DEAR HARRIETTE: I sometimes feel like life is passing me by. I am in my mid-50s, and I'm single. I've been working the same job for a long time, which is fine, but it's boring. I can retire soon because I'm lucky to have good benefits. But what would I do? I don't have many friends. I get along with people, but I don't hang out with anybody. I talk to a couple of friends from my hometown on the phone. But I have become somewhat of a recluse. I feel like I have forgotten what fun looks like or something. Sometimes I wonder if I didn't show up to work or church or wherever, would anyone even notice? I know that sounds pathetic. I need to do something to shake myself out of this feeling. What can I do? -- Miserable, Dallas
DEAR MISERABLE: It is time for you to shake up your life and try something new. Do you have any childhood hobbies that you might want to pursue again? Consider joining a book club, an athletic facility that offers group classes, or an art class. The idea is to put yourself in the company of other people doing something that interests you.
You may also want to participate in the Life Reimagined program that AARP created, lifereimagined.aarp.org. It is a wonderful free program designed to help people look at their lives differently and plot their course for the future.