25,000-29,999 SparkPoints 25,650

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.

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • PHOENIX1949
    187 days ago
  • NANCY-
    The internet can be both a blessing and a curse. Glad you have found it a useful tool and you have interests that get you out and about,
    190 days ago
    Sounds like a super productive retirement for you!
    Particularly love the emoticon club.
    191 days ago
    emoticon ideas emoticon for sharing emoticon
    191 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    All I know is that I retired 2 1/2 years ago and it's been the best time of my life. I have never been so relaxed and continue to enjoy every moment of retirement. I'm still waiting to be bored, because I'm not, so that I can do some other things. Seems like every day is a new adventure.

    Glad you have broaden interests and have found things that interest you.
    191 days ago
    sounds like your ultra busy and fulfilled hugs
    192 days ago
    Sounds like you got activities in your retirement covered!
    192 days ago
    I have gone through the same thing. I have gone from being an overworked professional to a semi-relaxed retiree and it is an adjustment and it will continue to be, especially since my husband has not retired yet.I miss my co-workers and my work but I know that part of my life is in the past and rightfully so. I had a great career, very rewarding, and I am having a great retirement too. You have done really well with it. I love your travels, lifelong learning, book groups, and your volunteer groups - especially the League of Women Voters. I'm a huge fan of this organization. I took Creative Writing classes years ago and my husband is into photography. I also watch news from both sides and feel more informed now to make the best decisions. Surprising, due to demographics, I would have expected my husband's political leanings to be different than mine but they are not. He has benefited from us being more informed.
    192 days ago
  • no profile photo SOCCERMOM99
    great ideas . thank you for sharing
    192 days ago
    I agree about the internet for information but there's nothing like a good discussion with a real life person. My 95 yr old neighbor keeps tying to get me to the senior center as they have lively discussions. Most of them are retired Princeton U professors. I think I might go and get some insight!
    192 days ago
    192 days ago
    Well said, you are busy and you are learning and exploring. It is an awesome period of time in our lives if we make the most of it!
    192 days ago
    Great list, and I totally agree about the internet (and You-Tube) opening up a world for retirees... but one still needs a reason to leave the house. Hopefully the judicious use of the online helps us find good fit places to go and people to meet! emoticon
    192 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.