The day has come. You’re officially retired. Now what the heck do you do?
Most likely you have done everything you could do to assure that you’re financially ok for the years to come. And you’ve downsized where necessary. But years loom ahead without the security blanket of a job to get you out of bed and the future may look a little bit glum. Now what?
Not to worry. You’ve been given a gift.
Finally, you have the hours and days you’ve dreamed of for so many years. You have the freedom to explore all those interests that you’ve dreamed of.
- Some day I’m going to write a book…
- Some day I’ll learn to play the piano (the guitar, the violin, the )…
- Some day I’m going to crochet an elegant afghan…
- Some day I’m going to paint glorious pictures…
- Some day I’m going to photograph the beauty around me…
Well, now some day has come. You can finally pick up an old hobby. You can finally branch out and learn something entirely new. You can finally do all those things you’ve always dreamed of.
If you have always wrapped your identity in the position you held – the corporate ladder you’ve been climbing for years. Stop. Take a deep breath and look around. Imaging yourself achieving intense satisfaction in being able to say, my potential is unlimited.
Once you’ve decided what you would like to do, get started. Many of the activities that are available to retirees don’t cost an arm and a leg. You can start with what you have at home already: the musical instrument you’ve abandoned (or your child didn’t want anything to do with), your computer or a pen and paper, recyclable items that you can save from a landfill. It doesn’t matter.
Many other activities can be started with less than $20. Painting really only requires paints in three colors (red, yellow, blue …and of course white), 1-2 brushes and paper will get you started. Needlework will require a hook or needle and some thread or material to work with. People today are making elegant rugs and hand baskets out of those plastic bags groceries are brought home in.
And don’t let anyone tell you you’re too old to learn. Your first project or two might be a bit elementary and unimpressive but a little practice and you’ll begin to see great progress and new opportunities to grow. You may want to invest in lessons, and you certainly can learn from free lessons on the internet. For ideas search for anything you want to learn on YouTube.
But the secret is to just dig in starting from where you are and try…and keep trying. It is true that practice makes perfect. Better yet, remember that all the great music and art in the world began in the imagination of the creator. You can do it, too. OK, you won’t start off being able to paint like Rembrandt, but you can start learning to think in terms of trying to make something, learning to make your hands recreate what’s in your mind, and making what you did even better next time.
Need inspiration? Check out: Wikipedia’s list of centenarians and Examples of success after 60. Remember that Grandma Moses began her writing career at the age of 78. Or look for others for inspiration in your own area of interest.
Retired? Welcome to the most exciting time of your life! Get started and share your questions and successes here.