playing the world's smallest violin

Have you tried reading/posting here for 4 or 5 hours a day? It only feels like a few minutes went by and then, bam! you've spent half of the day.

Many of the people here do that, even if they do not admit to it. :D

Back on the OP, we keep life interesting by different activities. We do some travels. We would go to Europe for several weeks, or do an RV trek for a couple of months.

And while at home, we both try to make different dishes for variety. My wife never complains about missing work, but I do miss the technical and engineering work that I did. So, I create some projects for myself.

Currently, I am working on a DIY home solar/energy storage. I kind of drag out the above project, because I have no pressure, and maybe also because I want it to last. :)
You sound bright, social and used to challenges. Not necessarily the automatic path to happiness.

Seems like the right time to go back over life and find/remember those times when you were the happiest. Responsibility can be a big driver, but satisfaction is the second part and that isn't always automatic.

Maybe try something that is over your head. To try... maybe not knowing what the outcome might be.

Aside from living a happy life, the greatest enjoyment is in searching for and finding someone or something that is smarter than oneself.

Free and young and no walls.... what could be better? Enjoy!

My own, free, point in time really came well after retirement @ 53, when the financial part worked out after age 62 (20 years ago). Now it's just diving into whatever I don't know or understand, and trying to help those who are having problems coping with aging. Never bored , never feeling useless.
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I retired at 58 and within 7 months started a new job teaching a online college class which I love. I also do some consulting in my field and enjoy the interaction with clients. I am now 64 and don’t intend to quit either. I found volunteer work to be boring and to have some of the same issues as working. I would go back to work in your position. Especially without kids there wouldn’t be anything to do since people your age are working.
OP, I'm no help to you. I'm still working. I never understand people being bored or having nothing to do. I have a stay at home friend that's always saying she's bored. Get a fun job, get a seasonal job, volunteer somewhere (library, food pantry, animal or people shelter), go to school, read a book, take a road trip to museum/park, join a gym, go hiking, learn a new craft/hobby (I've tried basket weaving, rock climbing, floral arranging, small engine repair, photography, metal working, woodturning, cooking classes, pyrography and many others and I'm still working). When I retire I will be doing/trying something all the time. Stay away from the wine and card playing.
Heck, I'd like to go back to work just so I wouldn't have so much to do every day.
Rarely bored in Retirement

I RE at about 52, but could hardly imagine doing that at 37! Thinking back on who and what I was at that time, I don´t think I could have. RE is not just about the money but also about achieving goals we have set for ourselves. Those goals were professional.

Since retiring it has been about finding new goals and not just activities to fill up the day. Filling up a day is easy and there is always binge watching Netflix.

So here are some of my goals. Learn a new language or 2. It will help with travel and is mind crushingly hard and seems to get harder all the time. Do go to class for it so you meet people and then arrange to get together to practice. But do the books and online as well.

Learn a sport. I always wanted to play golf and took it up. I suppose in 30 years I might actually get good at it but it is a lovely way to get fresh air and excercise. If your club is busy they will pair you up with others at your level. Our club is not so on the off season I can play 9 holes and never see a soul but there are birds and nature to keep me company. Tennis is another sport that always has people looking for others to play with.

I didn´t realize it but while I always liked to cook it is now a passion. Teaching my self to cook Asian, Indian and just all the things I like. Helpful that where I live you can’t go to a Thai restaurant or have it delivered. You want Pad Thai or Chinese hot and sour soup you have to make it yourself. That led to the current kitchen renovation I am in the middle of. While most is contracted out I kept the painting and some other work for myself.

So if money is not an issue perhaps get into Real Estate? Buying and fixing and flipping houses? Fixing up properties for AirBnB rental and then hosting? Of course if FI there is always the financial aspect of your lives... take over the home accounting, budgeting and oversea your investments even if you use a Financial Advisor. There is so much to learn and no one really ever becomes an expert....

But I think anything you pursue has to be challenging for you. Physically, intellectually and perhaps even emotionally. Otherwise you can’t get your heart and soul into it and there will be no passion. At 37 I was passionate about my work and always was looking for the next bigger and harder project and challenge. So you need to find that in something new... but there are lots of possibilities.

Good luck!
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