So Many Retirement Hobbies!
MUSIC makes the heart sing, and there are a hundred ways to approach it. Collect records? CDs? Audiotapes? Refine your collection of a particular style of music or certain artists you appreciate more now that you're older. What was the most significant thing that happened to you today?
Subscribe to the symphony or the local college musical venues. Treat yourself to jazz clubs, or blues performances, musical theater or just plain listening in your home for relaxation and inspiration.
You may even want to resurrect an instrument you formerly played, or take up voice lessons, start drum lessons you always yearned for, or teach yourself piano from an audio tape. Getting together a group who can make live music is exciting and rewarding.
Harmony is always thrilling, and when you can approach it in making music you're on the plus side of happy.
NEEDLEWORK can be a surprising source of pleasure. It doesn't take a huge outlay of cash for supplies to hook a rug, knit a sweater or crochet an afghan. Crewel embroidery, tatting, needlepoint and other crafts may be something you always wanted to take u and didn't have the time for.
Men enjoy needlepoint, too.
There is something about the repetitive motion of needlework that is soothing, and the finished product is often such a delight. To know we can create attractive pieces by our own handiwork is exciting.
ORIENTEERING Hiking is healthy, and learning to find your way in the woods or fields using a compass and map is challenging and can be rigorous.
If you missed a chance to do that kind of rough walking through the woods as a Scout, here's your opportunity. Learning to use maps and hiking guides can be enjoyable, but remember to do it safely, preferably with a friend, or group, maybe even as an assistant scoutmaster. You can learn survival skills, helpful at any age.
POTTERY, PHOTOGRAPHY, POETRY - show that there are unlimited options for retirement hobbies.
A friend took pottery lessons which evolved into a full-time hobby.
Another took photography lessons and now finds himself the group-appointed photographer at every occasion and with every possible camera, camcorder, still digitals, snapshots, slides and panoramas.
One retired gentleman yearned all his life to write poetry. He began toying with it, joined a writer's group and got constructive feedback, and now has had the pleasure of seeing a few of his poems in print. So devoted has he become to his craft that he opened a small coffee shop where poets come to read and have their poems shared with a wider audience. He is thriving in this new role.
Reading and writing poetry is often so much the opposite a person's occupation it offers a refreshing change and turns on the opposite side of the brain, the right side, which in turn inspires new and creative thinking and opens up new worlds to explore.
QUILTING is enjoyable for those with stitchery skills, but matching and arranging patterns, pieces and plans can be exhausting.
First try going to quilt shows and looking at others work in galleries and museums. If you feel you can tackle a quilt and it's your first, try a simple wall hanging sized piece first.
If completing your project is not too stress-making, try a major work and keep at it until completed. Snuggling under your quilt or having the thrill of giving it to a loved one is great--talk about satisfying!
READING all those great books you've been putting off all the years is a useful way to start out your retirement. Once the backlist is finished, gather up some new titles, say one for every year you've deprived yourself of good books while you toiled from 9 to 5!
Does a particular time period interest you? Read about it. Like a certain author or genre? Gather up all those books and live it up. Just make sure to include some exercise if you're spending lots of time in the recliner or on the sofa reading one great novel after another!
SHAPE-UP by designing a personal exercise plan with the help of someone in the know. The more we age the more we need a sound exercise program.
Walking is great, some weight lifting is helpful, and low impact aerobics, usually with a group, can be fun. And exercise can slow down aging and prevent bone loss, vital to good health.
THEATRE is probably one of the most popular pastimes for retired folks. Senior rates help make theatre a bargain at regional, summer stock and college venues.
Friends of ours are season subscribers to two groups, and attend one with a whole group of friends. Later, the group gets to discuss and evaluate what they have seen. Occasional trips to Broadway or other major spots keep the celebratory air.
URSA MAJOR AND MINOR will lead you to a study of ALL the stars, planets and satellites that will surely lift your sights.
Amateur astronomers I've known have invested in some pretty sophisticated equipment to view the heavens from their own porches or backyards and ended up hosting happy viewing parties with grateful relatives and friends.
Telescopes come with varying degrees of intensity and magnification to suit your taste and pocketbook, and planetarium shows offer expertise and great shows. Other amateurs in the area are always happy to talk with fellow sky-buffs. This is a hobby worth pursuing if you set your sights high.
VOLUNTEER There are hundred ways to do it, right in your community or the city next door. Read to young children at the library or school, comfort babies in the newborn nursery, teach a course in your area of expertise, serve up the soup in the soup kitchen, deliver meals to the elderly homebound, or drive invalided people to their medical appointments.
Perhaps your church needs you to make a success of one of it valuable ministries. Maybe you'll invent a service of your own to provide that has been missing - make a difference, and enjoy the rewards of volunteering, like friends who prepare a pancake breakfast once a month for a soup kitchen with limited staff.
You'll wonder why you hadn't started volunteering before now.
WRITING - more people than you might realize have a hankering to take up writing and always assume they'll do it when they're older and have more time. Once time comes along, they wonder where to start.
Here's a clue if this sounds like you: start with a journal, recording bits and pieces of your daily life that move you.
Who was the most interesting person?
What feelings were you most aware of?
Many communities offer courses to those who'd like to record their memoirs or do some online writing or even start the short story or novel of their dreams.
Don't hesitate to get help with the basics if you need them, and then write away. Writing success has no age factor associated with it and we elders have the stories to tell, and we need to tell them.