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By The Tie Dyed Mystic
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The Need For Authentic Friendships

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I have not been myself lately.  The change is apparent to me so I have been wondering what is happening.   Retirement has been a major lifestyle change for me and I don’t need to tell my regular readers that it has not been going smoothly.  I have been kind of wandering around without a sense of direction. Some friends have reached out to me with lunch invitations, book suggestions, and even a Zig Ziglar YouTube video.  I am sure other friends are tired of me whining.  I am kind of tired of me whining too but I can’t seem to get motivated or over the hump.  I have never been an over-achiever and some would question my assertiveness.  I decided to research how I have been feeling and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am mildly depressed.  

  • A depressed mood most of the day (feeling sad, empty, emotional, etc.)
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed (music, reading)
  • Difficulty sleeping, being tired, waking up throughout the night, etc.
  • Overthinking
  • Restlessness, anxiety, etc.
  • Feeling lost and without direction.
  • Too much time alone.
I share this, not to get attention, but to let other people who may feel like me know they are not alone.
These feelings are a new experience for me.  Yes, I have often felt melancholy but I think that is part of my personality, i.e., the Dreamer and Romantic type.  The truth is that I have always been a strong person.  Other people come to me with their problems.  I am rarely the guy with a problem.  
Friends have given me two copies of a book called How To Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski.  I had started reading before I retired but never finished it.  Upon receiving a friend’s concerned email, and the recommendation of the book, I once again picked it up.  I had left off on a chapter on the importance of friendship.  I realize now that I have not done a very good job of having the kind of friendships that would be needed in a retired life.  Like many people, most of my friendships were in the workplace and not all of them were true friendships.  Most were acquaintances.  My career was managing other people all day so at the end of a typical workday the last thing I wanted was to be with a bunch of people.  I am not involved in a church or other organization, sports don’t interest me, and I do like and need some time alone.  The problem is that now I have too much solitude and no people to make me want to be alone. (smile)  The book says all of us need friendships that aren’t work related.  I have few of those and now I realize that.  Going forward I need to work on renewing friendships as well as creating new ones.
I am deeply appreciative of those of you who have reached out to me with concern or advice.  

Next week I have having lunch with two faithful friends and I am even going into the office to meet with my former boss.  Because of the way my career ended we never had professional or personal closure.  She wants to “pick my brain”.  I am not telling anyone that I am coming in so no one will know unless they read this blog. 


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