When your kids (or grand kids) were little, did they ever whine “I don’t have anything to do”, implying that it was your job to keep them entertained during all waking hours. You know how much this annoyed you, so don’t be your own little kid. There are plenty of things to keep you interested and occupied. Here are a few starter ideas for activities and hobbies.
- Work part time. If you love golf, work in the pro shop or become a course marshal. If you love fashion, work at a top line clothing store. If you love coffee and meeting new people, work at your local coffee shop.
- Become a tour guide or museum docent. This is a great option for those of you (like me) who like history. With the constant questions and endless standing, this will keep you on your toes mentally and physically.
- Drive a tour bus or a school bus. There are lots of opportunities for part-time workers in this area. Both jobs require patience with both traffic and passengers.
- Drive for UBER or Lyft. I’ve met a bunch of interesting people who drive in the gig economy, either to make a few extra dollars, meet people, or both.
- Be a school crossing guard. Not my cup of tea, but some people enjoy the fresh air and interaction with young people.
- There are lots of options to share your expertise. Read this article by Larry Stein, who made teaching his semi-retirement career.
- Volunteer your time. Figure out what tugs on your heart the most: children, animals, the elderly, or something health related. Whatever it is, give a bit of your time and you may find it may benefit you even more than those you want to help.
- Grow something or build something. Did you always yearn to be a gardener, grow your own vegetables, create pottery, or build furniture?
- Take up a new sport: golf, tennis, pickle ball, softball. The exercise plus camaraderie is a great combination.
- Become a yogi. You know you’ve always wanted to try yoga. It can impact your health, your mood and your outlook on life.
- Take up a hobby. Lots of choices here, from photography, stamp collecting, book clubs, dancing, woodworking and much more. Here are 50 interesting activities and hobbies to consider.
- Play cards. Not so great for you physically but can certainly keep you mentally sharper. Learn how even super-successful people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet stay mentally fit by playing bridge. Of course, being brilliant to start with certainly helps.
- Develop your musical talent. This could start with taking some lessons and then getting together with a few fellow musicians (or would-be musicians) and jamming once or twice per month.
- Is there an inner-you that yearns to be up on the stage, acting, singing or dancing? If so, I bet there are community groups that would love to have your participation.
- Go see interesting places. Home swap if necessary to cut the costs or combine your love for travel with your interest in volunteering.
- Spend more time outdoors. Go camping, fishing, hunting or whatever floats your boat (including boating). My husband and I once took a 3-day kayaking and kayaking trip in the far northwest and still count it as one of our most memorable adventures.
- Hang around with another age group. This could be helping out at a day care center, visiting at the nursing center, or wherever it is that you can be of service.
Notice that I didn’t mention anything about the joys of sitting in your rocking chair. I like this quote from an article by Ernie Zelinski at his retirementcafe.com website: “It certainly was not my plan or wish to go out and buy a rocking chair. I would advise anyone if they’re retiring, if they’ve got a rocking chair, to get rid of it.” — stated by 69-year-old Bobby Joe Anderson, who retired as president and CEO of Puritan/Churchill Chemical Co. in Atlanta.
Hope these activities and hobbies ideas got your juices flowing. The point isn’t that you will pursue every one of them, but rather to explore a few options and discover what you like.