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Old 03-12-2010, 11:11 PM   #41
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A 'purpose' reminds me of a friend who taught physics at a local University. Taught his classes, did his research and published his papers for 44 years. One day, his purpose was revealed to him. He applied for a sabbatical to pursue "the theory of everything". The U turned him down. He is now a 'professor emeritus' seeking the "theory of everything". "Everything" he wants to do.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:28 PM   #42
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"So, how are you keeping "interested" and finding purpose?"

The only "interest" that I have is enjoying all that life presents to me....and as far as "purpose" is concerned, it's the same thing....enjoying all that life presents to me! Other than that, I have NO purpose in life, and I want NO purpose in life!!!

So here's the sum of it all.....

"I've had friends who've asked me, "So what's retirement like?" My answer to them is, "Remember when you were a little kid.....before the big people sent you to kindergarten? Remember those seemingly endless days of play? Those days when you got up and ate breakfast, then went out to play? Then you'd come in for lunch and a nap, and then go back out to play until supper time? Then after supper you'd go out to play until dark or until bedtime....whichever you could get away with? Then you'd start all over the next day? Well, that's what retirement is like!!!"

Life is Great!!!
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:18 AM   #43
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I "get retired" every summer for about 40 days. Since I have seasonal employment, and since I never wanted to work in the summer, I had to develop a whole series of hobbies that I learned to do. I call it Mining. I usually choose something and then get good enough at doing it so that I'm better than 90% of the population in doing it. And then I move on to something new. I "mine out the subject" until the mine is no longer bringing fourth "fruit". But then I have these skills for future use.

In the past I was a wedding and portrait photographer. I abused that hobby into making it a job which destroyed all interest in recreationally taking photographs. The key is not to make it into something that you have to do to make money, as opposed to something that you like to do, and sometimes you actually get paid for it. I'd enjoy doing that again. I've made some furniture and some sound systems and I enjoy that, and would like to do more of that again. I've made some wooden toys and I'd like to do that again. And I've build a house and added additions from scratch I'd like to do some of that again. I'e gotten good at computer design of websites and I'd like to help with organizations. I'd like to still work with children as I've done over the past 40 years, and I'd like to take my certificate in hand and volunteer or get paid for a couple of days a week doing that, maybe on the outer islands when they don't really have those services.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:54 PM   #44
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"....The key is not to make it into something that you have to do to make money, as opposed to something that you like to do, and sometimes you actually get paid for it...."

How so very true.

I think I resonate your post. If and when I find something that interests me, I dive in deep, with time commitment, and with money (hard one, since I do have to keep an eye on that). Then, I've noticed, I "reach my fill" and then drop it like a diseased carcass.

Sometimes, I move onto the next thing.

But I suppose right now, I didn't line up a "next thing".

So - spring is here, summer is coming, and I'm searching.

Not entirely a bad thing.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:58 PM   #45
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:19 AM   #46
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Kinda embarrassed to admit that I'm more externally driven than internally. I rise to a challenge, but I don't usually go looking for one. I'm sure this "trait" cost me money/promotions at w*rk, but I didn't worry much about it then nor do I worry much about it now. Still, once in a while, I feel a bit like vincente solano. I've been given a gift. A gift to live in the US. A gift of enough resources to do just about anything (not everything) I want. A gift of time - I'm a piker compared to Ha and many others - I retired at 58, sort of a late bloomer as RE folks go, I suppose. Still, with luck, I've got some good time left. I've got a DW of near 40 years who puts up with me.

SO - What am I doing with it? I've w*rked on three remodel j*bs for my three latest homes. Again, these "challenges" were external. Stuff needed to be done. (OK, DW said "stuff needs to be done.") Can't say I didn't enjoy many aspects of this kind of work. I'm not skilled but I'm getting more so. I could probably w*rk with DW to be a pseudo general contractor for other folks remodel j*bs - but I wouldn't have any interest and it would require "credentials" which I'm not interested in getting.

Been doing some "mentoring" as I've met younger folks - easier all the time, heh, heh. Strange that some people have looked to me as sort of a parent figure. I'm blown away by that, but I discover I can "listen", not give too much advice and help people realize what they already know about themselves. I like doing that, but I don't go out looking for it.

Didn't leave the house today. I'll get cabin fever by tomorrow, so I'll at least go out for lunch/necessity buying, etc.

Purpose - who knows? I'd like to think I have a moral compass and that helps direct my activities. But, purpose? Interests? I'm not sure I have a clue about such things. In a vacuum, I'd not worry about it, but, as I said, I have been given gifts. It would be a shame to squander them.

Still, I don't let such feelings get me down for long. Some challenge will come along and I'll rise to it, again. (Still got vestiges of most recent remodel to complete - oh, did I mention, I'm either a lazy SOB or shall we call it a "procrastinator"?)

I guess I'm more of a person who lets life "happen" rather than one who makes life happen. I admire (probably envy) those in the latter camp. Still, I don't see my personality changing much. It is what it is. I yam who I yam. I'm not too self critical and I don't let it get me down. I'm rarely if ever bored. So, maybe I shouldn't concern myself with such questions. Still...
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:16 PM   #47
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[QUOTE=SO -

I guess I'm more of a person who lets life "happen" rather than one who makes life happen. I admire (probably envy) those in the latter camp. Still, I don't see my personality changing much. It is what it is. I yam who I yam. I'm not too self critical and I don't let it get me down. I'm rarely if ever bored. So, maybe I shouldn't concern myself with such questions. Still...[/QUOTE]

Wow, we could be twins. I feel the same way!
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:02 PM   #48
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Dobbs: "If you're the police where are your badges?" Gold Hat: "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!"[
In the FWIW department, I hadn't seen "Treasure of Sierra Madre" in many years. DW was working a puzzle and asked me where the line about "We don't need no stinking badges" came from. I told her the answer and then found your quote here a few moments later. How strange.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:05 PM   #49
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Walt, sadly Iīm one of those guys -that you mention-constantly thinking that I should be doing something useful, practical, "meaningful" wth my extensive free time.....but do nothing of the sort. And I kind of end up feeling remorseful, for wasting my time and not profitting from a situation that many envy. All this compounded by seeing that my retired colleagues do what I think I ought to be doing too..... but donīt. Reading the "what did you do today" thread causes the same depressing feeling to me....
All these things make me think that I am either a dull person or without interests-that I donīt deserve the windfall of my very privileged ERment.
I have this idea that life is like a flower. We start out with a bulb, and the first task is to build a root system. These are our physical skills that we mostly acquire before kindergarden. Then in our schooling and work and wealth, we built our stem.

The plant is incomplete, and actually a failure, unless it creates a flower. The flower is the state of being rather than doing, placing the highest value on the smallest social interaction, practising the small inglorious acts of kindness, as discretely as possible, and taking great care in the respectful manner in which you place the cup of coffee on the table for your spouse or friend or neighbour (or house cleaner), while making auspicious eye contact, and trying to lift everyone up that you encounter through the day with your tone of voice.

The man who is all root and stem is ridiculous. Maybe, your inner flower is ready to bloom, senses it is spring, and wants nothing more to do with stem growing.

the primal, the practical, the poetic, in its proper sequence.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:36 PM   #50
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"....The key is not to make it into something that you have to do to make money, as opposed to something that you like to do, and sometimes you actually get paid for it...."

How so very true.

I think I resonate your post. If and when I find something that interests me, I dive in deep, with time commitment, and with money (hard one, since I do have to keep an eye on that). Then, I've noticed, I "reach my fill" and then drop it like a diseased carcass.

Sometimes, I move onto the next thing.

But I suppose right now, I didn't line up a "next thing".

So - spring is here, summer is coming, and I'm searching.

Not entirely a bad thing.
I know exactly what you are talking about. I have my core, which is the marriage, the profession, the investments - keep those boring and safe, and with everything else I am a shameless dilettante.

some ideas as to how you might find your next thing -

- allow yourself to act out of character. You may need to engage in some practise activities to shake things up. It is possible that you need something that is outside of your personal prejudices. I believe the planet and people are constructed to provide for what we need...but that a depressed person is a person who is too inhibited, has acquired limiting firmware, to move toward their inner desire or curiosity.

- go to Barnes and Noble and go through the magazines slowly, all the sections. See if anything tweeks your interest. Most possible interests are covered there.

- pay attention to small things that change your "state" in a positive way. Build on that. For my wife, it was a positive experience with a cat, that led to a life with dogs. My personal observation is that no woman without kids in the home can be comfortable without a little dog to care for.

- try to develop a sense of distinguishing between boredom and loneliness. do something stimulating/exciting, alone. Then do something very social. Monitor your state. Take appropriate action when choosing activities, place of residence.

- one thing to try is to ensure that you have a sport, a church, a musical instrument to play/learn (see film, Harold and Maude), a favorite author or genre of reading, a hobby business, a neighbourhood action group, a political party and generally build a life with more things to do than time to do them. To be clear, I mean do ALL of these things.

The sport could be something unambitious such as badminton, but make it a social sport. There are hundreds of churches or spiritual traditions to check out...half the fun is trying them out. Guitar or piano is easy to learn if you just pick a couple of songs you like and learn them...dont spend 2 years with a teacher before you can actually play something.
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Purpose in retirement...absolutely necessary for me
Old 05-05-2010, 07:34 AM   #51
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Purpose in retirement...absolutely necessary for me

OK, I am the new kid here, but want to take a shot at this. I have accumulated a lot of knowledge and (hopefully) some wisdom through the years. One of my major purposes is to pass that along to the next generation--not just my kids, but friends, people in my church, etc. I do volunteer financial counseling at my church for anyone with a need, and am beginning to branch out to others who have a need.

I am not a saint either, as one poster said, but I think we all have SO MUCH to offer that it would be a shame to not help others to NOT make the same mistakes I did!

Just my 2 cents.

Jim
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:53 AM   #52
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I'm still in the honeymoon stage of my semi-retirement (month 2). I thought I was going to be a little restless during my non-work time but so far, at least, the opposite is happening: I'm restless at work and thinking about getting home so I can trim the hibiscus, work out, take a nap, whatever.

I can tell it's going to take some time to find the right balance. But back to the OP, "purpose" is one thing, contentment is another. My goal is the latter, and it seems to be inserting itself into my life automatically. Trying to define and pursue "purpose" makes my head spin, so I don't bother. BTDT.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:09 AM   #53
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Hi, vickko,

It seems you live in Ottawa, the capital city and one of the most interesting cities in Canada. I read recently that it is one of the best places to live in Canada. (Want to trade places?)

Why not make a list of the things you are missing? Be very general. Just do a memory dump. Make a big list of everything that comes to mind. Then go back in a day and look at it. Put a number value to each item. Throw out the unimportant ones. Brainstorm how to deal with each one.

I like lists. They simplify things.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:05 AM   #54
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Ottawa is paradise from June 15 to August 15. We have 4 waterways that intersect (Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau rivers, and the Rideau Canal).

It can be grey and ucky August-October, and half the time we get the first snow in early November that does not melt until April.

With the help of global warming, those patterns are shifting though - we had our first snowfall free March...ever. Maybe there was a quarter inch flurry at the airport one night. But last year we nearly broke a record as far as snow. Then again, warmer temps generate more snow....below a certain point it gets too cold to snow...if you can believe it.

If you are a winter sports person, there is more to do winters than slightly warmer cities, such as Toronto or even Montreal. We have the worlds largest skating rink (several miles) and ski hills close enough for weekday evening skiing. Its a good place to work and be a student, as the weather drives you indoors Sept-April. Bilingualism (french) is an important factor regarding many professions here.

As far as FIRE, Canada and Florida were made for each other for the snowbird cycle, and I will soon be a third generation snowbird. Tradition is to have the clan gathering at Canadian thanksgiving in mid October, and then don't come back until tax time, mid April, just when it is starting to get too hot in Florida.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:48 PM   #55
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Walt, sadly Iīm one of those guys -that you mention-constantly thinking that I should be doing something useful, practical, "meaningful" wth my extensive free time.....but do nothing of the sort. And I kind of end up feeling remorseful, for wasting my time and not profitting from a situation that many envy. All this compounded by seeing that my retired colleagues do what I think I ought to be doing too..... but donīt. Reading the "what did you do today" thread causes the same depressing feeling to me....
All these things make me think that I am either a dull person or without interests-that I donīt deserve the windfall of my very privileged ERment.
I saw this and had to respond. My wife is like this. She needs to feel productive, needed. She has a very hard time doing anything for herself. In her case, she has some self esteem and confidence issues and maybe you do too. In any case, you gotta come to terms with the idea that doing something for you and you alone is profitable, useful and meaningful. Money is not the only measure of value. Its a habitual way of thinking that you need to break. You need a little dose of how to BE retired. Try picking up a book on the subject. My wife is reading How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free. Enjoying retirement is a skill and like any thing else some people come to it naturally and others don't. You can learn it though. good luck!!

For the meantime, you can stay busy learning how to be retired.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:40 PM   #56
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I have found that one way to stay interested is to tell others how to live on internet forums.

Ha
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:55 AM   #57
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A 'purpose' reminds me of a friend who taught physics at a local University. Taught his classes, did his research and published his papers for 44 years. One day, his purpose was revealed to him. He applied for a sabbatical to pursue "the theory of everything". The U turned him down. He is now a 'professor emeritus' seeking the "theory of everything". "Everything" he wants to do.
is it this fellow?



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Old 05-06-2010, 08:12 AM   #58
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Ottawa is paradise from June 15 to August 15. We have 4 waterways that intersect (Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau rivers, and the Rideau Canal).

It can be grey and ucky August-October, and half the time we get the first snow in early November that does not melt until April.

With the help of global warming, those patterns are shifting though - we had our first snowfall free March...ever. Maybe there was a quarter inch flurry at the airport one night. But last year we nearly broke a record as far as snow. Then again, warmer temps generate more snow....below a certain point it gets too cold to snow...if you can believe it.

If you are a winter sports person, there is more to do winters than slightly warmer cities, such as Toronto or even Montreal. We have the worlds largest skating rink (several miles) and ski hills close enough for weekday evening skiing. Its a good place to work and be a student, as the weather drives you indoors Sept-April. Bilingualism (french) is an important factor regarding many professions here.

As far as FIRE, Canada and Florida were made for each other for the snowbird cycle, and I will soon be a third generation snowbird. Tradition is to have the clan gathering at Canadian thanksgiving in mid October, and then don't come back until tax time, mid April, just when it is starting to get too hot in Florida.
following up on this, there is as well a smaller tradition of American snowbirds, Americans fleeing the summer to head to northern cottages, which are very inexpensive if you are not within a few hours of a population centre. The economics of this perhaps makes less sense with the dollar near parity.

another factor might be snowbird+, which is setting up the American inverted snowbird pattern but staying a few days longer in the summer, and establishing Canadian tax residency, so that you can qualify for health care (the paperwork may be a bit more complicated than that), in the way a Canadian might do to establish tax residency in Florida for the purpose of having a much lower tax rate.

because my pension plan includes a provision for world health care (excluding hospital emergency which I plan to plug with blue cross - advice?), I am looking at establishing residency in Florida so that I can escape the perils of socialized medicine, as well as escape provincial/state income taxes, and take advantage of homesteader status. Go back north for a few months in the summers. In Ontario, things are iffy now, but they are cutting back on nurses, at a time when they should be expanding to prepare for aging boomers.

If you are looking for a really inexpensive lifestyle, do a reverse snowbird, spend winters at Canadian cottages and summers at a Florida condo - live in the off season, adjust your 7/5 months ratios to establish residency in the country that benefits you the most.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:38 PM   #59
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I try to find a mix of personal development (running, biking, swimming, reading, Spanish study, travel, etc.) and volunteer work (Rotary Club service projects, church work, etc.). I also have a decade-old bucket list that I'm still working on. I feel the "fire" and still have a purpose-driven life, but I don't feel guilty at all for just goofing off (watching the Utah Jazz on TV, spending time on useless forums, etc.)
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:59 AM   #60
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I admit that doing nothing useful because I am too lazy to do anything worthwhile, makes me feel like that I am a good-for-nothing kind of guy. And to top it all, I donīt want to change. Sometimes I think that my behaviour wonīt go without some sort of punishment. Laziness is my main capital sin. I truly envy those of you that are different than me on this issue.
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