During our working years the one thing we look forward to is Retirement. It’s the time to enjoy leisurely days when you don’t need to look at the clock, you can take your time having a second cup of coffee, you can read the newspaper from front to back and you can go out to lunch and not worry if you will get finished in an hour. Your time is all yours!
However, for a couple, this is also a time for re-adjustment in their daily life. George and I are now in that stage of life where he has finally retired. He prefers to say he is “semi-retired” as he keeps occupied with various activities. As a business executive, George enjoyed every aspect of working and I could tell he was having a difficult time coping with “staying at home”. Some of the things that I have observed may be useful to help you cope with that time in your life:
- Start a hobby: Any hobby that keeps a person involved with social contact with others will encourage a commitment to something and can give great joy.
- Volunteering: Find a volunteer program in your community that fills the void of not going to work every day. Maybe teaching a course about a subject or hobby in which one excels. Animal lovers who are concerned about the welfare and care of neglected or abandoned animals can volunteer with the humane society. Also, hospitals are always in need of volunteers. You can search on www.google.com to find where volunteers are needed in your community.
- Staying at home: If you are homebound for health or other reasons, keep your mind occupied with reading newspapers, books, the Kindle2 is a great reading device to have and you can take it anywhere. Crossword puzzles and word puzzles are excellent tools for memory training. Learn how to navigate on a computer. Start a blog: this is where you can post your thoughts, opinions and give helpful advice to others. A senior’s wisdom is invaluable for young bloggers. To learn more about blogging these two sites are a good place to start: Blogger.com and WordPress.com.
- Education: Courses at a local college or adult-education centers may be of interest. Learn to paint, sculpt, or do pottery. Writing courses can be fun, especially if you decide to blog. Obviously, a basic computer course will open a whole new universe to you. It will also help you keep in touch with friends, family and former co-workers.
- Plan activities: Plan luncheons and dinners out with friends and family. Staying in touch with others is very important.
Now, here are some tips for the wife of a “semi-retiree”:
- Don’t ask your husband to go to the grocery store with more than five items to buy. Men don’t like carrying a shopping list and you can bet he will usually buy more than you need. Remember the child in the candy store syndrome?
- Going to the grocery store with you is not top priority on his list. Therefore, go shopping in stores that he prefers.
- If you enjoy talking on the phone, keep it private! A husband at home misses those daily business calls. Therefore, he will be engrossed in yours and will want to know, “Who called, what did he or she want, what did you say”? Remember patience is a virtue.
- Join in activities that will be good for both of you; join a gym, play golf, tennis, and go for walks. It will bring you even closer together.
Happy retirement to all; you worked hard all those years and deserve this time to relax and enjoy the future years ahead.