On a + note

Will I turn into a vegetable? #37:2010

Posted in on a + note by kendal0 on October 25, 2010

Maybe because it’s my birthday this week or because the seasons are changing and leaves are blowing around the backyard, but for whatever reason, I have been thinking about retirement.

Specifically, what will I actually do with my time when I retire and do not have wake up at the crack of dawn to spend my day planning and solving problems? Will I still be an early riser and lay out my clothes before I go to bed?

Not that it’s happening any time soon, but it has been on my mind as I creep up on another birthday. Will I just turn into a vegetable and watch Abby and NCIS all day? Will I actually be motivated enough to go to the gym and volunteer at the PCA?

To explore the world of retirement, I spoke to a few friends who have taken that step over the last few years. Here is what they said to me.

  • Start exploring new interests before the day you walk out the door. Figure out early what you really want to do so that you walk out that door with gusto and hope.
  • Don’t grow roots. Plan your days so that there is some structure for the necessities and some flexibility for all of the other stuff you want to do.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Spending all of your time with the grandkids, in the machine shop, or reading is the quickest way to burn out and get bored. Variety really does matter, especially in retirement.
  • Volunteer, even if only for a few hours each month; it will keep you connected and feeling great!
  • Fitness activities,from aqua aerobics to golf, from shuffleboard to walking the dog, are great ways to have fun and meet people.
  • Learn something new! Take a class in ballroom dancing, genealogy, needlepoint, or physics; the options are infinite and keep you curious and asking questions (all things we value as librarians).

Most of all, my three retired friends said staying inquisitive, remaining engaged, and reading are the best ways to ease into a new lifestyle. And, to all of those folks who have wished me a happy birthday in that last few days, thanks!

Kitty Pope
kpope @ alliancelibrarysystem.com #37 October /10

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