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   Like many of you, I don't work any more. I'm educated, financially stable, no kids, healthy and very active. I am taking and have taken classes, both online and in person, gone to meet-ups, gone to activities. I have friends and family I see for movies and dinner but most of them work and are busy during the day. I travel when I can, with groups and friends, but that's an occasional activity.

So, what to do during the day? Now that I'm alone, I'm going crazy. Please don't tell me to volunteer, work at church or some other thing you are not doing but which sounds like a good idea. Those are good suggestions and I've tried some of them but they require getting out, affirmatively meeting strangers and essentially driving places on my own,  doing things on my own and hoping things "click." It gets old, but I know I can't stay home and talk to the dogs. 

What are YOU doing to keep busy during the day? That is, ACTUALLY doing, not just what you think sounds like a good suggestion.

Angeldawg

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I belong to Toastmasters and we meet once a week- Thursdays at noon.  Garden Club one day a month; we also meet to weed the garden in a local park one day a month,  Weekly update of church Web site.  Monitoring expenses and investments.  Hanging out on 3 Internet boards- this plus two others (Early Retirement and a Personal Finance Board). Hitting FaceBook a few time a day.  Gym every day- that takes up 1.5 hours plus travel.  Grocery shopping.  Cleaning (3 days/week, 1 hour/day). Garden maintenance (could be infinite but typically an hour in the evenings). Mowing the lawn,.  Church on Sunday.  Farmers Market on Saturday.  French discussion group that meets occasionally on Saturday mornings.  Making meals- I don't use much processed foods. 

All of the above is stuff I actually do!  It's enough for me- I'm a but of an introvert so I need some peace and quiet at home, too.  Yesterday as I was reading out on the enclosed back porch, and an impressive thunderstorm blew in- nice to just sit and watch it.

When I have the energy, I try to complete my family history on Geneanet.  Before my husband died, I already took classes in paleographie. I have  a lot of copies of ancient documents about our family.  I try to decipher them.  The fact that I can't discuss  it with my husband anymore makes it difficult. But we both were very interested to find out everything we could.  

Here in Europe, you can find more and more documents via the internet. And we both felt like really succesful detectives when we solved another piece of the puzzle.

I am trying to go on with it.  In my husbands honor, but mostly I myself like this very much. Of course ,there are days , I can't even open the map with the documents, because I see no point in it.  Today was one of them.

But I know, this makes me feel good. And I do want to go on with it.

That is what I do  during the day. And I plan to take some other history classes at the university. Because history and archeology are the family obsession.

It will stay that way.  Unfortunately now without my husband

I'm pretty lost.  Tried going back to work, loved my job before John died.  I work in a daycare center and get to play with, talk to, be with school-age kids after school.  But it's different now.  Haven't figured out why or how.  I'm sure partly because everything's changed, no normal anymore.  And there's no joy any more.  Being with kids used to bring me joy.  I cry a lot.  I'm really exhausted.  The okay or so-so times are brief.  I checked my phone after work yesterday and when I opened it, there was John Carter's contact info.  A few days ago I opened my phone and there was a picture of John and I.  I completely broke down both times.  I have two golden retrievers, so taking care of them keeps me going.  I participate in weekly support groups.  My house is filthy.  I grocery shop, do the laundry, keep the kitchen clean.  I have no idea what I might like to do with my time. I hear about widows/widowers taking classes, volunteering, etc.  But I don't know who I am now.   

I don't work anymore either, though financially to continue to work would be the smart thing to do. I just can't. It was either quit or have a meltdown trying to do it all.

I play Mahjong with a group of women at the local library. There are other games in adjoining towns if I wanted to fully involve myself in that world, but I like being more active. I was hiking with a fellow widow, but she has been occupied so the walks have been less frequent.

I am trying to clean my house out to put on the market next year so I participate in flea markets. It's a lot of work, but satisfying when I get the right items to the right person and get a few bucks doing it.

I hate meeting people. I know that sounds anti-social, but getting over that small talk hump until you get comfortable with someone gets on my nerves.

I spend a lot of time at home with my cat. She is a good listener.

Ugh!  Good question.  I live in a mobile home park, a few women have become widowed since me, their homes are immaculate (they clean all the time) and they've asked me what I do all day too.  My house is a wreck!  Too any projects in various states of non-completion all over.  I somehow mange to keep the dishes and laundry up.  If I'm home, I most likely am 'avoiding', I have racked up numerous points online games (free except annual belonging fees, I don't bet on line).  I try to maintain my garden, but in this weather (too hot) I mostly manage to water, most of them will survive the summer I hope.  I have paperwork to do; haven't done taxes since he died (12-14-2013)  which is mostly what I avoid.   Occasionally, I do crafts, or try to read.  Mostly watch Hallmark channel, almost all their movies involve a widowed person; some make me cry, but mostly I'm reminded that I had the chance to  live a  'love story life'.  No kids, 3 cats, they keep me getting up to feed them twice a day.  I'm in all kinds of therapy, most of that is out of the house, once I get out, I'm not always inclined to come home, or I can't wait to come home and take a nap.  Napping, I've been doing a lot of this, especially since my house flooded on June 25th (now three rooms of stuff are sitting in my dining room, it was messy before, now it looks like I'm a hoarder) and I was without AC for almost two months, totally unmotivated me.   And now I have a huge project redoing almost my whole house, some days it seems like it might be fun, other days it's overwhelming.  I put up a good front and most people think I'm adjusting just fine.  I didn't answer to be a complainer, just letting you know what I do and  perhaps for you to know that just enjoying being in your space might not be all that bad an idea.  I'm trying to get...THERE!   Many of  my widowed friends read, I'm still working on that, as seems my concentration is coming back.   Good luck!  {{{Hugs}}}  Please let me know if you get some really good suggestions, because when my neighbors asked me, I started wondering, when I have the time and finances...what am I going to do?

Angeldawg,

I don't have any practical advice for you, as I am not financially stable and my days are spent looking for a job. But I applaud you for requesting only suggestions of activities that people are actually doing. Too many people who haven't been in our situation and don't know what they're talking about like to give "sounds good" advice, and then get hurt when we don't take it. Hang in there--you sound like when you find something you want to do, you'll know it.

Hmmm...this has made me stop to think.  What DO I do to keep busy during the day?  Every day I read the paper, do the crossword and drink coffee, do a little housework, get online to check out a few favorite sites.  I have a couple friends and family members who stay in close touch by text so there's usually a little of that.  I keep a gratitude journal. I do some stretches and exercises every morning. Some days I work on art or craft projects for a couple of hours.  I watch a little TV (Right now I'm sort of bingeing on old episodes of Grey's Anatomy.  I'm enjoying it and wonder why I didn't watch it when it was new!)  I have a list of bigger household "to do" items, too.  A lot of projects got put on the back burner with my husband's illness, death, and then my grief---things like cleaning out closets, reorganizing paper files, etc.  About every other week or so, I muster up enough energy to tackle one of those---usually spending a few hours a day for a few days!  I like to go walk around the mall and window shop.  Though I am retired I recently took on a (very) small part time job---I don't need to work but it helps me mentally to get out and do something different. I try to schedule one or two social things each week, lunch or movies with friends, just so I don't end up isolating myself too much. 

Hi Angeldawg

I have done online mindful courses and other fun interesting hobby courses with Futurelearn.  

One can interact any time of the day or night so there is no pressure.  One does not get personal so it is a safe forum for interacting with other adults.

And writing does help me. I also try to listen to comedy - the laughter is good.  Then there is music. Listening to music.  

Those are activities that i can do from the comfort of home on my own.

When i really feel like getting creative in the kitchen i send out an invitation to a couple who is good company to join me for Sunday lunch.  

Those are some of the activities that i actually do.  

Cheers, 

Lev

I get up each morning and then start crying when I realize that he is still gone. I get on the computer for a bit, do my yoga and then walk the dog for 2-3 miles. I try not to spend the rest of the day crying. I'm only moderately successful. I used to be so active and now I don't want to leave the house. I am also educated, financially stable, in excellent health, the kids are all grown and live in other states. We traveled all the time.

Not only do I have no idea what to do all day, I could easily live for 20 or more years. What am I supposed to do for the next two decades? I have no idea.

Honestly?  I get up, make coffee, read the New York Times, check my email.  Then get showered and dressed (it's midmorning) and check my calendar for any events or "to do"s I've written down.  (I try to pay bills and set up the calendar for next week every Sunday afternoon/evening.  That was a routine I got into years ago when I was working full-time and had kids at home. It's still helpful.)  I try to make sure I leave the house at least once a day, even if it's just to go to the grocery store or run errands.  I have a 12 step meeting I go to every Saturday morning, a book group that meets once a month, and a very part-time job with hours that vary, but never more than 4 or 5 a week.  I go to church some Sundays and I have a couple of friends I meet for coffee or lunch, maybe one or two of those "dates" each week.  I like to cook and I make art, but my motivation for those goes up and down.  Honestly, many days I just want to sit and watch TV.  I'm going through every single episode of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix, one or two a day!  I used to walk 3 miles every day but back issues have sidelined me.  I do some simple exercises and stretches on the floor as I watch TV.  I do feel like I have slowed way down and become less engaged with life since Frank died 18 months ago---actually since he got sick a year and a half before that.  I used to be far more outgoing and sociable.  I miss parts of that but I just don't have the energy or ease with new people so I often just stay home. 

Like f650cs, I do wonder what I will do for the rest of my life.  I am trying to figure out how to figure that out!

Well, I won't tell you to volunteer, but I will tell you that I volunteer.  :)      I've always volunteered, but about a year after my honey died, I started trying on new experiences.  I found great satisfaction as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.  I became a regular member of their team, working as a receptionist and clerical support person every Tuesday, and becoming a member of their regular Thurs. Building Crew.  Yes, this 60-something woman with only hobby level experience but a willing an open attitude donned a hard hat and installed flooring, siding, and more tasks than you could imagine.  They welcomed me with open arms!  It became like a second family to me.  I then ended up being given a phone and fielding ALL calls for the Habitat Restore, scheduling pick-ups 6 days/week.

I injured myself while building my own deck, and so backed off of the Habitat gig.

I also volunteered for a nearby Arts Council, doing graphic design, sitting on event planning committees, etc.   I volunteer at a nearby historic estate working in the events planning office.  I have a regular clerical gig there every Tuesday, but I also do an additional 20 hours a week at home for them.  I edit photos for them, do graphic design, spreadsheet stuff, etc.  I'm also planning an event for them.    I also volunteer at an Art Museum/Art School where I taught for 18 years, and do event planning, and sit on committees.

I still live in the same house my husband and I retired in.  It is on a lake.  I have perennial gardens and lakefront that needs lots of care, so now that it is spring, I work in the yard.  A. Lot.  I also have a kayak and a paddle boat, and can go out for a spin, even though I am alone.  The Pontoon Boat sits idle 90% of the time, and I am not the entertainer, and my 2 sons rarely visit.  I live quite the life of solitude.  Not by choice, but by widowhood.  Still, the lake is nice to look at even when I am not in it or on it.

My first year of widowhood, I joined several "Meetup" groups.  You can Google Meetups to find activities near you.  I joined an International dining meetup group, and they went out a couple times a month for ethnic food.  I did it for a year, but it became a strain on my budget.  

I get inspired on Pinterest, and do craft or wood working projects or other crafty stuff.  I read and watch videos on natural health stuff on the internet.  I enjoy cooking for myself and will prepare something like lasagna from scratch (even making the pasta from scratch) and then freeze individual portions.

I have exercise equipment and don't use that as often as I should.  There is just so much to do!!!!   I love working on Photoshop and creating fun projects.  

The loneliness and isolation definitely sucks.  I can go for days...a week even, without speaking to anyone (I'll send and receive a couple of texts.  Big deal.)  I never wanted to be alone.  I was almost 58 when my husband died.  Six years alone now.

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