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Old 08-13-2014, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,751,136 times
Reputation: 32309

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbria View Post
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.
Thanks for the kind words, and I see your point. I was using "middle ground" to mean somewhere between the hours I spent working a full-time career job and the hours I now spend volunteering. And yes, most people, even those interested in volunteer work, probably are not interested in committing to it three days a week as I have done.

In the school system there are built-in vacations: two weeks at Christmas, one week for spring break, three days at Thanksgiving, and almost two and a half months over the summer. In fact, I just returned last night from a 25-day car trip, the eastern most point of which was Blue Ridge, Georgia. I visited museums, relatives, and various sights.

Plus as a volunteer it's easy to say, "I'm not available this week". I did that when my sister was an out of town house guest for five days and we were doing tourist things together. So I don't feel like I am tied down to a "job".

Nor do I think volunteer work is the be-all and end-all of retirement. It is simply one option to consider for people who feel so inclined. I consider it my immense good fortune to have found something which is so gratifying for me personally.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:31 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,978,960 times
Reputation: 18050
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
Kudos! Somebody needed to say it.
Exactly why keep up with Jones.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:46 AM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,926 posts, read 992,155 times
Reputation: 6981
How does being a "HomeBody" translate into "doing nothing"?

We went from a post about whether or not it was okay to stay home rather than travel to a discussion about the evils of "doing nothing". It's possible to not travel or volunteer and still have an interesting and productive life.

I am as busy as I care to be at home. I worked up quite a sweat today.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Mayacama Mtns in CA
14,523 posts, read 7,587,727 times
Reputation: 11314
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcat22 View Post
Thanks, Armory, for the reminder that it's not my problem if she can't handle it. Funny---she told me all sorts of things about herself (has fibromyalgia, which doesn't seem to prevent her from doing stuff she really wants to do...and depression, bad enough to be hospitalized) which I accepted fully because I don't expect her to fit my mold of what a perfect friend/human being would be...but she can't accept this little quirk of mine since it doesn't fit into her desires of wanting some friends to hang out with doing the stuff she wants to do when and where she wants it.

I like the idea of making new friends, which she is, but not if it is going to require my doing things which are uncomfortable for me and having to pretend that I'm something I am not (which would be someone who enjoys travel).

Your friend sounds lonely and unhappy. I think she just might be disappointed that she's not going to see you. Possible?
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:43 PM
 
491 posts, read 598,538 times
Reputation: 2095
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogie'smom View Post
How does being a "HomeBody" translate into "doing nothing"?

We went from a post about whether or not it was okay to stay home rather than travel to a discussion about the evils of "doing nothing". It's possible to not travel or volunteer and still have an interesting and productive life.

I am as busy as I care to be at home. I worked up quite a sweat today.
It said I needed to spread it around. But I wanted to say I agree 200%
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
15,411 posts, read 12,154,360 times
Reputation: 16636
For outside eyes, I have done 'nothing' today...my day off.
But, here I am consciously SOOOO happy...enjoying the cat, the doggy, the fresh air, my thoughts, my
heart, my communicating with others, learning...the freedom of no obligations today...

Now, to others watching 'others' that have accomplished so much today...are they as happy as me?
I hope so...bec that is what counts no matter where you are or what you're doing!!
...Here or there...

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Old 08-13-2014, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,544,616 times
Reputation: 27566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Thanks for the kind words, and I see your point. I was using "middle ground" to mean somewhere between the hours I spent working a full-time career job and the hours I now spend volunteering. And yes, most people, even those interested in volunteer work, probably are not interested in committing to it three days a week as I have done.

In the school system there are built-in vacations: two weeks at Christmas, one week for spring break, three days at Thanksgiving, and almost two and a half months over the summer. In fact, I just returned last night from a 25-day car trip, the eastern most point of which was Blue Ridge, Georgia. I visited museums, relatives, and various sights.

Plus as a volunteer it's easy to say, "I'm not available this week". I did that when my sister was an out of town house guest for five days and we were doing tourist things together. So I don't feel like I am tied down to a "job".

Nor do I think volunteer work is the be-all and end-all of retirement. It is simply one option to consider for people who feel so inclined. I consider it my immense good fortune to have found something which is so gratifying for me personally.
I do that with sub teaching and get a little $$$ to add to my slush fund.
And if I'm busy or have other plans I can just say no as well.
I don't have a set number of days per week though and what I do varies from year to year.
This past year I took a tutor job at a school..10am-2pm Mon-Thur for 3 months. It was a nice change of pace and I didn't mind doing it.

I love doing it because it's not like a real job where you are tied down.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,028,333 times
Reputation: 1046
You know, whenever I see ads or websites for over-55 communities they almost always seem to include the phrase "Active Adult Community" ... as if it were some kind of new cardinal sin to somehow NOT fit the media-created mold of having an "active" lifestyle. What is that supposed to mean anyway? If someone prefers to spend their afternoons playing bridge rather than golf or tennis, are they "inactive" (translations: sloth, couch potato, incipient depressive?) adults? If their weekly schedule doesn't have some sort of activity (sounds like a grade school label to me, LOL) penciled in for each day, does that mean they're not an "active" senior?

When did retirement morph into being a time when we are expected to spend our time doing something or going somewhere, rather than a time when we feel no pressure (either external or internal) to do anything or go anywhere (unless we darn well feel like it)?
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,751,136 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Never2L8 View Post
You know, whenever I see ads or websites for over-55 communities they almost always seem to include the phrase "Active Adult Community" ... as if it were some kind of new cardinal sin to somehow NOT fit the media-created mold of having an "active" lifestyle. What is that supposed to mean anyway? If someone prefers to spend their afternoons playing bridge rather than golf or tennis, are they "inactive" (translations: sloth, couch potato, incipient depressive?) adults? If their weekly schedule doesn't have some sort of activity (sounds like a grade school label to me, LOL) penciled in for each day, does that mean they're not an "active" senior?

When did retirement morph into being a time when we are expected to spend our time doing something or going somewhere, rather than a time when we feel no pressure (either external or internal) to do anything or go anywhere (unless we darn well feel like it)?
How do we define "active"? To me, playing bridge is part of an active lifestyle, on two levels.

1. Our minds are active when playing bridge.
2. We are interacting socially with others when playing bridge.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:48 AM
 
7,031 posts, read 6,998,651 times
Reputation: 5859
Default Bravo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
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.
Kudos to you, Escort Rider, for the reading you do in schools. You'll probably never know how you have touched the lives of those students, but I am sure many students have been uplifted and learned to enjoy reading because of you!
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