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    Thread: Getting old and feeling useless.

    1. #1
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      Getting old and feeling useless.

      Are others finding that reaching their late 50s ready to turn 60 to be as stressful as I am? I have a large skill set as a carpenter, but no longer the physical ability to keep up with those much younger. No one looks twice to hire someone my age and it has beat my self esteem to death. I'm of little use to anyone anymore, a position I've never been in before.
      Last edited by Tired John; 3rd November 2012 at 02:47 PM. Reason: spelling

    2. #2
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      Re: Getting old and feeling useless.

      Mid forties as opposed to late 50/60's but physically unable to work .... ask myself everyday several hundred times of what use I am anymore as I never had not worked from 15 yo until I became physically unable a few years ago. I guess the high point to me is I can no longer apply for jobs - never considered that not being able to apply may be a blessing as opposed to being told not needed or not to be considered. The situation is different in a few ways - but yes- getting older and feeling useless I can certainly empathize with. Unfortunately no good answers or advice as to how to deal with it better either.....
      If you do nothing today to make tomorrow better - then do not be disappointed with tomorrow

      "Discipline is simply choosing between what you want now and what you want most"

      Knowing the right thing to do is easy. Actually doing the right thing is sometimes harder.

    3. #3
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      Re: Getting old and feeling useless.

      It's what has driven me to the edge, everything else flows from that, for me. Working in construction and related industries, left me vulnerable when the crash hit in 2008. Since then I have landed 1 job interview, when they saw my age in person, it was "we'll let you know." Of course they never called. I've done a few private projects but haven't had a steady income since. Our home will be foreclosed on, the only question is when. I'm entirely powerless to stop it. All the rest cascades from there.

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      Re: Getting old and feeling useless.

      I am sorry people tend to judge you because of your age. I tend to go to someone that is older because they have more knowledge and experiance. Is there any place you can volunteer you help like homes for humanity In doing so people will see your work skills and perhaps have some connections to a more full time employment If anything it will help keep you busy. I hope things turn around for you soon hugs

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      Re: Getting old and feeling useless.

      I am in my early 50's. I know that we can't do what we used to in physical activity (though I'm actually in good shape, but I know what you mean).

      With your skills as a carpenter, have you considered contracting? You could bid carpentry jobs, do all the planning and leg work (sales, marketing, estimating, buying of materials, etc.) and then oversee a crew of independent contract labor? Alternatively, why not volunteer to be a planner/helper with a charity such as the Habitat For Humanity (they build homes for less fortunate people). I have done those types of things with one of my skills (photography) and donated much time to MANY non profit organizations. That is where you will fulfill your self esteem.

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      Re: Getting old and feeling useless.

      PWA

      I've done some "side jobs" but they've dried up. Volunteering would be ok, but financial needs don't make it viable. When our home goes, so does my wife.

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      Re: Getting old and feeling useless.

      I met a wood-working craftsman a few months ago who has developed his own business resalvaging wood and turning it into rustic looking (original) garden furniture...... it's taking off, I shall try to get a link for you. It could be an idea

      alternatively, how about teaching your skills at adult education classes - or (like my stepfather did at a 'penetentiary' in Canada) - wood-working classes for the inmates (that is of course, if you live close enough). ?
      Last edited by youRprecious!; 3rd November 2012 at 07:59 PM.
      You Are Precious

      The truth is, concerning our value and worth - that EVERYONE is valuable and worthy because they are a part of Creation....... we all just need some healing from our collective mistaken identity

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      Re: Getting old and feeling useless.

      My neighbor is a contractor and he told me yesterday that he's getting lots of calls to come out to the east coast where there is all of the hurricane damage. That might be an option if you can perhaps contact some labor unions relating to your trade, or the temp agencies -- I bet age would not be a factor in the fact that apparently they're going to be needing as many construction related people as they can bring into the harder hit areas. I'd imagine pay would be higher in order to cover travel and temporary living costs, and a lot of the payments will be backed by insurance claims. Just a thought. I notice you're in Minnesota and so not extremely far from that area.

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      Re: Getting old and feeling useless.

      Tired John I wish I could be there right now with you. I am somewhat young Past my 30's but full of "pee, poop and vinegar" as a colleague has said to me at one point.
      However, I find elders or persons older than me to be absolutely the most important people in our society. They carry knowledge and experience that younger people do not have. They carry strength and courage at levels that young ones do not have, because there has been so much that you have been through. You often understand more and can see more of a sense of connectivity between and among things since you have had more life experience. People who are young lack this experience and often miss connections that you will see because they have not had the experiences.
      Finally I have to tell you that I have nothing but respect for a seasoned carpenter. Despite what new technologies or techniques come, you have a skill or craft that has been seasoned by experience. This makes you more worthy than any young carpenter ever.
      So bulster up that self-esteem. Carpentry is an art, and it is time for you to dig deep into that experience and produce a work of art that out does any you have done before to prove to yourself and others your value in the profession.You are very valuable and important, your knowledge needs to be passed down to these young ones. So get to work because there are many that value you!

    10. #10
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      Re: Getting old and feeling useless.

      I have no idea where you are from or the demographics or the area, and certainly do not wish to demean your skills as a professional carpenter - but when I became physically unable to do many of the things I used to do around the house I began having to hire people for relatively small jobs. It may be difficult to get employment with large crews on major construction or remodeling projects but in the area I am in it is nearly impossible to find a reasonably competent handyman type... I happily paid $150 to a semi retired person to replace some boards on my porch stairs which he told me what he needed to do it with , I got the items and he did the work in a morning. Even 4 or 5 such jobs a week and you are getting some worthwhile income - and since i had to wait nearly 2 weeks to get that job done because he was too busy to do it sooner you could likely do more. You may be aging yourself but so is the rest of the population. whether it be because they are infirm or simply lack the skills and knowledge you possess, you may be able to alleviate immediate financial concerns by doing small jobs for people that actually need the work done. Things like my stair job, replacing a sill, building or repairing a deck, etc. all often needed and no contractor will even return a call on a job that size. Advertise on Craig's list and local newspaper as "Handy man - 30 years experience as professional carpenter - small jobs welcome" and keep it informal and well within your range of competencies so insurance is not of as much concern and use that to to meet immediate financial needs while looking for other. It is basically a cash business and people are not unwilling to pay decent money for work that they cannot do themselves, particularly since the larger outfits simply will not do it and the typical person portraying themselves as "handyman" is not nearly as competent as you likely are. Who knows- you may decide you like the flexibility to set your own schedule and pace and that may help make up for the difference in benefits while you look for other....and the people looking for these services are typically very grateful to find somebody to do them as opposed to being over picky and demanding like a commercial client..
      If you do nothing today to make tomorrow better - then do not be disappointed with tomorrow

      "Discipline is simply choosing between what you want now and what you want most"

      Knowing the right thing to do is easy. Actually doing the right thing is sometimes harder.

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