Jillian

I retired about a year ago. I've been through the boredom. It's almost like there's too much choice and it's paralyzing.

Then I started volunteering.

It was okay, but didn't give me that boost I wanted. I still volunteer one day a week but it's become more of a chore than anything. Then I tried creating things - mostly tackle and stuff for fishing. Oddly, fishing wasn't as high on my list as it once was.

Then I went through a period where I stopped trying. For some weeks I'd tell myself I didn't need to rush it, that it was my job to keep my mind open for the universe to send me inspiration. That didn't last long. I realized I was totally addicted to the internet.

Like, while on the toilet, stopped at a traffic light, read over coffee, etc..

Then I started a habit at night: I'd scope out the next day - down to the half hour. What I wanted to do: exercise, yoga, write for 3 hours, read a particular book.

What I found was that when I formally planned my day, it took away the overwhelming decision fatigue of having no plans and infinite options.

I still slip back into old patterns but I've finished my writing and exercise and reading for the day. I feel better being online having accomplished things that give me personal fulfillment.

  1. Be ready to throw everything against the wall -- art, learning, socials, math, whatever. If you see that there's an introductory japanese class or someone you know is starting a book club, go to it all. Until you get a better feel for what you like, do everything.
  2. Find something interesting in everything you do -- it's the start of your "Story Repertoire" -- the great memories that you can share with others.
  3. Read. Every single day. I'd say a minimum of an hour.
  4. Actively be where people are interacting and look for situations that improve your likelihood of "collisions" (aka random conversations) with other people. eg. If I'm at starbucks staring at my laptop with my headphones on, no one will glance twice at you; but put the laptop away and write a few postcards / letters snail mail style, and suddenly you're chatting about your family with a lady and her daughter over tea -- why? because you're now doing something interesting to other people -- and being interesting to other people often is the start of an inspirational thread.
  5. Practice being the most ridiculously extroverted person that ever lived. Sign up for a few meetups and before you walk through the door stretch out your smile muscles & say to yourself "I'm going to go in there, shake someones hand and ask them what they do."
  6. Be an amazing listener and never brag. The perfect time to talk about yourself is in sharing your experience as a contextual reference in an ongoing conversation. If no one's talking, have some roughed out prepared topics [reading the news in the morning is good for this] to carry the conversation until someone else moves it forward. If no one's talking and there's no awkwardness, then just be comfortable to hang out in the quiet and enjoy eachother's company.
  7. After you've met a few people, make an active effort to invite them out; whether it be to an event or to your house for potluck/boardgames.

Anyway, that's been my experience. Take from it what you will.