Q&A: Let’s Talk About the Doldrums

When the doldrums set in, seek opportunities for inspiration, creativity, and adventure that will force you to learn, stretch, and grow out of monotony

We all long to escape at times. A terrible work environment, a toxic relationship, a bad financial deal, or even the monotony of everyday life can make us want to flee. Although escaping isn’t always the best answer, there are many ways to do it well. Facing the reality of your situation and recognizing why you want to flee are primary steps to take before planning a healthy exit. What should you do when the dragon of doldrums rears his ugly head?

I feel like I am living past the expiration date of my life. I am weary of work, in a stale relationship, and feel like my routine matches the movie Groundhog Day, with the same scenario day after day. Retirement is just around the corner and I want to start my third act with enthusiasm. What can I do to escape this life of lethargy?

Many of us face overwhelming feelings as we age. We have worked hard for many years to get to this point of freedom and next steps are not always clear. The next stage of your life will be as exciting as you make it, so start now. First, invest in your relationships. Facing new challenges together, creating new experiences, or good old-fashioned counseling can light that spark all over again. Transform your environment and light up your senses with new sights, sounds, and tastes. You can book a flight to a new place or update the ambiance of your home to make positive changes. Now is your opportunity to create a legacy. Take time to think about how you can invest your remaining time to accomplish your dreams and support the causes you are most passionate about. Then set goals—and reject a life on autopilot.

I am a woman, recently divorced, and I really enjoy traveling.  I have even considered retiring overseas in a few years.  Now that I find myself alone and on my own, I’m not sure I have the guts to flit around the world alone. Are there options that cater to people like me?

There are great opportunities for single women who have a cross cultural bent. Women Traveling Together (women-traveling.com) offers opportunities to join other female singles on group trips around the world. You can find a multitude of Facebook groups for expats (people living abroad), as well as travelers’ forums where you can ask questions and find out more about the country you are interested in. Thousands of women (and men) are digital nomads, working while they travel. If you are looking at the possibility of retiring and living overseas, housesitting can be an interesting way to “try out” a new country while caring for the pets of people who are away from home. You can sample the culture, food, and language while meeting locals and others who are living the lifestyle you dream of. You are not typically paid to housesit, but a car is often included in your stay. The website trustedhousitters.com is a great place to start.

There are more benefits than risks in escaping your normal routine. When the doldrums set in, seek opportunities for inspiration, creativity, and adventure that will force you to learn, stretch, and grow out of monotony. Don’t wait to bring sparks of interest back into your life and relationships.

Kellie Moeller has worked in the senior housing industry in the Northwest for more than a decade. With an insider’s view and a passion for serving seniors, she gives a fresh perspective on aging. Email your questions to TimetoTalk@3rdActMagazine.com or mail your questions to Time to Talk, 3rd Act Magazine, 81 Canal Lane, Brinnon, WA 98320.


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