasn't started yet---it's JUST the orchestra!").
We have those people here on Oahu too. The eye candy is impressive, but they must do a lot of flying back & forth...
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:20 PM   #56
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I empathize with Tangomonster! Joining clubs and organizations (which I currently don't have time to do) means taking on their culture, rituals and expectations. Some of them demand quite a high level of commitment. I'm not sure I'm ready for that. It sounds a bit too much like w*rk! Maybe the answer is to start your own club.
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More odd adventures
Old 10-27-2007, 03:23 AM   #57
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More odd adventures

This evening I was walking back up the hill from visiting the Public Market and enjoying a spectacular sunset over the bay. I was feeling good about things, as I had managed to do a good deed while out walking. An old black man was pushing his woman up a very steep hill in her wheelchair, and he was running out of steam. I asked if I might help him, he said sure, and even with two of us pushing it wasn't all that easy to get her safely to the top. Sometimes I really don't know how these people can cope, but they do.

About halfway home a small jazz club/gallery/wine bar I go to had a sign out "Tonight--Free Comedy Show". So I went on home and made dinner, showered and dressed and headed back down the hill to catch the show. I had hoped to get there a little early so I could sit on a couch up on the balcony and avoid ringside banter. No such luck. The place was full when I came in, and the MC says, "You sir, the old gentleman, come right up front." Great, but I guess if you are 30 years older than the next oldest you have to expect some flack. Fortunately, they grew tired of Viagra, Geritol and walker jokes at my expense, and spent most of their time annoying a woman sitting next to me with a very low cut dress and boobs about the size and shape of muskmelons.

Some of the comics were really good and I laughed a lot. Toward the end a heckler dressed in an East German Army Uniform showed up. It got zanier and zanier from there. A guy with a very fancy waxed moustache was introduced as the “2007 world champion free-style moustache contest winner, crowned in London England.”

When the show was over I happened to leave as he did, so we walked up the hill together. He talked about being the World Champion Free Style Moustache Champion. I could tell that this was a big win for him, maybe the high point of his life. I kept expecting that he would at least feign some sort of ironic distance, but it didn't happen. This would be about like Dr. Enders telling about how it felt to get the Nobel Prize for cultivating the polio virus. He said people took his picture every day. I could understand the appeal of this, as no one takes my picture. Then he told me that he was going to shave it off, even though he liked it very much. I asked why. He said because chicks don’t really like it. They just like to take pictures of it, but he feels that they don't really like it because they never want to kiss it. Right about then his path diverged from mine, and I was left with that kind of sad realization. Here is the World Champion Freestyle Moustache Man, and although he loves his achievement and his role, he is going to throw it over in hopes of winning a woman’s kiss.

We men are pitiful, but in a noble kind of way.

Ha
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:41 AM   #58
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Now ferco woulda said "get to the point"!

I helped a guy and a lady in a wheelchair. I went to a comedy show and I met a moustache champion. The end. Ha.

------
I love this description of your exploits.. more please! You could be an excellent prof. writer and be published yourself if you wanted to put something together.. maybe short stories about men and life and loneliness. Or local "human interest" interviews. You really plucked my heartstrings with the Moustache Man.. I wanted to kiss his moustache for him!
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:04 AM   #59
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Re: church. The Catholic church DH and I started (for me re-)frequenting in the US didn't have any organized pledging. I think that would have turned me off. I usually gave $20-$25 everytime we showed up and a few hundred for some of the special collections; it probably worked out to $1200-1500 or so in all -- I never tracked it.. But I would have felt equally comfortable giving less if that's what my finances permitted. Except for the bigger checks 1x-2x/year I gave cash and it was anonymous. I liked that freedom. I don't think it's right to be sizing people up and reckoning what they "should" give. It has to come from the spontaneous desire to give as much as the means.. plus who knows what other charities people are supporting outside the church structure?

[We dislike the priest here and tend to avoid services.. and donate to other causes.]
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:05 AM   #60
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.

------
I love this description of your exploits.. more please! You could be an excellent prof. writer and be published yourself if you wanted to put something together.. maybe short stories about men and life and loneliness. Or local "human interest" interviews. You really plucked my heartstrings with the Moustache Man.. I wanted to kiss his moustache for him!

I also love the stories . I never really appreciated how lonely guys can be . I thought since there are soo many more older woman than men that you'd be beating women off with a stick .
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