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Old 10-07-2020, 12:42 PM   #81
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Another thing I need to work on is realizing when it's time to move on; things can be fun... until they aren't. But I might push on with something, thinking "I know this is fun, because I remember how fun it was before". But humans generally suck at really knowing what our former selves were feeling and really bad at guessing how our future selves will be feeling, given choices in the present. And knowing we suck at it doesn't help.
Thanks for posting this. It hit home with me.

I think I am coming to an end of my main after hours love of restoring classic (and other) cars. After my two year "campaign" of restoring a rather simple, but worn out and trashed 1971 VW Beetle, I felt like I was "glad to get over the work". Actually, I tore a meniscus in my knee on the project and required surgery to fix it. My next project was an old BMW Roadster refresh and after replacing a lot of the suspension and dropping the subframe, power steering rack and steering column box to replace a very leaky oil pan gasket, I sold the car. I usually keep my "work" for a while to make sure I don't need to spend more time and money on it!

I have an older Mustang convertible that is scheduled for this winter's refresh, but I may have lost interest, since like you say above, it doesn't feel like fun anymore. Oh well, at 77 years old, maybe I need to look for another "adventure" where I can use my remaining skill sets.
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Old 10-07-2020, 12:45 PM   #82
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There is a lot of research with hard data on what really makes people happy in life. The longest running study on happiness found the number one factor is social connections. Other common factors include getting out in nature, bonding with a pet, eating healthy, meditating, scenic surroundings, being near water, mindfulness, art and culture appreciation, good health, volunteer work, community involvement, exercise, music and keeping a gratitude journal. For most jobs, work and commuting take up a lot of time, maybe 50+ hours a week, that isn't being spent on research based happiness factors. If you retire and spend those 50 hours sitting on your rear watching news shows designed to make viewers fearful and angry, sure maybe working is better. But if you spend those 50 hours with family and friends, taking an art class, museum visits, joining a hiking group, going to farmers' markets and cooking fresh food, gong out dancing, gardening and meditating, I can't see how any of the jobs I had in the past would be more enjoyable than spending an extra 50+ hours a week on happiness promoting activities.
Just about every single thing you mentioned is now either outright banned, illegal or otherwise severely limited. The reaction to the CV-19 virus seems likely to cause much more harm over time than the virus itself. I've been self quarantined working on my own home front but I'm beginning to feel like Mrs. Winchester and her Mystery House. Everyone is starting to either get more paranoid just making eye contact with other people in public or they make politics the only topic if you can get them to engage. (Including personal opinion and reaction to CV-19 as politics)
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Old 10-07-2020, 01:30 PM   #83
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I believe good things happen if one finds purpose & meaning in their lives.

5 years back at age 59 my busy & stressful job/small business stopped due to a road accident which left me partially disabled, but had a individual private disability policy which continues to provide for a comfortable lifestyle for the two of us.

I did not get to have many involved hobbies/friends because of a engrossing 30 year career in healthcare working regularly crazy 60 hours/week, apart from attending to my immediate family. After stopping work, I was bored stiff sitting at home, socially isolated while I saw my earlier colleagues busy at their jobs. Interesting that they thought I was lucky & fortunate to be able to retire.

1) I used to tend to some container plants earlier, so in retirement I took a Master Gardener Course at our University local County Extension, which got me more involved in our small back yard garden. It became a source of some learning, volunteering at the County Center & more so of social human interaction with fellow gardeners.

2) I volunteer at a local Free Health Care Clinic few evenings a month. This is nowhere close to the satisfaction of my earlier job job, but am glad I am able to help people .

3) As I have self managed my money/investments right from the start, I have got a little deeper in the financial Forums, you tube & such websites.

4) Few years back we bought a Travel Trailer & travelled the country for a couple of years. We sold it with an understanding of buying a little larger unit but that has not happened yet & has now been shelved till after the craziness of Covid subsides.

5) DW volunteers with Meals on Wheels

6) I meditate, we exercise & walk most days of the week, apart from listening/participating in our local religious congregation.

Apart from stopping most of our above activities, this stupid virus has also minimized our socializing.

I will be happy when I find a satisfying volunteer activity available locally to get some meaning & purpose in life.
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Old 10-07-2020, 02:20 PM   #84
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Thanks for posting this. It hit home with me.

I think I am coming to an end of my main after hours love of restoring classic (and other) cars. After my two year "campaign" of restoring a rather simple, but worn out and trashed 1971 VW Beetle, I felt like I was "glad to get over the work". Actually, I tore a meniscus in my knee on the project and required surgery to fix it. My next project was an old BMW Roadster refresh and after replacing a lot of the suspension and dropping the subframe, power steering rack and steering column box to replace a very leaky oil pan gasket, I sold the car. I usually keep my "work" for a while to make sure I don't need to spend more time and money on it!

I have an older Mustang convertible that is scheduled for this winter's refresh, but I may have lost interest, since like you say above, it doesn't feel like fun anymore. Oh well, at 77 years old, maybe I need to look for another "adventure" where I can use my remaining skill sets.

I can relate. I love the thrill of learning or doing new things, but after a while they often begin to feel like work. That has happened to me when I learned to make furniture after retiring. When something feels like work, itís time to move on. Right now, Iím taking a creative writing course at a local university. I feel the same thrill I felt when I first started woodworking.
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Old 10-07-2020, 02:38 PM   #85
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Just about every single thing you mentioned is now either outright banned, illegal or otherwise severely limited. The reaction to the CV-19 virus seems likely to cause much more harm over time than the virus itself. I've been self quarantined working on my own home front but I'm beginning to feel like Mrs. Winchester and her Mystery House. Everyone is starting to either get more paranoid just making eye contact with other people in public or they make politics the only topic if you can get them to engage. (Including personal opinion and reaction to CV-19 as politics)
I think there are still ways to engage in most of the happiness factors. For social connections we email, talk on the phone and play Zoom games with friends and family. We go for walks and visit with friends in backyards with masks and social distancing. Almost all the parks, stores, outdoor restaurants, wineries, zoos, farmers' markets, gardens, lakes, beaches and trails here are open. Our hiking and walking groups are back on, with SD and masks. We're not going to concerts or out dancing but I still listen to music, watch concerts on Youtube and exercise to dance videos. And most of the rest, like eating healthy, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude journaling can be done, pandemic or not.
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Old 10-07-2020, 04:25 PM   #86
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I've always speculated that the studies that show a negative impact of not having purpose was because they studied people who retired too late to have time to discover the joy of the rabbit hole; it took me a few years, and I'm still sensing improvement in my abilities there after 6 years.

I need to get better at ideas, because once I start on something, it's effortless to continue. I'm not sure about "meaning", and "purpose", but getting in the zone on my own idea is fulfilling. But sometimes I lack ideas, and end-up doing less interesting stuff. I realize that's happening if I look forward to getting the mail, hehehe!

Another thing I need to work on is realizing when it's time to move on; things can be fun... until they aren't. But I might push on with something, thinking "I know this is fun, because I remember how fun it was before". But humans generally suck at really knowing what our former selves were feeling and really bad at guessing how our future selves will be feeling, given choices in the present. And knowing we suck at it doesn't help.

I'm doing the occasional tech or engineering project, so quite impressed at the rabbit holes listed above by OM. I have a family members who, when we get together, launch "crazy" projects, just to see if we can make them work. It helps to have a community to play off of. But we live in separate states, and nobody is much of a distance hang out kind of person, so I'm mostly on my own for ideas that get me motivated.
Youíve hit on some really key points for me, maybe because we are both engineering-oriented. I love being in the zone, where Iím working on something that is at the very limit of my abilities, but can be achieved if I put in my best effort. I know you donít like to use the word purpose (with a Capitol P) for this, but I find I only get in the zone if Iím doing something I care about. Finding ideas for projects that can generate this experience is not easy, but the process is kind of like finding a purpose (with a small p).
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Old 10-07-2020, 04:43 PM   #87
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Without attempting to to describe in words my mental shift from unemployed at 50 to 'high class born again ER' does not begin to descibe the loose collection of thoughts/ er purpose formed in my current age 77 journey from 50.

Heh heh heh - watching paint dry and grass grow gives only a hint of my ER, FIRE, Boglehead, etc, etc mental state.
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Old 10-07-2020, 08:40 PM   #88
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I saw an interesting video today in which a psychologist from UCSF said that studies show having a strong sense of purpose extended the life and health of retirees. This got me thinking. What are the activities that are worthwhile, that give retirees a sense of purpose? Is there a commonality in the things that give us a sense of purpose, or is it all individual?
After reading the rest of this thread, maybe we all need to take our purpose in life a little less seriously and stop seeking to optimize every waking moment.

I'm with Gumby: "Not all those who wander are lost."

And from the submarine force I learned the motto "Boring is good."
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Old 10-07-2020, 11:26 PM   #89
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After reading the rest of this thread, maybe we all need to take our purpose in life a little less seriously and stop seeking to optimize every waking moment.

I'm with Gumby: "Not all those who wander are lost."

And from the submarine force I learned the motto "Boring is good."
I hate drama too.
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Old 10-08-2020, 02:19 AM   #90
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I just had a conversation with an old colleague that put my retirement into better focus. dave and I retired about the same time, three years ago. dave was about 63 at the time, so had 15 years on me. he was a traveler and liked to post on FB, then one day he dropped off the net. I didnt think much of it.

this morning I got a video call from him out of the blue. he was hooked up to a oxygen tube and sitting on a wheel chair. he told me he got diagnosed with ALS last year in may. I was shocked and felt awful for him and his family, in particular his DW,
who is now his primary care giver. I tried to raise his spirit during the call and plan to stay in touch with him and offer what help I can as his disease progresses.

this discovery once again affirmed my gratitude for having been in a position to retire early enough to enjoy life while my DW and I are healthy. though staying healthy is not a purpose, it is key to enabling all else and is a daily part of my retirement life.
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:51 AM   #91
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The easiest way to find purpose is to keep working.
Lol. Thats what lot of my friends think! I always beg to differ. Personally I have way too many things I want to do and learn for next 20 years at least! I always joke, if you think you have extra time then take up farming. Farming is my calling and purpose. My dream is to grow most of what I eat.
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:36 PM   #92
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Wow a mother at 103 who still lives at home! Bless you for taking care of her and your sister. My mom is 89 and I spend more and more of my time helping her out but I am grateful and honored to be able to do it. If she makes it to 103 I will be 84! Maybe we can take care of each other.
I always joke with her and tell her "I hope that I am doing as well as you at 103!" She is well aware that she has lived longer than most.

Thank you for your kind words. I am also grateful and also honored.
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Old 10-09-2020, 11:33 AM   #93
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After reading the rest of this thread, maybe we all need to take our purpose in life a little less seriously and stop seeking to optimize every waking moment.

I'm with Gumby: "Not all those who wander are lost."

And from the submarine force I learned the motto "Boring is good."
Word. We probably could benefit from having our personal "narrative", but it doesn't have to be centered around a "worthy cause", or anything like that. My narrative includes random, partial exploration of many rabbit holes with no goal in mind. There is the occasional (excuse the profanity) "deliverable", but that's just a side-effect. Wondering is good enough for me.
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Old 10-09-2020, 11:55 AM   #94
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I’m glad I read the book, Retire Happy Wild and Free BEFORE I retired. Great book by the way- but I am too busy to read much now that I have retired. I am living the life I dreamed would never be possible. So far (58 now and retired at 56), retirement has been the best phase of life for me.

When I was younger I wanted to work forever. I liked my coworkers but then I realized my favorite people were the ones I left at home every day. At the time retirement seemed like a hard choice, but now I wish I retired earlier.

My recommendation to any young person is to plan for early retirement so you have options. As some have said, life does not always give you a choice.

Good luck everyone and enjoy every day!
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Old 10-09-2020, 02:52 PM   #95
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I feel like a lot of these work giving people a purpose and reason to live kind of articles are really planted by our corporate overlords who want to keep a steady supply of available laborers. I mean how many trust fund kids who don't have to work for a living become mortgage brokers and accountants in order to give life meaning. In the Blue Zone studies they do suggest having a purpose, but that purpose may be very simple and might be "found in your hobbies, the volunteer organizations to which you donate your time, the garden in your backyard, or watching your grandchildren grow up."
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Old 10-09-2020, 04:42 PM   #96
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Iím glad I read the book, Retire Happy Wild and Free BEFORE I retired.
I bought a used copy during my short ER last year (I returned to work after about 3 months). I've since given it away, as I recall I did not care for Zelinski's writing style and while his fundamental message seemed to be "you can do whatever you want", he seemed to focus on examples that were so "wild" as to be irrelevant. Riding bicycles across continents and saving the whales. Or was it riding the whales and saving the bicycles. I forget.

I would be curious to know what you got out of the book.
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Old 10-11-2020, 12:59 PM   #97
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Riding bicycles across continents and saving the whales. Or was it riding the whales and saving the bicycles. I forget.
I read one of Zelinski's books a long time ago and found it kind of fun. I still have results of the the main exercise pasted on my office wall. Since I am one who might do one of Zelinski's crazy things (does riding a kids' motorcycle across Romania count, hehe!) I just ordered this book on Amazon, used, for $6.
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Old 10-11-2020, 04:12 PM   #98
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It is an excellent point and many can't cope with retirement. I have found new hobbies and have taken it upon myself to learn new skills. I built a Bitcoin mining machine 10 years ago and have made roughly $25k off it. That required a lot of new learning.

Then I took up oil painting, and aerial photography using drones. I also got big into mountain biking and hiking. Additionally, I learned digital art and now paint using a computer rather than messy paints.

I thine got into 3d printing and have two 3D printers. Lately I have worked diligently to learn Fusion 360 CAD design and now design my own parts. I will now be building a CNC machine and learning programming and design so I can start milling aluminum parts.

On top of that I decided to get into home automation and now am learning programming in C++ and Python so I can write smallish programs for the ESP32 series of Arduino compatible tiny IOT computers. I am in the middle of building a swimming pool automation system using a series of these ESP32 devices to measure temperature, filter pressure, Ph, water level, and chlorine levels and then automatically adjust itself. I already designed and built a garden irrigation system and also put together a 7 router hard-wired internet system for the property.

I also bought a smallish high performance yacht which eats up a lot of time but provides an endless supply of tinkering projects.

We also do a lot of travel which is curtailed until COVID-19 gets under control. So, now I have a lot of time to get several projects completed. I just built an e-bike using a Bafang 750W mid drive kit and am tinkering on that to get it perfect. I am printing a small box to hide the wires under the motor. I am designing a top down furling system using Fusion 360 and will print it in polycarbonate. I am nearly finished with the design of the main furler and ready to print test models. If it works then I will print it in polycarbonate and then test it out on the yacht. I am thinking of sewing my own Code Zero sail and will print a separate configuration for that sail. I am also printing an adapter in PC for a carbon fiber forestay I am making.

So, lots to keep busy on top of gardening and cooking. I actually don't have a lot of free time anymore.

Those are some pretty cool hobbies! My hobbies are more mundane, but I feel the same way about not having enough time to get to all the projects I would like to do.
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:48 PM   #99
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The easiest way to find purpose is to keep working.
Got laid off in March and was unemployed for 6 months (semi-retired). Now back working remote and making a six figure salary, I'm not ready to retire yet.

I've have (had) a lot of hobbies over the years: flying, sailing, shooting and motorcycles.
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Old 10-13-2020, 04:13 PM   #100
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This guy appears to have found his purpose.

https://news.yahoo.com/man-lives-alo...190800152.html


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Ivo Zdarsky has been living alone in an airplane hangar in a ghost town in Utah since 2007.... He spends his days tinkering in his workshop, hiking, hunting, fishing, and flying himself around the country.
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