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jo cox loneliness

A few ideas

(74 Posts)
BlueBelle Mon 05-Sep-16 08:13:47

I ve never started a thread before so be gentle with me This is what I d like some ideas about I m 71 live alone and apart from the obvious signs of aging ( aches and pains) fairly healthy I was ' retired' from work without being prepared 3 years ago I wasn't ready The year before both my Mum and Dad died I have no siblings I went from being incredible busy and needed to nothing almost over night . I got a volunteers job two mornings a week which I enjoy but find tiring I m on my feet for 5 hours without a break I have started two web groups one for humanitarian work and one for school reunions finding people etc I still do some things for two grand children ( the other 5 live away) but they are now teens and are off out and about a lot (as it should be) I I try hard to be sociable meet friends for lunch and occasional theatre or cinema visits, my daughter that lives nearby is very good to me too BUT there are long periods where there is just me and the tv and I feel very unfulfilled and realise it's me not the lack of opportunity I have ideas but they are all in my head they don't come to fruition
Doing things on your own is so easy to not do my motivation levels are zero I make plans in my head from going places to doing things that I then tell myself oh I ll do that another day and so it goes on I know only me can sort this out but wondered if anyone else has this difficulty with motivation
I will add I don't have a car and although I come across as very bubbly and sociable I m actually very shy and diffident underneath it all I m not good at going to join a group on my own although I have managed it in the past but it seems harder and harder now, I m not expecting any magic ideas really it would just be nice to know I m not alone
Thanks for listening hope I don't come across as a miserable old bugger lol

Auntieflo Mon 05-Sep-16 08:26:34

BlueBelle, I do sympathise. It is lovely being retired, but there are times I feel like you, although I still have DH by my side. I have grand ideas, and cogitate, sometimes they come to fruition, sometimes not. Then I get angry with myself for wasting the time. It's inertia in my case, can't get up and motivated. I look at what I haven't achieved and berate myself, silently. I know my health is not as good as I would love it to be, and energy levels fluctuate wildly. So when I can, I do, then have to recover for a couple of days. I also volunteer, but can sit down, if I'm on the till in the shop. My colleagues are fantastic and we have a good team. I'm so sorry that you feel this way, but maybe there are better and wiser GN's here that can really be of help to you. Good luck and chin up. You can always come on here for a bit of a lift. {{{ hugs}}} and flowers

Mildred Mon 05-Sep-16 08:30:12

I so understand what you say, I don't have any answers or suggestions but look forward to reading this thread. I went from full time work, to minding my grandson 3 days a week and working two, and there weren't enough hours in the day then taking redundancy 3 years ago. I am aware that I do not have close friends locally and miss the social side of work, however I do have Mr M but agree the evenings seem long especially come winter.

Pittcity Mon 05-Sep-16 08:37:42

Your bio says that you are in North Suffolk. Can you get to Norwich? There is a Gransnet meetup there on 19th September, details here bit.ly/2brQgJp. Lovely ladies and I'm sure a lift from the station or bus stop can be arranged.
Another idea is that the Gransnet Local pages for Suffolk are in need of a new editor. Contactus@gransnet.com for more details. This is a gateway to meeting lots of new local people. I edit the neighbouring Essex pages.

Teetime Mon 05-Sep-16 08:41:45

I sympathise too although I do some voluntary things and some activities I have to force myself to do it and it doesn't take much for me to cancel an arrangement, stay at home and then get fed up about it. There are several of us on here that have said we dread the winter and apart from trying to keep busy and diverted I don't know what else to suggest. Gransnet has been a good outlet for me and I used to contribute a lot but as many others have said some of the threads get downright nasty so I avoid them and stay with the lighter fun threads. Meet ups are good if you can get to one- have you looked at your local page. The local editor for your area if there is one (if not you might to volunteer to do it - its not difficult and it keeps you busy)will have put lots of places of local interest and hopefully some volunteering opportunities. I don't know what else to say except that I think the popular press would have us believe that retirement is all beer and skittles but for many people it isn't like that and there is a void. A hug and some flowers for you all . flowers

PamelaJ1 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:42:59

You are certainly not alone.
In the course of my work I meet many people just like you. It takes a lot of energy to keep motivated.
You need to find more people in your position i.e. Those who haven't, at the moment got many demands on their time and other people to consider. My friend is in your position and she's tried joining lots of things. I often feel I should give her more time but I still work 4 days and look after myGS on either Sat or Sun so I only have one day a week for us (DH &me)I play tennis with her and then have lunch but that's all I can spare.
Isn't there a grantsnet local group that you can join? Our area is having lunch in the local prison soon. Should be fun. Unfortunately I can't go as I'm working!
Do keep trying to think of the positives, they say you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you get a prince. I think that's the same with making friends. N.B. I'm not suggesting you kiss them!🤗

PamelaJ1 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:45:10

Pitt,
Seems we were typing at the same time. Enjoy the prison. I went a few months ago, very good.

Mumsy Mon 05-Sep-16 08:45:28

A lot of us need motivation in our lives, it seems to be once you lose your routine in live your motivation goes with it. Its not good this time of year when its the dark mornings and the evenings are drawing in. Its coming up to 8-45am and im sitting here in my nightie, empty breakfast bowl and mug nearby, Im looking out at the most dull wet day so whats there to get motivated about today!

Pittcity Mon 05-Sep-16 08:52:22

A few of us seemed to have similar thoughts at the same time PamelaJ1 and Teetime
I am looking forward to the prison lunch!

Jane10 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:52:57

Some great suggestions here Bluebell. Motivating yourself to actually do them can be the problem! I remember reading somewhere that its always important to have something to do on a Monday. Is that one of your volunteer days?
My motto for overcoming my natural inertia aka sloth is 'just do it'. Often when I have 'just done' something I didn't think I'd like I've been glad I did. Good luck. I'd endorse the idea of getting along to a GN meet up. smile

J52 Mon 05-Sep-16 08:58:06

I can sympathise with you, although I am busy and do have DH to entertain me! I often think of the near future when I might find myself in a similar position. You do sound as if you have a fulfilled life, but the time when you are on your own hangs heavy. Acquaintances on their own tell me that Sunday afternoon is a difficult time, especially in the winter.
I have thought that I would make sure that I went for a walk, everyday, if I was able! You never know who you might meet!

You have said that you already volunteer, would you have time to be a Silverline befriender and become a telephone friend to someone? It is very rewarding.

shysal Mon 05-Sep-16 09:07:54

I am a lot like you, although you sound more outgoing. I have learnt that having a routine helps, so that when I wake up I know more or less what I am going to do each day. After my lengthy read in the bath, the first thing I do is an hour's walk. I carry a pedometer and aim to do at least 10,000 steps a day, which means I at least get to say 'Good Morning' to a few people with their dogs and again 'Good Afternoon' when I am topping up my total. I also belong to a walking group which gives the opportunity to talk or not as I wish and includes a pub lunch if wanted. However, I am also flexible and do as I please, which is easy when living alone. A newly widowed friend asked for tips on being alone, and that was my advice. She has thanked me many times for suggesting a routine and is now coping well.
I wish you a contented Autumn and Winter. Enjoy your freedom!

Gagagran Mon 05-Sep-16 09:14:01

I am a big advocate of the WI. Mine has lots of ladies in a similar position to you BlueBelle and we have a varied programme of monthly meetings, with an interesting speaker and in addition meet once a month for coffee and once for a lunch somewhere. We have a craft group which meets weekly and a darts group, gardening group and even a skittles group! Might be worth a try?

I am happy to locate your nearest one for you and a contact name and number if you want to pm me? One of our members said to me recently that WI had been a life-saver for her after her husband died.flowerssunshine

moobox Mon 05-Sep-16 09:20:38

I never particularly relish the idea of going along to a new group on my own, but don't have the same reluctance to go along to a course. That then often leads on to activity, or homework, or even friendships. I signed up for a photography one years ago and never looked back really.

Humbertbear Mon 05-Sep-16 09:22:54

There are many people out there who are in a similar position to you. I live in NW London and a branch of U3A recently set up. Within months 550 people had joined and new interest groups are constantly being added. I tell you this to show that lots of people are looking for something to do.what are your interests? What would you like to learn? I have found that paying for my art class at the being of term encourages me to attend every week. Also I have made new friends at the class who I see socially. Could you volunteer at your local hospital?
I think the key to your issue is finding something you really care about and want to do.

radicalnan Mon 05-Sep-16 09:32:45

I miss people. I miss the people I was friends with for decades who have died and I don't particularly want new friends.

The weekends and holidays can drag on and on just as life does.

I really find it all hard going at times.

I volunteer and do courses but it just kills a few hours and costs money and doesn't bring anybody back or any real purpose.

I think life is just too long in our youth led culture. Just as you get to the point where you know stuff that you could usefully pass on, your knowledge become obsolete and Google is doing all the advising.

I have children and grand children but they are miles away and have their own lives.........I am just on the cusp of hospital appointments becoming my social life, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Diddy1 Mon 05-Sep-16 09:35:09

I know the feeling well, after years of loving my job looking after people all my life I retired at 65, then worked two or three days a weeek until I was 73, two years ago. Then I came down to earth with a bang, I wasnt needed any more, I wasnt helping anyone, I felt useless, apart from that, we moved house in the country, a bit isolated, one can say, I was miserable, until a year ago, when an old work friend suggested I meet her Mother, we are the same age, and we meet another group every week, I also joined a small group of mature ladies, we just meet on Mondays just to chat, we dont need to be clever at anything, just chat over a coffee and sandwiches really. I must add, we dont live in the UK, so life is different, people here are harder to get to know, but I am getting there, must finish, off to my ladies group and have a good CHAT. Good luck BlueBelle.

Judthepud2 Mon 05-Sep-16 09:35:51

Bluebelle I am so sorry to hear you are feeling like this. You have had a few years when major life changing happenings have given you some hard knocks. It is difficult to get motivated when there is no routine to life. I am not on my own, but there are times when I just seem to lose the will to get going. It does seem to get worse when the weather is dull and wet, like today.

Have you tried writing down the plans in your head? I do this when I have a few days when nothing gets done. Then I look at the list the next morning and force myself to do at least one of them. I mix easy wins with challenging things and try to do one of each at least. For example, booking a holiday (haven't had one for a few years now) has been a wish of mine for ages, but there was always an excuse not to: reluctant DH, childcare demands, dog. A few days ago I just did it and informed everyone affected afterwards. Now feeling pleased and looking forward to it. And trying not to dwell on the associated problems.

Had you ever considered a dog? Not for everyone, I know, but they are great company, get you out and about and talking to people, and provide a routine. Plenty of them in rescue centres who are lonely and desperate for a home. The problem is, they limit the freedom to just get up and go.

Finally, sometimes it is good just to sit and read/watch TV or DVDs/go on social media like GN......without feeling guilty!!

I'm sure you will get lots of suggestions from those on their own on here. Have some flowers to cheer you up.

Dancegirl Mon 05-Sep-16 09:37:12

I recently moved about 25 miles from where I used to live to be nearer my daughter and family and didn't know anyone. I retired in January this year. I'd heard of a group called U3A whose members are retired or semi retired people who offer various group activities including craft, history, music, dancing, photography, trips out etc. I went to their monthly meeting in August and found them very welcoming and friendly. I have now joined their dancing, computer, craft and family history groups. It is not stuffy or cliquey. There are U3As all over the UK. I do hope this helps BlueBelle as I was in the same position as you.

Neversaydie Mon 05-Sep-16 09:48:03

Have you tried your local U3a?I go to a Book Group ,a French conversation group and gardening group through them and do lots of walking.These are genuine interests I never had time for and not things I do just to fill time . I volunteered one afternoon a week until recently.And I belong to a non audition choir which I love

They cater for all sorts of interests and ages. The big monthly meetings with a speaker can be daunting but I rarely go to those and you don't have to .
.I went to retirement from full time work at 60 .the first months were great as I caught up with all those jobs you never have time for-de cluttering decorating etc And did a lot of Family History onnline.I found the first summer a bit odd as everything stops but now welcome them as a chance to just potter a bit and hopefully enjoy my garden .Have two short breaks away every year with different groups of women friends .Do you like/have the funds to travel?I believe several companies cater for people on their own .I am considering as DH finds long haul too tiring/stressful now
I agree a routine is important and we have a 'rule'about waking up with the Today programme then up and (usually) dressed by 9am Otherwise I drift
I spend a lot of time in the garden and read a lot and am fortunate enough to have work colleagues and other local friends I meet for lunch,cinema,theatre etc .
I realise its easier when you have a partner( and have a reasonable income , though U3a is £18 a year and the cost for small groups mimimal)but I do a lot without DH as he is quite content to work away at a book he is writing most days .Though we do go to concerts theatre etc occasionally
Better close as off to the tip with the garden waste I produced last week Too much for our green bin .And a trip to the (expensive and not often frequented)garden centre near it to look for unusual plant (s) for my slightly tired early Autumn garden . Then to bake for a meeting I will host tomorrow and some batch cooking for the freezer .Catch up.on emails Not exciting but the day will pass purposefully

Neversaydie Mon 05-Sep-16 09:48:51

We cross posted dancegirl

dizzygran Mon 05-Sep-16 09:49:21

Hi Bluebell. Retirement does take time to adjust to - have you tried your local library - you'd be surprised how many groups there are for people to meet up and also craft groups where you can join in. Also try your local WI (there are telephone numbers on the internet). Ours is very active - lots of outings visits and groups - the local admin office will be able to tell you which groups have vacancies. Good luck.

Irenelily Mon 05-Sep-16 09:57:30

Try approaching your local primary school. Many schools have groups of volunteers who help in many ways. After moving areas, I asked if I could hear reading at a school and was welcomed. That was 12 years ago . The school gives help and training. There are other jobs such as putting up displays, helping at school fairs etc. Once you have made the initial contact you can become quite busy! I was eventually asked to become a school governor. Through it, I have met people of all ages and often meet someone for lunch or coffee.I also answered a leaflet to help with Neighbourhood Watch. That entails passing on messages about safety, scams and local crime issues by computer. They have occasional meetings - can't say I made any friends this way , but at least you feel you are "in the world" and useful!

PenTur Mon 05-Sep-16 09:58:39

I can only sympathise, I find it too easy to put things off rather than getting in with it. Must agree with the suggestions about U3A, we have joined several groups since we retired and have found everyone to be very friendly and welcoming. They have courses to suit everyone and you get to meet lots of new people. Hope all goes well for you.

weepam Mon 05-Sep-16 10:04:56

Hi,my husband and I are both in our late 60's now and we keep busy by raising money for charities like the British lung foundation.we started a musical group recently called 'the 6-5 specials skiffle band'.there,s four of us now as we lost our drummer this may who was awaiting a lung transplant.I play a washboard and the other 3 play guitars and ukulele.we,ve brought out a c.d as well which we sell and send all the money to the B.L.F..We keep up with technology by putting videos of the band on there under the band name.it keeps us brummies busy and happy.cheers.pam

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