Hobbies are crucial to enjoying your retirement. Developing an interest in something can be the difference between days that fly by and endless hours of boredom. If you think watching television all day is a hobby, please think again. It is so easy to fall into a rut when you have the whole day to yourself, that you don’t even realize that you’re becoming a creature of habit and each day blends into the next. Even if you have children or grandchildren to watch and they take up a great deal of your time, they are not a hobby. I like to think of hobbies as something that you can do when you’re by yourself. Although you can certainly do things with other people, like golf or tennis or cards, you’re don’t really have a true escape when you’re by yourself.
I realize there are some people who just can’t bear to be by themselves. I feel sorry for them. I don’t mean that in a condescending way. I happen to believe that there’s a part of their inner being that they haven’t fully explored – something that gives them an emotional release. Hobbies can do that. Learning a musical instrument, for example, can become a passion that occupies your hours in ways that you can’t imagine. Painting or sketching or even writing can do the same thing. Each of these activities tap an inner creative spirit and rekindles a passion to lean that makes life exciting and makes the day fly by. For me, it’s writing. I find it creative and expressive, and, with each passing year, I seem to have more to say than ever before. Rather than bore or even offend other people with endless conversation, I put my thoughts on paper. Sometimes those words show up on this website and on other days they show up in letters to the editor or people who might have an interest in what I have to say. Maybe, someday, I will put the thoughts into a book. But that isn’t what’s important. I feel emotionally satisfied when I have carefully formed my thoughts and put them in writing. I believe that’s what hobbies do – they allow you to create something that reflects who you are and, in that process of creation, you get a sense of satisfaction that gets you to come back the next day and do it again.
My wife’s hobby is wood working, and she is developing quite a talent for it. More importantly, loves doing it. She started with plant stands and has moved on to making a few tables. It is fun to watch her creative process as she looks through magazines and visits stores to take her thoughts and vision into a plan she puts on paper. Instead of a piece of jewelry for her birthday or Mother’s Day, she will sometimes get a tool or a gift certificate to a lumber store. The best part is when she displays her finished work of art. And, in every sense of the word, it is a work of art. She envisioned it and created it. The ultimate compliment was when someone asked if she could buy a plant stand from her! Rather than doing that, she had her friend over to make one with her. Hobbies can be enjoyed with others, but the true test is when you do something just for yourself.
Hobbies can change people’s lives. That’s not an exaggeration. If you don’t have an interest that sparks your spirit of creativity, you’re missing out on something that is truly one of the great pleasures of life. Surely, there’s something that you’ve always thought about doing. There’s got to be a hidden talent or interest that is waiting to be brought to life. Everyone has a passion – I firmly believe that. Usually, they just don’t have someone giving them that little push to give something a try. Hopefully, this website can help you move from the “thinking about it” phase to actually doing it. Whether it’s sketching or drawing, painting or writing, photography or wood working, there’s something that will get you to be an active participant rather than just another observer. Don’t let life pass you by without getting involved in something and don’t overlook the common activities you might do every day like gardening or cooking, sewing or reading.
My wife likes to garden (when she’s not in her wood shop) and is designing a butterfly garden for the back of the house. Her friend likes to sew and has found a new passion in quilting. We know a couple who now take cooking lessons and have found the kitchen to be their new favorite place. They convinced us to go to one class and, guess what? We might be taking more classes to learn how to make some of the dishes we love. Cooking is one of those activities that can take on a whole different feeling when you take the time to enjoy what you’re doing. It’s fun a challenging to watch a demonstration on a particular cooking technique and then trying to duplicate it. If you don’t believe me, try making raviolis someday!
Don’t ever overlook that last activity that I listed above: reading. It is one of my favorite hobbies and has opened up more doors for me than anything else I can name. I have never been short of interests and could never find the time to do everything I get interested in. Plus, there are just so many hobbies you can have! Reading is a way to explore everything you have a question about, and you’ll be very surprised at what happens in that process. You might just develop an interest in one of those subjects and find a new passion in your life. Life is a journey, and the world is meant to be explored. It’s time to Enjoy Retired Life!
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