You have looked forward to and anticipated your retirement for most of your working life. Now that you have arrived, with all the time in the world to do all those things that you promised yourself that you would accomplish during this new life of leisure. Fast forward six months. She has rearranged her wardrobe, thus enriching the Good Will store with volumes of outdated outfits. You’ve cleaned out the garage and found so many treasures you once thought were lost. You’ve indexed all of your music CDs and DVDs into a sophisticated database, so you can access them by title, artist, genre, and mood. You have digitized all your favorite photos of family and friends, sorting them by time and event. Now what?
You may not realize it, but you have finally freed yourself to begin your adventure in a truly meaningful final work, spending quality time thinking about how you will spend the next 20 to 30 years of your life. Will you work, play, travel, study, create, unleash your inner entrepreneur, volunteer, or personalize your retirement life to include some combination of these possibilities?
Traveling sounds like fun. And this is something you always promised yourself after you retired. In fact, one of her dreams was to commit to visiting all 50 states and taking a selfie in front of at least one distinctive landmark in each. Or he hoped to visit at least one European country per year for the first 10 years and then switch to destinations that were further afield, such as Asia and Australia. Or maybe you envisioned a captivating sequence of trips that focused on one theme: music, art, battlefields, architecture, food, wine. Oh the places where you can and should and Will go – by camper, on airBNB, in exchange, in 5-star hotel, on cruise ship, by train, on motorcycle.
What’s on your creative side, possibly still waiting to be expressed? Perhaps over the years one of your relaxation strategies has been to draw cartoons. In fact, family and friends have often commented on the fact that you are an exceptionally talented artist, opinions that you have modestly ignored. But coincidentally, you recently noticed that your local community college offers a non-credit course in cartoon illustration and digital animation, and you suddenly begin to imagine your drawing horizons expanding to all kinds of opportunities. Ready! All your heartache from the boredom of retirement disappears.
A year ago, that disgusting four letter word “works, “ it would have been the last option on your list of “ways not to get bored in retirement.” Now, you are not so sure. What if for your retirement “job” you could choose to do something totally different from your previous career, something you really enjoy, based on a flexible schedule that you created yourself?
Perhaps your local newspaper or community newsletter is eager to accept a weekly cartoon. You could even do a little research on the markets where animation is used in TV commercials. Imagine being able to supplement your income by having fun using your innate artistic talents!
Plus, wherever you go, wherever you look, there seem to be countless opportunities to give back to your community through volunteering. Imagine how much enjoyment you could bring to nursing homes, children’s parties, hospitals, and summer street fairs by sharing your drawing / animation talents with young and old alike.
The key to avoiding boredom in retirement is finding a “job” that is absolutely right for you. And that means knowing yourself very, very well. During his lifetime career, his work defined him. Now is the time for your ONESELF to define your work.
What does this mean exactly? Start with a pause to regroup. Then give yourself the time and attention, as well as access to the necessary tools, to enable you meet yourself again.
What is your type and temperament (Myers Briggs)? These dictate what you must have to be satisfied and accomplished. What are your key interests? These define what compromises you.
You values They are also essential factors when selecting your “job” for retirement. What do you think is significant? You firm strengths clarify what you have to offer exclusively.
Then is you abilities and personal traits. These are also critical elements in finding the fit that best suits your needs. But keep in mind that whatever your abilities are now, you can certainly increase them. And the very process of improving your skills – learning everything you need to successfully pursue a whole new direction – is its own form of “hard fun.”
Retirement opens the door between your job and your “job.” This is your moment. Do it your way. Who has time to get bored?