Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

More to life? But what?

(133 Posts)
LadyBella Tue 08-Dec-20 22:08:23

Before I start I'd like to say I know how lucky I am - reasonable health early 70s, good DH, 2 AC and 1 lovely GC. We live in a lovely part of the world and have a nice home. But I have a restless nature. Can't decide how I'd like to spend my final years. I dream of moving to the seaside, or living on a canal boat, or buying a woodland ... etc etc. I just don't want to be a pensioner living in a bungalow and just plodding on which is what we're doing now (obviously hampered by Covid). I really am grateful for all I have but does anyone else feel like this? Sometimes I could scream with frustration. DH is willing to go along with any of my schemes. We're not rich but we're not poor either. I'm just seeking ideas and suggestions.

tanith Tue 08-Dec-20 22:21:07

I’m also very aware of how lucky I am, have family who care, live in my own house and am reasonably well at 72 but I’m alone since OH died 2 yrs ago.
I sometimes do wonder if this is it, am I just plodding on into old age, marking time as I’m not brave enough to go travelling alone and moving house seems such a huge task when I have to make every decision and I know how pathetic I sound. I don’t have any suggestions but will follow this thread with interest.

V3ra Tue 08-Dec-20 22:39:37

I work at home and have found this year very trying as virtually every activity I would normally go to has been cancelled, as was our summer holiday.
My husband goes out to work and I warned him not to underestimate how claustrophobic I was feeling.
We've ordered a new touring caravan which will be delivered next March. I'm hoping some weekends away will help!

Tanith could you go away with a friend? Four of us ladies usually do, two are married and two are widows.

LadyBella Tue 08-Dec-20 22:40:01

I was interested to read your post, tanith. I can imagine you wouldn't want to travel alone. I don't know about you, but 70 hit me like a ton of bricks and I don't want to waste any precious time. By the way, you do not sound at all pathetic. You are being honest.

NotTooOld Tue 08-Dec-20 22:43:38

Oh, I know exactly how you feel, LadyBella. We've led quite an adventurous life but I would really really like one last adventure. This year has been a washout but I am hoping 2021 will bring something - anything - exciting.

mokryna Tue 08-Dec-20 23:08:45

I know exactly how you feel Tanith . I have stopped working because of covid and am longing to get out and travel but not alone next time.
I turned 70 at the beginning of this year and when a friend, who had been present at the party, recently asked how old I would be on my next birthday, was surprised that I was only one year more, said that it seemed at least two years ago.

Marmight Tue 08-Dec-20 23:30:43

Oh yes. I do. Covid has made me think a lot about my life - what’s left of it - and once we’re free again I plan to do something about it. I was widowed nearly 9 years ago which I find unbelievable. Precious time wasted being miserable, worrying about the small things and ignoring the big and making wrong choices. I can hear my DDH saying ffs get over it and make the most of your life. Bring on the vaccine, open up the borders and I’m off...... 👋

hollysteers Wed 09-Dec-20 00:14:24

Yes I’m comfortable with blessings too, but at the moment have a tremendous desire to be in Paris! “Why wasn’t I born in Paris?” I often think. What a barren desert we are in in this present situation if we are gadabouts.
I don’t fancy the upheaval of moving, it’s ok here without being exciting, but rather than a quiet town, the centre of London appeals.
I think the reality of a narrow boat would disappoint, lots of energy involved (a friend testifies to this), but V3ra seems to have the right idea,
For myself, when we can, I’m getting out of this blinking (comfortable) house.

quizqueen Wed 09-Dec-20 00:25:13

You could rent or house swap for 6 months to a year with any of those things you have mentioned-houseboat, cottage in the woods or by the sea - to see if you like it, with the security of going back to your old life if you didn't like it.

BBbevan Wed 09-Dec-20 02:01:39

Yes I felt like you a few years ago. We were retired and lived in a built up area north of London that was becoming more and more like living in a car park. Every spare bit of land seemed to have a block of flats being built on it. I had a lot of friends , mostly from when our children were little. They were all content to visit garden centres for coffee or go to bingo. There was no conversation about books or art or even good tv programmes. I was quite despondent. My DD had moved to Wales and she persuaded us to move near her. Best thing we ever did. We had to be brave as we had lived in the same house and area for 45 years. Lovely interesting p
Friendly people here

Msida Wed 09-Dec-20 07:01:06

I can understand that you don't want to plod along in a bungalow I hate bungalows and they scream out Old people..


I'm going to speak from my heart and hope you do not get offended

You say you are grateful.. You say the words.. But I don't think that you are grateful..

For eg your 70 and still have a loving husband near by... Stop just for a minute and really think what your life would be like without him..
Really think though of what your day would be like without him.

Think it through, dinnertime alone, wake up in the morning alone have breakfast alone. No one to share anything with or to talk to if your having a bad day..

I'll have my children I hear you say,, think again, they are busy getting on with their own lives and although you will get a phone call here and there and even a visit, the majority of time you will be alone and that feeling of being alone will consume you

If I could have my husband back I would be happy to li e in a cardboard box with him

Sometimes happiness is under our nose

kittylester Wed 09-Dec-20 07:30:55

I wonder if you could find something to do that helps other people.

Your stage of life sounds very much like ours. Dh and I both volunteer and find it gives us a framework for our weeks. DH is a volunteer driver who takes patients to hospital appointments - mostly for chemotherapy and radiation treatment. He does that 2 days a week.

My volunteering has been severely curtailed by Covid and I can't wait to get back into the swing of things properly.

There are lots of opportunities to use your particular skill set and I'm sure there will be an organisation in your area that would welcome you with open arms. My skill is talking to people!! grin

tanith Wed 09-Dec-20 08:12:39

Msida flowers

petra Wed 09-Dec-20 08:39:35

How do you feel about a motohome ( if finances allow)
Have some adventures in in Europe. We have visited every country in Europe in ours. That includes Turkey and morocco for some winters.

MrsThreadgoode Wed 09-Dec-20 08:56:31

I think it’s because we are being forced to stay at home - just like old people- we had planned to go travelling this year, but are at home.
Once we can get the vaccination things will start to open up and we can go out and about , the world will seem a better place.
We are thinking about a Motor home as well, saves mixing with too many people, but no point if we can’t travel around in it.
We have a bungalow, but it’s contemporary and we are very lucky to have spent lockdown in comfort too.

Missfoodlove Wed 09-Dec-20 09:06:43

My husband and myself are seriously contemplating selling most of our belongings and starting again.
We have a Victorian house full of antique furniture and art.
We would like a modern bright but very stylish house and minimalist.
I look at houses for sale on rightmove that “ older people” are selling and I shudder!
I don’t want my home to look like that!
We would like to be the trendiest grandparents on the block!!!

25Avalon Wed 09-Dec-20 09:14:28

How about making a bucket list and ticking it off one by one, rather than sit around dithering?

Redhead56 Wed 09-Dec-20 10:05:58

We retired nearly two years ago after running a small business. It took a while to get used to the extra time but didn’t want to waste any. We went for weekends away for rugby matches. We spent other days going to dinner then a match making friends at a lovely club. Visit our children and their family I would stay at our daughters when her husband was abroad for work. We would go on days out with various friends for meals or drinks. Since COVID like many others our life has come to a practical standstill everything cancelled. I do spend a lot of time home studying I am well read it keeps the mind active. I plan special themed meals as I love to cook. We both have little hobbies that keep us occupied and we like to play cards. It’s a blessing we get on we don’t live a fantastic lavish life but I just want to get back to it.

CarlyD7 Wed 09-Dec-20 10:06:18

We are in this position now - have looked at moving (nearer family) one is in Scotland and the other in Cornwall ! but it would mean dipping into savings (our house isn't worth that much); my health isn't great and we have a good supportive network of friends here. I keep telling myself how comfortable we are, how lucky we are, etc. but TBH it's not working. When restrictions ease, we're planning to do something smaller - maybe spend next Winter abroad; maybe look at a camper van. Certainly more holidays and I'd like to do an OU degree. BUT somehow, we just can't decide and nothing is getting agreed. Suspect that it's more about the high level of anxiety we're all living with at the moment - makes taking any risks even more frightening? I read a newspaper article saying that we've become blase about all this because we've been living with it for nearly a year now, but it hasn't gone away. Am hoping that by Spring, decisions will be easier to make (but no idea what to do in the meantime).

Juicylucy Wed 09-Dec-20 10:12:01

My dear old dad lived in a bungalow surrounded by the older generation he used to call his road “gods waiting room”. He was always out and about helping pensioners with this that and the other even tho he was a pensioner himself. Could you write a bucket list of things you want to do, places you want to visit once Covid is over obviously. Least then you can spend time planning how you are going to achieve these things, it may lift your spirits and have something to look forward to. My list is endless I cross one off then add another. I intend to make the most of all my free time.

Erindoors Wed 09-Dec-20 10:12:44

Hi Tanith. I am also in the same position as you but when we can travel I am thinking of doing a solo holiday to test the water. If I don’t feel comfortable for whatever reason I won’t do it again but it is only a week and it is surprising how many books you can get through in a week!

henetha Wed 09-Dec-20 10:13:53

I like your post LadyBella and empathise with you because I feel exactly the same. I had real difficulty in settling down after a life of so much travelling. I endlessly want to go off and do something adventurous, but don't know what. I'm too old to do much now, and have no-one to do it with anyway!
I think possibly buying a motor-home might suit you. It's a fantastic way of seeing places and meeting people, and then you go home again. It's wonderful. Good luck.

sue01 Wed 09-Dec-20 10:15:26

Oh we feel exactly the same ! Treading water is how we refer to it - and it's something we've never done ! Can't wait to start visiting friends and moving about again.... I live in Northamptonshire but want to be by the sea so much I actually dream about it. And yes - we're thinking about a Motorhome too.

The other thing is.... that whilst my heart breaks for the young people facing such a difficult future... at least they can afford to "lose" a year in Lockdown. We can't ! We're time poor - all of us !

Soozikinzi Wed 09-Dec-20 10:21:18

I agree that a motor home or narrow boat might suit you at least to try out the different places and then decide if you’d actually like to live there . I think this year has made many of us feel trapped but I’m sure you’ll feel different when you can travel again. It’s not just the actual trip it’s all the planning and looking forward you’re missing x Msida what a beautiful post x

eazybee Wed 09-Dec-20 10:21:19

Be careful what you wish for.
A colleague was dissatisfied with her 'unfulfilled' life and took early retirement to fulfil it. In a very short space of time the house abroad and the travelling appeared.

To the astonishment of everyone the apparently complaisant husband moved into the house abroad with his high-achieving second wife, and the travelling was from the faintly despised rural bungalow to a semi on a busy road.
The children's marriages collapsed, and most of the previously unfulfilled time is occupied by childcare.
All very sad.