Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

HELP - I've lost my mo-jo.

(32 Posts)
holdthetonic Thu 28-Apr-16 14:41:23

I'm 52 and I feel I've lost my purpose / meaning to life. DH is retired and I gave up my part time admin job 18 months ago so we're both at home all day and DD (12) is at secondary school. I do courses, my allotment, volunteer, help with various committees, do lots of walking and go on lots of holidays.

It is wonderful to have the freedom to do all this but I often feel
that all this busy-ness is simply a displacement activity to avoid getting depressed / lonely.

I really feel I should be doing something more worthwhile with my time / life. If I died tomorrow what would I have done for society. I have a great feeling that life is/ has passed me by. We live in a nice city, have nice neighbours but aside from relatives I feel we don't have any close friends i.e.:the people who drop in for a coffee. What am I doing wrong. ?

All advice GRATEFULLY received.

petitpois Thu 28-Apr-16 15:09:29

Hello, holdthetonic
I'm sorry you are feeling so down at the moment. On the outside it sounds like you have a very lovely life but it doesn't help if it's not satisfying you. If you're feeling really blue there's not shame in speaking to your doctor about it?
In the mean time though, why don't you see if you can be more involved in volunteering - or perhaps offer to help out at your DD's school. I'm sure others on here will have some advice too but it's great that you are at least recognising that you are feeling out of sorts and need to take action. flowers

Teetime Thu 28-Apr-16 15:53:59

holdthetonic can I say I share that feeling even though I do my bit volunteering and I keep active with golf and other things we don't have friends who would just pop in or ring us up to go for a drink or a walk etc. We have put it down to having moved away from our roots and having spent years of work being fully absorbed and no time for a social life. Our professions were our identity and now that's gone and its a big thing to lose. All I can suggest is what we do - keep on keeping on doing activities and trying new things. I do hope it improves for you. Keep talking with us on here for starters and perhaps go to a Gransnet meet up in your area or indeed some other area to make new friends. Best wishes. flowers

PRINTMISS Thu 28-Apr-16 15:59:58

I think that when we have led active lives and served on committees, helped in the community, and then retire, we find ourselves at a loss, and feel a NEED to DO SOMETHING. It is difficult, but I decided a few years ago, that I was really quite enjoying the freedom of deciding this was the life I liked. I no longer HAVE to go to a meeting, DRIVE someone to an appointment, make arrangements around commitments to other people. I know I am older than some on here, but if you have worked all your life - in whatever capacity, you deserve some time to yourself without feeling guilty about not doing your bit as it were. Be kind to yourself.

M0nica Thu 28-Apr-16 16:05:21

Could you go back to work part-time? Another alternative would be to get involved with the organisation and management of one of the organisations you volunteer work with. They are often glad of individuals who are prepared to act as trustees, get involved with the management committee or otherwise take some responsibility.

Izabella Thu 28-Apr-16 16:05:35

Excellent post PRINTMISS

PRINTMISS Thu 28-Apr-16 16:12:38

Thank you Izabella I am off to preen my feathers now!

holdthetonic Thu 28-Apr-16 16:32:21

Thank you all for your kind comments and wisdom- it's nice to know I'm not alone in having these feelings . One of the problems I have is that I feel that my working life (admin) wasn't really of any value as I didn't find it terribly satisfying. Perhaps I need to volunteer my time for something that I'm really passionate about - (the committees I do at the moment are interesting but they don't fulfil a passion.)

I'm worried I'll get to my deathbed and think "oh heck I've wasted that life".

Do you think this type of mood is related to being menopausal..? Would HRT help ? .

cornergran Thu 28-Apr-16 16:47:14

Hello holdthetonic. This feels familiar. I think that life stages, including the impact of menopause, can trigger regrets. Leaving work also takes us away from a structure that can give meaning, even if no excitement. It's not surprising if there is an impact. Why wouldn't there be? I think you are right about contacting a passion, it really doesn't matter what it is, don't evaluate the worth, just whether you have an interest, something that lifts the spirits. Admin has as much value as any other work role, it's often the unseen cog that keeps the machinery running smoothly. So, yes, be kind to yourself, go with your instincts, it doesn't matter if your first choice isn't the right one, experiment until the joy comes back. Good luck. You can do it!

TriciaF Thu 28-Apr-16 17:00:29

I think you've hit the nail on the head, holdthetonic, when you say"I feel that my woeking life wasn't really of any value".
At 52 you could have nearly half your life ahead of you, plenty of time to find out what you can throw your heart and soul into.
Time to do some self-searching. Could you sign up for a further education course, or professional training?
At your age, maybe a bit younger, I began studying Law, got as far as 2nd year degree, but had to give up because of other pressures. still working, but I'm still glad I did it.
Printmiss has a point too, but some of us can't take her advice and ease up on ourselves.

Welshwife Thu 28-Apr-16 18:07:32

OH and I both took early retirement when we were 55 - initially it was to be able to give more care to my parents who lived about 160 miles away. As it happened they both died before we actually go to start the retirement but decided to continue with it. For eighteen months we worked on our house which we had not longed moved into and then we were a bit fed up with DIY etc and decided to do agency work! We both did things we had never done before - the best job OH did was to read gas meters in commercial premises for a week - we both went out taking a packed lunch with us and drove all over Wales finding just a couple of premises a day! He was paid mileage too. It was the most glorious weather and we went right to the north of Wales. This was some years ago when preparations were being made to open up the gas market. After a while I went back to teaching but only doing supply work and he continued with the variety. It is maybe a good thing to try if you just fancy a few days out working.
I understand completely what you are saying though - we live right out in the sticks now and what I would do some days just to have someone pop In for a coffee and chat. We have some good friends but we all have our own things to do - I think that we miss the friendship groups and having people about all day when we do stop work - takes a while to get used to.

Grannyknot Thu 28-Apr-16 18:09:57

Hi tonic smile I lose my mojo every now and again and then I find it again.

What about doing an online study course, for free, on FutureLearn? There is such a variety of subjects on there, you are bound to find something that interests you.

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 28-Apr-16 18:13:57

DS did something similar years back Welshwife, only the job he was given was inspecting footpaths all over the county. I used to go with him as it was in the summer. Had some lovely days out.

holdthetonic Thu 28-Apr-16 21:21:31

Lovely ideas - thank you. I feel SO much better since talking to you all.

annodomini Thu 28-Apr-16 22:39:29

Have you thought of becoming a magistrate? As you're feeling that you haven't made your mark (though I'm sure your closest family would disagree), this might be just the thing for you. The CAB is always on the lookout for volunteer advisers and there are many schools who need new blood on their governing bodies. For all of these voluntary posts, extensive training is given.

sherish Fri 29-Apr-16 07:50:42

Yes annodomini that's a good idea. I became a magistrate when I retired and it's very rewarding. The only thing is a lot of courts are closing so hopefully her local one will be one that stays open. It is very worthwhile and retiring age is 70 so a long time for her to do it.

Anya Fri 29-Apr-16 08:11:59

You don't have to do voluntary work. Get yourself a little part time job that looks like fun.

Yes, they are out there, seasonal work is especially popular. Take your time and look for something quirky. Set up an Internet job-alert.

I did that when I retired and landed a job working with tourists at a local castle one summer. Had to dress up in medieval gear hmm but it was FUN. I didn't want anything permanent but this lead to conducting some 'GhostTours.' around the town over the dark and creepy winter months.

But there are vountry jobs like this going too especially at NT properties.

obieone Fri 29-Apr-16 08:42:39

We are mind, body and soul.
Are you religious at all?

Anya Fri 29-Apr-16 16:20:01

Is it official then obieone - that they've located the 'soul' at last? wink

NotTooOld Fri 29-Apr-16 22:04:09

I felt exactly the same when I retired, holdthetonic, and still do sometimes. It's the loss of identity that's hard to get used to. I did an OU degree after retirement and thoroughly enjoyed being a student again. It's not lonely because the online chatrooms are full of other students and because you are all studying you all have something in common.

You shouldn't feel as if you've achieved nothing - what about your young daughter? Bringing up a child is an achievement in itself.

I agree with others that you have years in which you could develop a second career. With an ageing population there is a need for mobile hairdressers, mobile beauticians, mobile manicurists, mobile chiropodists - does any of that appeal? It would not take you that long to retrain in any of those areas. Have a look at the courses your nearest FE college offers, you might be surprised.

Being a mobile anything would bring you into contact with potential new friends. As for the dropping in for coffee/tea/chat thing, people don't seem to do that so much any more, they mostly seem to wait for an invitation. Do you have a neighbour you could invite round one morning for coffee? See how things develop.

Perhaps you could start a book club? Advertise in your local library or the parish magazine? It needn't cost anything if you meet in each others houses and is often a good way of making new friends and developing more of a social life.

Alea Fri 29-Apr-16 22:15:25

obieone forgive the digression, are you a fairly new member, as I cannot remember seeing you before just recently? Are you a gran or perhaps soon to be one?

Ramblingrose22 Sat 30-Apr-16 12:21:52

I'm a new member here and empathise with some of holdthetonic's post because I am still searching for a new role post-retirement (I hope there are posts elsewhere on this or I will start a new thread).
holdthetonic - please don't think you haven't achieved anything in your life or write yourself off at the age of 52. Most people don't do remarkable things in their lives and you're not the only one who hasn't many close friends. I devoted so much time and energy to my job that I was too exhausted at weekends to socialise, so I didn't.
I went to a talk on how to be a volunteer and the speaker advised strongly that you choose things that interest you, not things that you think are "worthy". For example, there are schemes for befriending an elderly person locally, but I don't think I'd have the patience.
I suggest that you keep trying out new things to see what you like best because at worst you can cross that activity/course off the list and at best you may discover a talent for something that you didn't know you had.
I hope this helps.

sillylily Mon 02-May-16 16:53:28

Maybe you're not really quite ready to retire yet. Not many 52 yr-olds retire these days so you are in a minority situation. As pp said, how about a little part-time job that you fancy?

holdthetonic Mon 02-May-16 17:20:50

Thank you - you've really hit the nail on the head!

carolmary Mon 02-May-16 23:38:26

Have you got a U3A near you? You might find new friends there as well as interesting activities. You should be able to find out what's available on line. You never know, it might bring you in contact with people who are involved in volunteering for worthwhile causes, one of which might be something you might consider helping with. However, I agree that looking for a job would be a good idea, 52 is very young to retire.