Passionate Pursuits in Retirement

Has the Crosswordthought 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!

-G.

A Taste of Retirement

A Taste of Retirement

My husband and I recently flew to Tahiti for a bucket-list vacation we have been anticipating for quite some time. While it took us close to two days to get there, it was totally worth the trip. We took a ferry to the beautiful island of Moorea, where we relaxed all week. We slept in…Continue Reading

Free Up More Energy by Improving Your Environment

Free Up More Energy by Improving Your Environment

To fully enjoy weekend retirement, you need the time and energy to pursue the activities on your list. In previous posts I have shared tips on increasing your energy and productivity. Today’s post is on improving your environment, based on chapter 19 of The Portable Coach, by Thomas J. Leonard. Why focus on your environment? Leonard…Continue Reading

Be Happy Now–Part 2

Be Happy Now–Part 2

Positive Psychology has much to teach us about how to weave happiness into our everyday lives. In my last post I shared information from Sonja Lyubomirsky’s The How of Happiness. In this post I want to introduce you to another researcher, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, and her book, Positivity. According to Fredrickson, positivity is the whole range…Continue Reading

Be Happy Now!

Be Happy Now!

You may be wondering how a blog on Weekend Retirement relates to the topic of happiness. Well, if you are near retirement age and don’t see a way to retire anytime soon, you may be wondering how to be happy in your current circumstances. Over the years I have heard a lot about happiness: that…Continue Reading

Setting a Date for Your Retirement

Setting a Date for Your Retirement

If you are on the fence about setting a retirement date, know that you are not alone. According to Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2014, a report issued by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), 25% of Baby Boomers postponed their plans to retire in the past year. The report also indicates that Boomer confidence in their ability to prepare…Continue Reading

Variations on a Theme with Retirement

Variations on a Theme with Retirement

The more I research various aspects of retirement, the more I realize that there are about as many permutations of it as there are people. Today’s retirement can take many shapes and sizes–from short career breaks and sabbaticals to part-time jobs to second careers or entrepreneurship. And while the days of retiring to a life…Continue Reading

The Power of Saying No

The Power of Saying No

Two-year-olds have it down pat. They know how to say “No!” with gusto and without apology. By the time we start school, however, a lot of that natural inclination to say “No!” is trained out of us, and we spend the rest of lives saying “Yes!” So what’s so powerful about this little two-letter word? Saying “No!”…Continue Reading

More on Giving Back

More on Giving Back

In my last post I talked about everyday philanthropy and ways to give–donating money, volunteering time, and providing advocacy. Today I am writing about websites you may be interested in visiting with regard to charity and giving back. Ways to Give for Free Several years ago I learned of two websites that provide free food…Continue Reading

Everyday Philanthropy

Everyday Philanthropy

“As long as you’re breathing,” said Maya Angelou, ” it’s never too late to do some good.” In this post I want to share what I’ve learned recently about giving back and the incredible effect one person can have on the lives of others. If you are like many of us, the word philanthropist conjures up…Continue Reading

The Accidental Entrepreneur

The Accidental Entrepreneur

“Imagine a life where all your time is spent on the things you want to do. Imagine giving your greatest attention to a project you create yourself, instead of working as a cog in a machine that exists to make other people rich.” These are the first two sentences in Chris Guillebeau’s book, The $100…Continue Reading

Meet Gail

Gail Pentz, author

My work experience spans Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits. As a corporate trainer, I have delivered training throughout the U.S. and in 18 other countries. I designed and wrote hundreds of instructional materials for numerous industries, and worked as a teacher and staff in private schools. I also have experience with small businesses. I was a founding partner and Director of Operations for T.W.I.C.E. Educational Services, Inc., a Sarasota-based continuing education firm serving mental health professionals.

Having worked 60+ hours a week for several decades, I know what it’s like to be on the proverbial hamster wheel, using weekends to catch up on what I didn’t get done and preparing for the week ahead. Like me, you may be ready for at least two days each week that are filled with activities you find satisfying and fulfilling. Less time working (or preparing for work) translates into more time for recreational travel, self-care, and personal development. I firmly believe that as we take better care of ourselves, we are better equipped to share our gifts with the world (and especially the quality of effort we bring to the workplace).

You can begin enjoying a retirement lifestyle this weekend. Let’s get started!

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