I have often heard it said that “when I retire I will have plenty of time for that”, whatever that is, woodworking, travel, knitting, hiking, golf, baking or any of the hundreds of past times so many folks enjoy or want to enjoy. Sometimes both planning and preparation are important. My dad wanted to travel in retirement and thought an RV would be a great idea. Before retiring, he rented an RV and set off to a local state park. Long story short, the RV trip lasted only one or two days. He did travel a lot in retirement, but not by RV. A coworker, planning for retirement, decided to take up woodworking in his last year of work. He often told me that if he knew how much he would enjoy it, he would have started earlier in life.

When you enter retirement, planning how to spend your time is always a topic of discussion. Many activities already are part of your routine, including grandkids, part-time work/volunteering, church activities, and of course, time with your spouse and friends. Hobbies are sometimes thought of as filling a passion or at least filling our spare time. They can be much more, giving meaning to our next chapter in life as well as helping to keep us mentally sharp, physically active and be socially rewarding. We should embrace our hobbies as not only something to do but as another way to give meaning to each day. They can sometimes turn into a business but should be enjoyed and not feel like an obligation or a task that needs to be done.

The best hobbies in retirement for some, are the hobbies that they have been doing all along and enjoy. Retirement brings the opportunity to spend more time with these hobbies. Spending more time on a hobby can lead to greater enjoyment and skill or it can lead to boredom and a change of interests. For others, jumping from one hobby to another, in order to learn a new skill or have a new experience, is the new norm. Flexibility is important, tired of doing the same old thing or just looking for a new skill or adventure: then just Google “hobbies in retirement” and with over 25 million hits and hundreds of books, your new hobby may be deciding on a new hobby.

It is important to try things, not only before retirement, but also in retirement as interest in a new activity grows. Trying out activities as you approach retirement can make the transition to the “senior life style” a little easier. Trying out new activities in retirement can lead to a more fulfilling life. Here in Bristol Village I see and talk to many folks with lots of different hobbies and incredible stories (and sometimes long stories) about their hobbies. Some have continued hobbies that they have had for a lifetime, and others are learning new things even past their 80’s, and others have brought forward things they enjoyed in their youth.

Hobbies can come and go in retirement, interest can wain, costs increase, abilities change, and curiosity grows. Remember those 25 million ideas on Google. Flexibility is important in how we spend our time. A willingness to explore a new path can bring new skills, rewards, a different passion and a new way to spend your time.

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