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Old 08-07-2014, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,391 posts, read 21,228,976 times
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Pets can make such a huge difference in your lives, they can end up controlling your life completely!

I know too many pet owners who never travel anywhere, their pets are everything to them! They'd never consider taking them to a kennel for even 2 days, while on vacation.

And? Reading is just another form of travel, where you don't need a passport, visa or air tickets!

And, as I've learned from my Buddhist teachings, everything you do in life boils down to arbitrariness!
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:30 AM
 
Location: Florida
19,788 posts, read 19,891,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post

There is just one problem I have with that. It's nonsense. Why should someone who has never been interested in reading to kids, ballroom dancing, etc. etc. before suddenly start taking an interest in these or any of the many suggestions thrown at them just because they are no longer working? Where is the advice that suggests "You, have time now, do what you have always wanted to do. Sit home and read a book, watch videos, take naps, teach the cat some tricks, etc. etc.
.
Kudos! Somebody needed to say it.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
I always get a chuckle out of those articles in publications for retirees that suggest now all of a sudden they must always be doing something or they will wither and die.

Suggestions run from reading to kids, take up ballroom dancing, learn macrame, hike, go bowling, do Tai Chi and all kinds of things that are supposed to interest the retired person. The list is endless. The rush is on to remain "meaningful;" to find something to replace the workplace.

There is just one problem I have with that. It's nonsense. Why should someone who has never been interested in reading to kids, ballroom dancing, etc. etc. before suddenly start taking an interest in these or any of the many suggestions thrown at them just because they are no longer working? Where is the advice that suggests "You, have time now, do what you have always wanted to do. Sit home and read a book, watch videos, take naps, teach the cat some tricks, etc. etc.

Do what you didn't have the time to do before inside or outside the home. That's what retirees should be doing; filling their time with what they want to be doing once freed of the workplace rigours that dictated what they had to be doing. Following some prescribed formula of what retirees should be doing is once again falling back into the category of being dictated to and takes away the freedom to spend their time as they wish. That includes the freedom to do nothing if they so choose.
Yes, it's nonsense to those who have found their comfort zone, their niche, and are not looking for anything else to do. But it's not nonsense to those who are dissatisfied with the loss of structure and the aimlessness which affect some people following their retirement. And there are plenty such people, as evidenced by reading this Retirement Forum for the past several years.

When I read those suggestions, I take them to be examples of the kinds of things people can consider looking into, not as "some prescribed formula" which constitutes "being dictated to and [taking] away freedom". It is not a question of freedom at all. Yes, we ALL have the freedom to do nothing if we so choose. The discussion is whether doing nothing is a healthy thing, and many medical epidemiologists think it is not.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:03 AM
 
10,813 posts, read 8,059,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Yes, we ALL have the freedom to do nothing if we so choose. The discussion is whether doing nothing is a healthy thing, and many medical epidemiologists think it is not.
Whoa there, what's good for you and your epidemiologist might not be good for me and mine.
I spent 45 years doing structured paid work and non-paid good deeds, and loved almost every minute. But it wasn't until I retired that I realized what a toll it all took on my physical and mental and spiritual health. The benefit of retirement, for me, was learning to let go and let be. It's paid off hugely in terms of medical intervention but even more so in intangible benefits. YMMV.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:22 AM
 
12,689 posts, read 14,071,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
...One of the tings I love about the Ozarks is that I can take the same roads to get from Point A to Point B and at almost every turn of the road, and they are constant, something surprises me even though I've traveled the route many dozens of times. It may be the wildflowers, wildlife, the colors of the leaves even if they're still green or something that's always been there, perhaps a bit hidden off the road, that I never noticed before. Sometimes it's a late 19th century barn or log cabin that has finally collapsed or been blown over and at other times it's a sudden change in the weather between one hill or holler to the next....
I have the same experience, and it really blows me away.

I live in a town of 20,000 on the south Iberian coast, but it is stretched out along a rather blunt peninsula.
I've driven on these streets and roads for years, but there's never a week that I don't have the experience of seeing something familiar that just seems to new and interesting that I say out loud, "Wonderful!" or "How lucky" (meaning how lucky to be here.)

I have lived in Europe and taken a number of journeys, some of the have-to variety, but I am not as healthy or energetic now and I really find my own home area just as exciting as travelling was.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:56 AM
 
2,738 posts, read 722,537 times
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Kevxu, I love that (not that you aren't as healthy or energetic as you used to be), but that you are so present and appreciative of what you have. Truly a case of "bloom where you are planted." For me as well, it is a richer experience to stay in place and experience it fully versus running to a new/different place and trying frantically to take it all in.

Biscuitmom, that is a wonderful place to be---to learn to let go and let be. There may not be picture postcards (do they even still exist? I am dating myself! I probably should have said a Facebook post.) to document your arrival at that place of tranquil bliss, but the peace you have found is the best souvenir of all of your emotional/spiritual trip to get to taht point.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
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Default Why the all-or-nothing approach?

Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
Whoa there, what's good for you and your epidemiologist might not be good for me and mine.
I spent 45 years doing structured paid work and non-paid good deeds, and loved almost every minute. But it wasn't until I retired that I realized what a toll it all took on my physical and mental and spiritual health. The benefit of retirement, for me, was learning to let go and let be. It's paid off hugely in terms of medical intervention but even more so in intangible benefits. YMMV.
I certainly agree with one of your points, which is (if you allow the paraphrase) that retiring from a high-stress, long-hours job can confer health benefits and great enjoyment. And I agree that too much stress can kill.

However, our discussion took place in the context of people talking about doing nothing. Doing nothing and having a high-stress, long-hours job represent two extremes of a continuum. In advocating having something engaging and meaningful to do in retirement, I was NOT advocating resuming the same level of structured activity which one has left behind. If it seemed as if that's what I was advocating, I am grateful for this opportunity to correct that impression.

So let me clarify: Another poster implied that I was against "enjoying the sunset or sunrise", whereas nothing could be further from the truth. I can even understand "doing nothing" in the first several months following retirement as one distresses and unwinds from excessive pressure and lack of sleep, etc.

In my own case, I have carefully built my level of volunteer commitment step by step to test how much might be too much:

1. For a couple of years, I conducted a middle school chess club at lunch twice a week - a very small time commitment.

2. Next, I accepted a request from the school district to read aloud to a fifth grade class once a week for 30 minutes, a very small time commitment. My thought was to try it to see how much I liked it, as that was a new activity for me.

3. Well, I liked it so much that I took on the other fifth grade class at that same school the following year and added a lunch time chess activity on the day I was already there.

4. The year after that I added a second elementary school, reading to two classes there and doing chess the day I was there. This was still a total of just three days a week - the original middle school and the original elementary school fitting into the same day.

5. The year after that I expanded to all four fifth grade classes at the second elementary school, thus lengthening the time I was there, but not adding a day. At the same time, I cut the original middle school back to one day a week and added (by popular demand) a second middle school for chess. This was still just three days a week, although two of the days were on the longish side. My idea was to see if this seemed like too much. I have done this for one school year now, and it did not seem like too much.

6. I am still thinking about a request from a teacher to add another school and a single fifth grade class, which would necessarily expand my schedule to four days a week, although only one day of four would be close to a full school day's schedule. I'll have to decide pretty soon because the new school year is about to start.

The above is probably too much information, but it serves to illustrate the "middle ground" approach as opposed to advocating one or the other of the two extremes. A couple of posters (not so much you) have wanted to paint what I do as a frenzied "Energizer Bunny" schedule, whereas it's not. I do enjoy not setting an alarm clock most days of the week, taking naps some afternoons, etc.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:33 AM
 
10,813 posts, read 8,059,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
The above is probably too much information, but it serves to illustrate the "middle ground" approach as opposed to advocating one or the other of the two extremes. A couple of posters (not so much you) have wanted to paint what I do as a frenzied "Energizer Bunny" schedule, whereas it's not. I do enjoy not setting an alarm clock most days of the week, taking naps some afternoons, etc.
DH has found that nice middle ground.
While I'm vegging and saying ommm, he's tending the garden and house and critters, and handling his mom's and our finances, i.e. insurance, taxes, etc. No small task, the latter. Yet he knows how to linger over his morning coffee, afternoon tea, and evening wine.
We both are somewhat fanatical about exercise but aren't in the least interested in volunteer or other outside activities.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,954 posts, read 7,390,876 times
Reputation: 16283
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
.

In my own case, I have carefully built my level of volunteer commitment step by step to test how much might be too much:

1. For a couple of years, I conducted a middle school chess club at lunch twice a week - a very small time commitment.

2. Next, I accepted a request from the school district to read aloud to a fifth grade class once a week for 30 minutes, a very small time commitment. My thought was to try it to see how much I liked it, as that was a new activity for me.

3. Well, I liked it so much that I took on the other fifth grade class at that same school the following year and added a lunch time chess activity on the day I was already there.

4. The year after that I added a second elementary school, reading to two classes there and doing chess the day I was there. This was still a total of just three days a week - the original middle school and the original elementary school fitting into the same day.

5. The year after that I expanded to all four fifth grade classes at the second elementary school, thus lengthening the time I was there, but not adding a day. At the same time, I cut the original middle school back to one day a week and added (by popular demand) a second middle school for chess. This was still just three days a week, although two of the days were on the longish side. My idea was to see if this seemed like too much. I have done this for one school year now, and it did not seem like too much.

6. I am still thinking about a request from a teacher to add another school and a single fifth grade class, which would necessarily expand my schedule to four days a week, although only one day of four would be close to a full school day's schedule. I'll have to decide pretty soon because the new school year is about to start.

The above is probably too much information, but it serves to illustrate the "middle ground" approach as opposed to advocating one or the other of the two extremes. A couple of posters (not so much you) have wanted to paint what I do as a frenzied "Energizer Bunny" schedule, whereas it's not. I do enjoy not setting an alarm clock most days of the week, taking naps some afternoons, etc.
I highly commend your HIGH level of volunteering - you obviously love it which makes a very good thing. In my mind there is nothing middle ground about it. I'm not criticizing your efforts - just saying that would be too much for me, even if I loved the work as you seem to. I like to futze around the house/yard too much -there are hobbies I intend to take up once I don't have quite so much "futzing" to do.

Next step - I'm off to get a SUV full of mulch Love new mulch- it makes everything look better.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Florida
19,788 posts, read 19,891,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
In advocating having something engaging and meaningful to do in retirement, I was NOT advocating resuming the same level of structured activity which one has left behind.
.
Perhaps you would just center on your conception of 'meaningful'.
That might be where a big difference of opinion arises.
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