Retirement and Meaningful Activity
Monday, August 13, 2018
When I retired as an educator, it meant leaving behind a group of friends and colleagues. It also led to an immediate loss of routine and schedule in my life.
My new found ability to rest and relax and entertain myself immediately after retiring was lots of fun, but I knew that it would not be sufficient to keep me satisfied in the longer term.
I loved teaching, and found it both stimulating and satisfying. I knew that in order to feel good about myself in retirement, I would have to find a way to continue to learn and be creative.
I would have to replace my work with some meaningful activity.
These are some of the activities I have pursued during the past 5 years since retiring completely from teaching:
--I went on a tour with Roads Scholars - a travel group for seniors that offers all types of trips all over the world.
--I chose to participate more in volunteer and social organizations in my town -- with Friends of the Library, Historical Society, League of Women Voters.
--I joined a book group at the library that is led by a college professor who takes an academic approach to the readings.
--I attended some Lifelong Learning classes and seminars at the local Community College.
--I followed my interest in writing by taking two writing seminars -- one seminar was about writing autobiography, and was very helpful to me during a difficult time in my family.
--I expanded my new hobby of photography, by taking courses, attending seminars, learning online, joining camera clubs, and participating in photo shoots.
I have also created a local photo club in town that is based at the library.
Photography has been particularly challenging, because it requires the acquisition of technical skills (to use the camera efficiently) as well as a creative ability (to compose meaningful and aesthetically pleasing photos).
It is a subject that can involve years of learning and improving -- all while meeting new friends and exploring new places and people to photograph.
In addition to stopping my work, I recognized that retirement also took away my daily connection with working people and the working world. When it comes to politics, or items in the news, I no longer have the faculty room in which to hear the issues explored and discussed. (My husband and I often agree to disagree on many political issues.)
So since retiring, I began reading a number of news websites every day - on the left and on the right - to learn about the issues from all sides and to form my own opinions.
Let me state that the internet is a retired person's salvation. One can learn about anything, visit any place, and become a member of many communities (like SP) - merely by using the computer keyboard.
I feel fortunate to have retired in the age of the internet. It opens up the world of ideas - and has lead to all kinds of meaningful activity for my retirement.