Have you retired? Congratulations! You no longer have a set schedule dictating your free time. The world is now just one giant open calendar of Paid Time Off, and you’ve earned it. But the question is, how do you want to spend it? There is a comfort in the consistency of waking up and knowing exactly what you will be doing for the next eight to nine hours of your life five days a week, so its natural to have some difficulty adjusting. To avoid aimless hours spent watching daytime television, here are a few suggestions to keep you busy and actively engaged in your community.
Now that you have a significant amount of spare time on your hands, you can finally turn that hobby of yours into a passion! Transition some of the time you would have spent at work into whatever you are most passionate about. For some people it might be gardening, for others it could be tennis or cooking. Absorb this time into fine tuning your skills, by taking a class or join a recreational group in your area. For those of you who are inclined to more group activities or workshops, most city offices offer a list of recreational activities for seniors, and in most cases you can find all the information you are looking for online. Or if you are more inclined to an activity like sewing, gardening, painting, writing, etc., do a little research and see if there are art shows heading your way at which you can volunteer or donate some of your work. This will be a great opportunity for you to get involved in something you love in a completely new way!
This is also a really good time to start sharing your skills with other people. Don’t be afraid to reach out to local organizations and volunteer to teach classes or local seminars. Passionate people always make for the best teachers. You have wisdom and experience that everyone could benefit to learn from and you should share it! This can also be as simple as spending time with family member and friends who also find your hobby interesting, but have never had the resources to learn about it until now!
Now that you have fully cultivated a skill or hobby you enjoy, it’s time to venture outside of your comfort zone! This is the best time to learn a new activity, in a relaxed and non-time sensitive setting. You can move as quickly or as leisurely as you like. Or, if you are looking to give back to your community, find a local nonprofit with which you share common goals and start some volunteer work. This is a great way for you stay connected while also learning at the same time about what is happening around you!
Finally, don’t be afraid to explore new places! Pack your bags, get your affairs in order and book a plane, train or bus ticket. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned road trip. This age in your life shouldn’t be feared, but embraced. You get to rediscover yourself and devote time to people and things you love! Get out there and explore and learn. This is your time, and you deserve to enjoy it.