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Old 09-29-2020, 06:36 PM   #41
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I think this is very individual. There are many things that I have found enjoyable about retiring. I don't miss the stress I had when I was working full-time. I was glad to be able to move somewhere without being constrained by work. I have been happy to be able to spend to rekindle a friendship with my best friend from high school (after many years I moved back to close to my hometown). I have enjoyed getting to spend more time with extended family.

While I have enjoyed those things I wouldn't consider them a sense of purpose. I did feel I wanted to do something meaningful that would provide some benefit to someone that wasn't easily available elsewhere. For several years I wrote a weight loss blog. And, that was rewarding, but eventually I felt I had said everything that I had to say and I was just repeating myself.

Right now, what I find rewarding is volunteering to help people use DNA to solve unknown parentage. Many people I help are people who were adopted like I was. In some cases, they weren't adopted but they don't know the identify of their biological father (some only learned about this as adults). Some have a deceased parent or even a grandparent who was adopted or had an unknown parent and they want to identify the unknown grandparent or great grandparent.

I do this help in several ways. I do volunteer ...coaching is a good word for a non-profit organizaiont. I help members of a Googlegroup that helps people doing these searches. In that role, I am mostly posting to a group and answering questions and giving people information and tips on how to do their specific search.

In some cases I help people with their specific DNA courses, doing most of the work for them. Most people get back their DNA results from Ancestry or 23andme or wherever and they have no idea how to use the results. It is entirely possible that someone can have results for even years and they have no idea how to analyze and someone who is knowledgeable can come in and solve the mystery in a day or two. Of course, not all searches are so simple. Some searches take years. Those are very satisfying to solve.

Of course, I enjoy solving the mystery and doing the search itself. It is fun to me. At the same time, I absolutely know that in many cases I am doing something to help someone to help someone who could never do this themselves. Some people can do the search with a little help and those are where coaching is involved. Some people could do the search if they were taught how to do it. Some people will seek out that knowledge and do the search. Others won't for a variety reasons (mostly because of real life obligations that are more of a priority such as their own jobs or taking care of their children, etc.). Some people could just never learn how to do it. I like being able to help those people and feel that I fulfill a real need.
Wow, that sounds fascinating! It also sounds like it could easily be a full time job. Do you just work on it when you feel the urge, or do you plan to do some every day?
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:15 PM   #42
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My thoughts exactly. I remember shortly after retirement, sitting on the back porch and thinking "Okay, what next?"

And it came to me, "Why do I have to do anything? I've spent all my life getting to the point where I don't HAVE to do anything."
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I think this is the point. You don’t HAVE to do anything, so what do you WANT to do? A lot of people seem turned off by the word purpose and the idea of having goals seems too much like jargon from work. Let me ask the question in different ways: what do you enjoy doing? What activities do you find meaningful? What do you look forward to doing on a regular basis, now that you can do anything you want?
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:37 PM   #43
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I think this is the point. You don’t HAVE to do anything, so what do you WANT to do? A lot of people seem turned off by the word purpose and the idea of having goals seems too much like jargon from work. Let me ask the question in different ways: what do you enjoy doing? What activities do you find meaningful? What do you look forward to doing on a regular basis, now that you can do anything you want?
You have rephrased the question, but you appear still to be concerned with "doing something meaningful". I don't have to do anything meaningful; I'm retired. I worked hard all my life just so that I could be free to do completely frivolous things every day if I choose. Sure, there are things I enjoy doing, but I guess I have no need to feel that I am doing something meaningful.
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Old 09-29-2020, 07:48 PM   #44
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Wow, that sounds fascinating! It also sounds like it could easily be a full time job. Do you just work on it when you feel the urge, or do you plan to do some every day?
It could be a full time job. Some people do it as a full time job. I've had people offer to pay me and I turn it down. I turn it down because I don't want to be beholding to do it on a schedule. I don't want the stress of it being a job.

So I work on it when I feel like it. Now, most days, I feel like working on it and so I do it. I usually spend some time on it most days, but not every day. Today, for example, I just responded to a few emails and have spent less than 15 minutes. The other day I spent about 15 hours. So it depends. Sometimes a do nothing for a few days. But most days I usually spend a few hours on it.
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:15 PM   #45
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^ very interesting and very rewarding I can tell.
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:21 PM   #46
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You have rephrased the question, but you appear still to be concerned with "doing something meaningful". I don't have to do anything meaningful; I'm retired. I worked hard all my life just so that I could be free to do completely frivolous things every day if I choose. Sure, there are things I enjoy doing, but I guess I have no need to feel that I am doing something meaningful.
Fair enough - your point is well taken.
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:56 PM   #47
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I don't have a purpose like I don't have a mission statement, performance review or quarterly objectives any more. I do have a lot of hobbies, friends and family, a pet, belong to some clubs, and we have a house and yard to take care of. All that keeps me pretty busy and content. We're not billionaires, but I grew up poor so am happy now just to not have to work and not have to worry about money, especially during this economy.
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:30 AM   #48
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I liked my job but was it meaningful?
I was making money for other people (and some for myself)
;-))
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:21 AM   #49
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I don't have a purpose like I don't have a mission statement,
No mission statement? Egads! Horrors!

I once sat in an interminable staff meeting where we spent at least 45 minutes listening to a three or four people argue about the placement of no more than four words in a mission statement.

Now that I think about it, one purpose in life that I fulfilled by retiring was no more time wasting staff meetings.
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:32 AM   #50
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Now that I think about it, one purpose in life that I fulfilled by retiring was no more time wasting staff meetings.
+1000
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Old 09-30-2020, 11:15 AM   #51
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No mission statement? Egads! Horrors!

I once sat in an interminable staff meeting where we spent at least 45 minutes listening to a three or four people argue about the placement of no more than four words in a mission statement.

Now that I think about it, one purpose in life that I fulfilled by retiring was no more time wasting staff meetings.
Once when I was in a meeting like that this down to earth guy from the South got tired of people arguing over whether the mission statement should be "completely customize principle-centered vortals" or "principle focused vortals synergized by operational excellence" (or something like that). He just spoke up and said "It don't matter. Neither one means a dam* thing."

Yes, you are right. I, too, do have a purpose now. It is to never have to waste a minute of my life sitting through meetings like that again.
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Old 09-30-2020, 11:31 AM   #52
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Prime purpose of retirement was to never have to show up for w*rk on time, or any tme. Not having to take random drug tests as "essential employee" is just bonus.


Choosing what, if anything to do, priceless!
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Old 09-30-2020, 11:35 AM   #53
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I try to have as much fun as possible.
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:24 PM   #54
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RobbieB >>> your purpose is to put for smoke in the atmosphere. Lol With all those elaborate lunches you have.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:27 PM   #55
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What are the activities that are worthwhile, that give retirees a sense of purpose?
Waking up in the morning to the sound of a flock of feral parrots in our backyard and not worrying about the monotonous commute to work.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:57 PM   #56
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I don’t expect to find “THE” or “ONE” single purpose that lasts for the rest of my life, because I haven’t found that up to this point. I seem to like variety, so I expect to keep finding things to do, like I always have.
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Old 09-30-2020, 03:28 PM   #57
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No mission statement and most days we wing it as to what to do.
Retired to fun, that's all.
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Old 09-30-2020, 03:35 PM   #58
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Old 10-03-2020, 05:30 PM   #59
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After more than 11 years, that post seems to have aged well.

I still get questions about it, and (someday) it's going to be part of yet another book.
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Old 10-06-2020, 04:25 PM   #60
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I always hated working- well the schedule of work at least. The grind. Answering to someone for my time.

I did good in the world as I worked in healthcare promotion. Now I really don’t need some outside “ purpose”. I wake up with the sun and take my time. I can be spontaneous if I want to. My purpose is to enjoy the time I have left. I like home making so that helps. I live in a vacation area so that helps. I am social so that helps. I am borderline introvert so that helps. I liked to read and research and think so that helps. I like a little traveling and exploring so that helps.

Don’t need anything else.

I offer help to others whenever the opportunity arrives but I am not really a joiner in terms of organizations. I do r like meetings and committees and so forth. I work alone. I guess I am somewhat independent.
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