Gransnet forums


The dreaded retirement

(72 Posts)
Sheena Tue 16-Sep-14 07:47:04

I am 65 my hubby 66...he retired 18 months ago. He has hobbies thank goodness, the Ramblers, Butterfly conservation, local conservation issues etc...and he does go out for walks so is not around the house each day. I have not worked, have been the "homely domestic " so to speak, and sadly have not hobbies and can't seem to get interested in anything. We have 3 dogs so I walk them twice a day..but my life seems so flat...I'd love to get involved with something to get me out as when hubby is home I find there is nothing to chat about...there's a limit as to how much he can tell me about his "doings"...or for me to tell him about my jaunt round Sainsburys. We've been married since 1970...and it feels oh so stale now. I wish he was back at work as he seems to have regressed dare I say it into such a pinnickity, slow person (not that he was ever a cannonball). I know I have my faults my health hasn't been good over the past few years and he has looked after me....oh how I wish I could find something to divert my mind away from the boredom. He is very set in his ways (I wonder sometimes how on earth he managed a company)...and I feel I have become like him....negative and a misery. I am wholly dependant on him financially . Oh I could go on....but hey ho that would be boring !! Help ! Is there anyone else out there who feels the same? I guess I am feeling old, and want to do stuff before it's too late. Any suggestions for something voluntary? I do befriend an old lady once a week for Ageconcern, but don't really want to do more of that. Feeling low .

Brendawymms Tue 16-Sep-14 08:17:16

Sheenathere are, I am sure, quite a few others who recognise the picture of your DH, I have one like it myself! He has been retired 20 and very stuck!
I go out and volunteer in a charity shop two afternoons a week. I meet some lovely people to chat to whilst serving them.
I do knitting, crochet and sewing and many areas, if not a rural as us, have social groups for ladies who chat and sew etc.
You have to take the first and hardest step towards some independence for yourself and ignore the dough lump in the corner.

Liz46 Tue 16-Sep-14 08:25:04

I have made some lovely friends by volunteering for a charity shop. Most of the volunteers are retired and many have some health problems. We are not getting paid so just do what we can. I am not physically strong but am good with money so i generally do the till and watch the shop.

One of my neighbours who had chemotherapy last year has joined me as she had retired through ill health and was bored out of her mind. Her nurse said it was too soon but she gave it a try and just does what she can. She enjoys being in the shop and tidies shelves to improve the display etc.

NfkDumpling Tue 16-Sep-14 08:29:17

I volunteer at the local National Trust pile. I stand in a room once a week at chat to visitors but there are lots of different roles. Office, research, flower arranging, gardening, garden guide, sewing, re-enactments..... Petrol is paid for and you get money off in the restaurant, shop, etc.

Is there anything touristy in your area? Steam train? Zoo? They always welcome volunteers and get a good mix of people. I would say helping at a local animal rescue but you've already got three dogs ....!

Have a look at for ideas. The first hurdle is actually walking through the door. Good

Scaredycat1 Tue 16-Sep-14 08:37:38

I've just tretired and have joined a book group. We meet once a month. They are often held in book shops ( our local Waterstones and independents have them) and local libraries. I'm also investigating the WI and U3A. Hope that helps!

suebailey1 Tue 16-Sep-14 09:05:31

sheena I'm sorry you are feeling so low. Although we both worked I certainly found adjusting to having DH at home all day once we had both retired a challenge! We found that we had done 2 things wrong - the first was downsizing too small so we constantly fell over each other in a small cottage and secondly we had gone to a vey rural area where nothing much happened. I don't think this is the case with you but just saying in case moving house is ever on you menu- think carefully about what the area has to offer.

Anyway regards your problem it sounds as though you need more people and some structure to your week. I found I had to try lots of things before I felt there was some rhythm. I like the suggestions about charity shops who always need volunteers (I Have an induction this afternoon in the fair Trade Shop). You don't have to be overtly religious to see what your local church has to offer in terms of social activities. As you have been ill recently a sport may not be for you but how about something more gentle like yoga or swimming or something like learn to play bridge?

Being a bit tough love now I am going to say something you may not like. You are going to have to make yourself do and try something and you may not enjoy them to begin with but do give it a go. Only you can make this situation better. We are all here to 'catch' you as you tell us what happens to you and you aren't alone lots of Gransnetters feel low on occasion but get up and Boogie. Good Luck with it flowers

kittylester Tue 16-Sep-14 09:09:55

Good post Sue smile

Nonnie Tue 16-Sep-14 09:39:31

sheena please excuse me being so blunt but it sounds to me as if it is you who is stuck in your ways. Your DH seems to have plenty to occupy him so now you must find things to do. Retirement is rarely what we expected and we find we are much busier than we expected.

There are so many things you could do if you choose as well as those already mentioned wheat about U3A, WI, Community Action. why not join a gym or go to an exercise class? Pilates is great at any age and if you go to a daytime class you will find other older people to chat to.

Are there things you can do together? New things that neither of you has done before? DH and I do a lot more together than I ever thought we would.

Perhaps you could persuade your DH to take over some of the household tasks (but don't stand over him and correct him!)? Mine does the vacuuming, mows the lawn and does the cooking. He has become an excellent cook. Now is the time for you to start sharing your lives some of the time whilst still having your own space.

Good luck

annodomini Tue 16-Sep-14 10:58:10

Are you a bit depressed, sheena? Inability to 'get up and get going' can be a symptom of depression.

Charleygirl Tue 16-Sep-14 11:08:39

Sheena I do not know where you live but as others have mentioned, try a gym or if that is too strenuous for you, do what I did and join the local Townswomens Guild. The speakers we have x2 a month are excellent. I am going to look at an afternoon branch of a local WI because I know that there are more outdoor activities going on. Is there not one near you?

I am also a member of the local Macular Society but I do not recommend acquiring a sight threatening problem to join! We go out and about as funds allow.

Maybe I am lucky but I have no qualms to go somewhere new for the first time. If I fancy somewhere, I go.

This afternoon I am going to my local GP patient participation group. I have met really nice people there.

Your husband enjoys walking, why not go out with him, even if it is just once a week? You fell in love with each other once, maybe that could be rekindled with shared activities?

People will not be knocking at your door, you have to go out and look for the activities you fancy.

Mishap Tue 16-Sep-14 11:10:48

I agree that it is you who have to make some interests outside the home, but also that, if you are finding it hard to find the get up and go, you should consider whether you are a bit depressed and there might be help out there for you.

I cannot recommend U3A (University of the Third Age) too highly, as has already been suggested. It is an excellent way to get out and do some interesting things, and there will be a branch near you.

Good luck.

Soutra Tue 16-Sep-14 11:15:07

Mmmm. Not quite sure how your DH bears all the responsibility for this rut you feel stuck in. What did you do in the days when he we nt out to work? Unless he is objecting to you doing your own thing there should be no reason to change your own pursuits. However if he is sitting there expecting coffee to be served at 11, lunch at 1 afternoon tea t 4.30 etc you need to assert yourself and remember you marred him for better and for worse but not necessarily for lunch! Good luck with finding your own "get up and go"!

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 16-Sep-14 11:33:00

You could join their 10,000 miles a day club (on here). You get a pedometer, walk 10,000 miles a day, and then come on here and talk about it. It seems to give them a boost. hmm

Or, you could just continue to jog along perfectly well as you seem to be doing anyway, and stop worrying about the lack of pzazz in your life. (Who needs it anyway?) (your DH sounds a lot like mine, just different hobbies. It's a man thing. Be glad he's out of the house regularly smile)


jinglbellsfrocks Tue 16-Sep-14 11:35:18

Do NOT try to find any "get up and go" before 11 o'clock in the morning. It's not natural.

suebailey1 Tue 16-Sep-14 12:10:46

I agree jing having spent al my working life being up at 6 or before I vowed that was not going to happen in retirement. I have a running battle with other lady golfers who like being on the T before 9- dream on sisters- you'll see me at 10 at the earliest! I've got all day.

Elegran Tue 16-Sep-14 12:24:41

I agree with others Sheena that your world is not going to suddenly become exciting and fulfilled just because you think it is boring and humdrum.

Others can make suggestions about what they do with their time, what makes them forget boredom and find that the time has flashed past while they were doing something, but who do you think is going to change things except you? No-one! You need input into your brain to have something to talk about. No-one can put it in there except you.

If you have never been one for hobbies, you don't have a store of things to occupy your body and mind, and now you feel the need for them. You need to take stock and plan what you will do, particularly as winter is coming on, and walking the dogs becomes less fun.

You need:-
1) Something physical - buy a pedometer and try to work up your dog walks, aiming for 10,000 steps a day. you will find that physical exercise makes you feel more cheerful (if rather exhausted) Don't always go the same route, vary it, and keep a lookout for things to tell DH about when you get back. Better still, join him in his walks and talk as you go. Ask him about his interests, his butterflies and conservation.

Start an interest in something you pass on these walks - wild flower identification, the history of the places you walk through, anything at all. To start with it may be an artificial interest, but as you find things out, it could become absorbing - and you would have another subject for conversation.

2) Something mental - you obviously have a computer. What do you use it for? There are many ways to use a computer which stimulate the brain, and you don't need to know anything about the inside of it.

Do you know anything about your parents, grandparents, greatgrandparents? You could research them and have your own Who Do You think You Are.

There are sites which offer free courses in all kinds of things. There is Gransnet, which could fill in your entire day with chatting and reading what everyone else is doing, if you let it.

Offline, there are local authority day and evening courses in many subjects, some hard work, some lighthearted, all of them interesting. They start in most places very soon, so get online and look for your local area adult education classes. That will take you out of the house for an hour or two weekly for 8 or 10 weeks, either during the day or in the evening. If you qualify for concessions, it will cost you about £20 for the whole course.

3) Something creative Do you knit, crochet, sew, paint, do mosaics, woodwork, anything at all? If you do, get going on a project for the winter. If you don't, look again at those LA courses and find something that takes your fancy.

4) Something for others If you are lucky enough to have reasonable health and enough money yo live on, think of those who do not, and help out a charity. Charity shops are the first thought, but there are other ways to help. Your local authority website probably has a list of local charities. Just about every one of them is desperate for volunteers.

If you can do three out of four of these headings, you will find that DH is pleading with you to stay home and talk to him. Be nice and tell him all about your busy life over the cup of coffee he makes for you.

shysal Tue 16-Sep-14 12:45:13

Jingl, if we walked 10,000 miles a day we wouldn't have the time or energy to come on here and talk about it!

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 16-Sep-14 13:54:20

OMG! Sorry Shysal. I hope I haven't put Sheena off. shock

kittylester Tue 16-Sep-14 14:50:25

Comprehensive and good advice Elegran brew

granjura Tue 16-Sep-14 15:04:19

What is the situation these days with Adult Education classes? I know they have been cut drastically, but perhaps there is something you could get enthusiastic about- make friends and have something to talk about.

Flowerofthewest Tue 16-Sep-14 16:47:22

Surely it's 10,000 minutes a day jingle not miles. I find it a chore to do 5 mile a day let alone 10,000 she would be too knackered to even switch her pc on after that. grin

Flowerofthewest Tue 16-Sep-14 16:48:43

Sorry I'm off too. meant 10,000 STEPS, yes STEPS thats the one. Oh goodness what is happening to me, trying to correct poor jingle and making it even worse.

HildaW Tue 16-Sep-14 17:12:56

Sheena, you are really having trouble seeing anything good about your life and to me that reminds me of a rather low depressive state I went through a few years ago. Have you had a chat with your doctor at all?
I was very low and worrying about everything after some very stressful events and my Doctor gave me a referral to a local mental health scheme. I was assessed in a very thorough way via a telephone interview with a mental health worker and then invited to attend some support sessions which helped.

Once you can start to see a little light at the end of the tunnel then you will be able to take up some of the excellent suggestions others have given.

All the best.

Nanabelle Tue 16-Sep-14 17:14:28

Lots of ideas here already and lovely posts full of good advice. When I moved house 10 years ago, I joined the local TG (Townswomens' Guild). Most people have heard of WI, but not so many know of TG. They have a website where you can discover if you have a guild that meets near you. We do lots of other things as well as a monthly meeting with speaker. New ladies are always made welcome.
When I first retired I started yoga classes - in the morning! Very strange after years of evening classes. Yoga and pilates are both really good even if you have some health problems, as you work at your own level.
Hope you have a bus pass - why not try out different routes and discover new places - enjoy a nice cup of coffee (and cake?).
I agree that something new that works your brain might also be good. I love to read - you can get lost in a good story; think I would like to learn bridge, but not keen if it is too serious!
Go girl, and as another Gransnet member said in a post - make yourself the best you can be.
And do come on and tell us what you try out - we might want a go too!

And you are certainly not alone in the dh stakes - mine doesn't like talking about things, no discussions, and he falls asleep five minutes after sitting down - be it after lunch or in the evening. We are both busy, but not together! Different interests really.

Sheena Tue 16-Sep-14 17:46:07

Well...I had written a long post earlier today and went to post it and internet. Subsequently I lost all I had written !!! BAH ! I just want to say thank you to everyone who has replied...I am truly humbled by the response, the time you people have taken to write and be helpful....I am very grateful. I have had a dreadful afternoon though as when out with my dogs one of them got bitten badly and she is now at the vet being sewn up poor poor lass. No fault of her own...I feel somewhat responsible though as she was off lead, and the other dog's owner did say that her dog would snap...but I don't think mine understood that and so pushed her nose in where it was not wanted. But that's by the by. I have contacted the co-ordinator for my local Age concern (I am already a befriender) and had a chat as to what else I could do, and so there are a few possibles there. The Townswmoens Guild sounds interesting too. Have tried the U3a etc. No I am not depressed, just rather low, and my self esteem needs a bit of a boost..just feeling sorry for myself, and a wee bit jealous I guess that hubby has lots to do and enjoys his groups and walks. No I won't go with him as just too far, I physically can't. A huge thank you....and let's hope this post gets posted !!! Best wishes to you all xxx