Retirement is a big step for a lot of reasons, but it’s what we have planned for or expected all our working lives. With any new venture, there is an adjustment time. There are projects we have wanted to accomplish and now we can. There are places to go and people to see.
Then there is the time when one day just runs into another or every day seems the same. Get up, do some chores around the house, watch a morning TV show or two and then what? Maybe you have some hobbies you enjoy; maybe you like to read.
It Can Be Depressing
When we worked we had a schedule—a reason to get up in the morning. Now our life seems random, and when we get to the end of the day, we aren’t sure we really accomplished anything. Random days with no specific need to accomplish anything seemed like a dream when we felt pressured by jobs and obligations, but now? Not so much. We can meet friends for coffee or lunch, babysit the grandchildren, start a new hobby, plan our next trip as long as the money lasts. Of course, as time moves on, there are doctor appointments, perhaps some therapy. Truthfully, it still sees meaningless.
Open Some New Doors
Last fall I started to feel like I was just waiting to die. Isn’t that crazy? Not really. Its what can happen when we get into a rut or have stopped having a purpose. I knitted for some charities, and I felt good about that, but they were still the same old things I had been doing for years. I wanted to feel challenged. I had a desire to hold my end of a conversation and people would listen to me because I was interesting. I wanted to have a purpose and meaning in my life.
I took a class in weaving. I met some new people of different ages, and that alone added some meaning to my life. I made a scarf I was proud of and received kudos when I wore it to church. I signed up for another class that would challenge my brain because it felt I was coasting through life. It was knitting two socks at one time. It looked challenging to say the least, but I have done it, and I am proud! Again I met some new ladies, and we laughed and talked as we learned. It was a long winter, and I signed up for another class learning to knit entrelac. This too proved to be challenging and hats off to whoever came up with this way to knit! Knitting had become just another thing I did with my time, and now I was tested.
I joined a knitting club and enjoyed the conversation and learning new ideas. Live conversation is much more stimulating than Facebook. Life was looking good and hopeful. Yes, my eyes are not what they use to be, and I may even resort to a lighted magnifying glass suspended like a necklace to keep up with the gang, but it’s a small price to pay. In fact, just $7.99 at Walmart.
My husband loves photography and has joined a photography guild near us. They have monthly challenges that improve his creativity, and although there is a cost to membership, there is a lot of framing and printing equipment available that he would not have the use of otherwise.
What if you feel you don’t have a talent or hobby that you enjoy? You will never learn a new hobby or skill any younger! Experiment, talk to your friends, spread your wings! One lady came to our knitting club not knowing how to knit at all. She is now hooked on knitting and is even giving the other long-time knitters some ideas! Someone recently retired with a new camera joined the photography guild to learn how to take a good picture.
My mother encouraged me to be creative and imaginative. When I had difficulty deciding on a major in college my dad inspired me to use my creativeness by either becoming an interior decorator or becoming a florist. Interesting ideas, but not what I was looking for. I taught myself to knit in college after seeing a girl in my dorm with a hand-knit shawl. I loved it and the idea of making one myself seemed exciting.
I am a writer and write for Union Gospel Press regularly. I authored a book, “Experiencing God While Caregiving” and wrote a magazine article or so. This blog site is a challenge and if I take it seriously can keep me quite busy.
Spring is here, and I love working in my flowerbeds and creating planters. The trick is keeping them all alive.
I have managed to feel alive again! Being active is a great feeling once the sore muscles get used to the idea. Creating things for family, friends, and charities is meaningful and gives me purpose. My husband has given me a new challenge, and that is to write a humorous blog. I can be spontaneously entertaining, but not so sure if I can be if I feel forced. Hmmmmm…we will see what will happen. Join me under the title “Hobbies and Humor,” not right now, but soon! I will either be funny or foolish. What will it be?