Has the thought of retirement ever made you a little uneasy because you don’t know what you would do with your time? That thought occurred to me recently when I had some unscheduled time off. I typically have a plan for each day, and though not scheduled down to the hour or minute, I have a general idea of what I want to accomplish.
This past week was different. I had no plan. I got up each day and instead of thinking, “What do I need to do today?” I thought, “What do I feel like doing today?” That is a whole different orientation, and one that would take getting used to. Because I’m still employed, it isn’t anything I need to think about just yet.
But for any readers who are curious about how other retirees spend their time, let me suggest the book, Energize Your Retirement, by Christina Sparacino. The book is about folks who have pursued their passions in retirement, and provides information on the passion, a background story on how the people became involved with it, and associated resources including websites, classes, apps, videos, books, and periodicals.
Sparacino divides the book into five sections:
- Animals and Nature
- Arts and Letters
- Civic and Social Participation
- Mechanics and Technology
- Physical Activity and Sports
In the Animals and Nature section, she talks with a person who has taken up beekeeping, another person who does bird watching, and a third person who is a service-dog trainer. In each vignette she is able to capture why the person finds this pursuit so satisfying and rewarding.
The Arts and Letters section lists calligrapher, magician, performing arts usher, sculptor, fiction writer, and crossword puzzle designer. With the exception of the usher job, the others in this category can be paid positions and not just volunteer work, though many of the pursuits mentioned in the book do involve volunteering your time.
In the Civic and Social Participation section, the author talks with a disaster-response worker, a Medicare counselor, a national park volunteer, a nonprofit board director, an ombudsman for elder care, and a youth mentor. In her interviews Sparacino asks for any advice for those new to the field or possible downsides to the activities.
The Mechanics and Technology section includes a blogger, craft beer home brewer, ham radio operator, motorcyclist, RV traveler, and wood worker. The author includes any special equipment that might be needed and fascinating facts about the pursuit.
In the last section on Physical Activity and Sports, Sparacino talks with a backpacker, dancer, softball player, target shooter, and triathlete. She asks how long they spend each week on this activity, what expenses are involved, and if there’s anything important readers should know about this pursuit.
While I can’t tell you this moment how I will be spending my retirement, I know there is plenty to do and I have no concerns about keeping myself occupied!