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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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9,416 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I has it.

When my wife and I considered going into business together, we both had a little concern that it might be difficult. What I never considered was exactly how it would be difficult. It's just the two of us, and a friend who shares the office, but is only there about 3/4 of the time. Work itself is great--we're very compatible and have a lot of respect for each other's skills, and we like spending time together so that's no big deal either.

It's the rest of the social aspect that's killing me. I had no idea how dependent I was on work for my extra-marital social interaction, until work stopped providing any. There are many, many days when I don't speak face-to-face with anybody but Girlygirl and checkout people.

And now I've gotten to a point where I'm stuck in my head all the time. Getting depressed is no way to be motivated to join groups or plan things with friends. But that's kind of where I am. In the past when I was in a bad way, I had a tight circle of friends to spend time with and distract myself, but somehow I fell outside that group and don't even feel all that welcome at the things I used to do with them (mostly help prep motorcycles for endurance racing and/or going to races as pit crew). Then I had a band, and though we only played once a week, it was something--but that broke up. Even as those things slipped away, I at least had people at work to interact with. Now all I have (apart from riding) are Facebook and the Lounge, and nice as those things and you people are, that ain't cutting it.

I don't guess I have much to ask the group, I'm just venting in hopes that exploring how I'm feeling will help me get on top of things. Thanks for listening.
 

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half-fast
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7,377 Posts
I know a little something about that, because I have worked alone for some long stretches. Leaving the house early and returning late, and talking to no one all day can make you a little off. I had help for a couple hours today, and was glad for it, for more than one reason.

I don't know what to tell you, and while I usually see that as a sign not to push the submit button, I think that just this once, I'll share just to share.
 

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Premium Member
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21,910 Posts
Well, let's get together and ride and eat sometime soon. Nothing fancy fast or long, just nice and casual.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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22,021 Posts
Been there, done that.

Between being a traveling consultant and then relocating, I have a tendency to be in the same place.

Here is what has worked for me in the past:

- identify activities I either enjoy or think I might enjoy. Activly (and that is the key word) go out of my way to get involved in those activities. Usually I'll meet like minded people.

- get involved in a local congregation of similarly like minded people. For my wife and I that means a UUFE fellowship.

Here is the thing. Work creates an easier path to interacting with like minded people. There is very little active work in it, it just happens. Without work, I have found I neded to work harder actively to identify people that might become friends. That means that sometimes, after some time, I won't feel as close to some people. But do enough active looking and you will find friends.

I also have to go outside my comfort zone sometimes to make this happen.

It rarely just drops into your lap IME

Len
 

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Frog Whisperer
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40,888 Posts
my wife and i started in business together......she decided to change tacks. I kept the business and 30 years later am still there....take a deep breath my friend......step back and take a good look at where you are. I can spend days without speaking to another human being in person. That may well explain why I have become a lounge junkie or hit the road and ride for 3 or 4 or 5 hours solo...or why I spend 2 hours a day playing with my dog....


My wife does not understand the isolation, she works WITH other people...

I understand....
 

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Travels by Map
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3,060 Posts
I second MB1. Let's ride. I haven't seen you around lately but most of my riding has been commuting. I can carve out some weekend time and almost sent an email to the list recently to see if anyone wanted to ride.

You could start playing hockey. My team probably needs a player or two and the season is about to start. :)
 

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Non non normal
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10,097 Posts
Take up the offers on riding and then find a group that likes something you do. Cycling club, photo club, birding group, stamp collector, or even a model train group.
 

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midnight melon mounter
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6,621 Posts
I'm not quite sure what to say. I don't want to suggest ways you could reach out to other people, as I'm sure you've considered them.

What do you think is going to end this funk?
 

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still shedding season
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8,849 Posts
I can get like that too, but sometimes you just have to grab a hold of yourself and try something. As a guy who has spent lots of years with bands, that probably wouldn't be very high on my list - the "best" people I've come across are the ones who like really getting out and doing things like riding, paddling or anything else outdoors. Less flakiness, for sure.

Check with a community college for continuing ed classes on something new to try - anything. Though I'm getting my fill of "social", a lot of them still sound like fun to me. And you'll all have that common interest, so that's a good ice-breaker.
 

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waterproof*
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41,610 Posts
Welcome to the home office. I do group rides, the occasional bike club happy hour, lunches with bidness associates, PTA meetings etc.
 

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Registered
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3,749 Posts
I know the feeling..

I went through a long bout of loneliness/depression after I retired in 1998. I attempted to keep contact with my old work buddies for several years. I finally came to the conclusion that the only thing we had in common is that we had the same job. My wife works, I spend a lot of time alone. I tried a cycling club, didn't like riding in large groups. Attempted riding with a couple of local roadies but we just did not gel. I'm came to the conclusion that I am a creature of habit, so I have basically the same routine every day. Riding my bike occupies most of my spare time, but the winters are brutal. Kinda hard to grasp that after working for almost 30 years that retirement sucks. My wife will retire early next year and things should change.

Happiness is sort a state of mind. You just have to tell yourself that you are happy. Keep a sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine.
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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27,035 Posts
Do the benefits of working for yourself outweigh this? If not, start looking for a job.

You can also become one of those people who stations up at a coffee house and gets some work done there for a few hours a day.
 

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Spicy Dumpling
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9,721 Posts
I can understand. I went through that years ago and even at work sometimes I have nobody to talk to except myself in a building with 200 people. Maybe a new hobby is in order. Photography has helped me in that respect. I'm not a close friend type of person so I meet and interact mainly through hobbies and sports. And don't forget that there are still loungers up there for face to faces and you also know that we're only 3 hours away and the door is always open.
 

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Canon Fodder
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686 Posts
Wow! sometimes I forget how isolated I am, this topic made me aware.

Labor day weekend I met with TOG and went with him done to Ed's fpr a ride with folks I really didn't know. I told my wife where I was going and told her I didn't really know why but I just needed to do something different and on my own. I'm glad I did, I may have been quiet for the most part at the beginning but it sure was nice to be with new folks.

I have been out of the business world for two years now and the circle of friends has shrunk.

I train for triathlons, it is a lonely sport in my eyes because it is truly a solo effort, but the other day I went for a ride a few days after doing my last HIM for the year, I saw another rider on the road and instead of following my usual modis opperandi of catch, pass and demoralise. I caught up and started a conversation and rode with him for another hour.

Turns out we both did the same HIM and compared notes and such. I now think I'm going to go and do some group rides with the 2 LBS's in the area.

I guess what I'm getting at is it's time to step out and widen your horizons like Len has said.

I know I need to also.
 

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No hero that's understood
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6,100 Posts
I work in an office with over 200 hundred people while I like many and often do things (golf) with some of them, I really don't consider them to be friends. After almost 6 years here, I have a bunch of acquaintances, but no real friends. I spend the vast majority of my time with wife and my son. Husbands of her friends and fathers of my son's friends are my acquaintances. I sometimes ride with guys from my LBS but I generally prefer to ride alone.

To be honest, this is my fault. It probably has something to do with being 44 and having commitments to everyone but myself. I'm not unhappy, but definitely understand where you are coming from.

Are you truly seeking human contact, or are you just at a low point right now? I know for me, I've always tended to be a bit of a loaner which is generally fine, but I sometimes have moments of doubt.

Hope things get brighter, I've found that they always do.
 

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eminence grease
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18,538 Posts
You raise an interesting point and one that is certainly on my mind. I get 100% of my social interaction through work, I don't hang out with guys in my spare time. We have a close circle of good friends whose lives are so busy that we rarely get together. My wife has a couple of girlfriends so she does the lunch and shopping thing.

Now I am about to retire and looking into that void and I'm wondering just how big a role my work interaction plays. At the most basic level, I don't like people and so I've always thought I was completely okay being a loner.

But who knows? For the next three months I will be working up the hill with all of my staff still in China so I'm about to enter to an experimental period.

I have no advice, just camaraderie.
 

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midnight melon mounter
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6,621 Posts
From the alternate end of this spectrum, I jut left a very isolated lifestyle and now I'm in a middle school all day. In addition to the mass of kiddo interaction, teachers are very cliquey and do a lot of out-of-work socializing. I haven't had this much human interaction in decades, and I'm really enjoying it.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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9,416 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks everybody for commiseration, encouragement, fellowship, etc. As is often the case, just working through things enough to state the problem clearly has helped a bit, and the responses help more.

I'll get my head things sorted out soon, at least enough that instead of coming up with all the reasons why I shouldn't join some group or other, I'll start just getting out and doing.

On the upside, there's a remote chance that I'll be able to start teaching some web development classes for career changers, and that would be a nice leg up. We'll see if anything comes of it, but just stepping up and saying I was willing was a start.

Thanks again.
 

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Genitive Declensioner
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12,146 Posts
AIE said:
teachers are very cliquey and do a lot of out-of-work socializing. I haven't had this much human interaction in decades, and I'm really enjoying it.
that's hawt!!
 
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