Unending List of Activities

One of the things that I look most forward to during retirement is the ability to take part in many more activities than I am able to do right now. My time these days is limited by the 40+ hours I am at work – where doing things like making beer or woodworking is somewhat discouraged – as I am being paid to stare at and talk about numbers all day.

For now, I’m willing to trade my time at the expense of these hobbies I would like to do, and instead cram these interests in as best I can during evenings and weekends – picking up new skills.

During the last couple years of accounting school, my time was monopolized by the courses I was taking – I had a rude awakening by failing due to a lack of focus on the work that needed done. I pushed aside most things I was interested in order to give myself a better opportunity in completing my studies. One thing that kept me somewhat sane during this period of time was the creation of several lists.

One of these lists was of books that I wanted to read – Anytime I saw or heard of a book that I wanted to read, I went onto Goodreads and added it to my list. In the year and a half since I completed school, I have made it about halfway through the books I wanted to read and should catch up by mid – next year.

A second list was things that I either wanted to do as a hobby or learn as a skill. This list was significantly shorter than the books I wanted to read, but seems to be taking much longer to get through. These are projects that will take me years to complete or learn, and are things that I am incredibly interested in doing.

Some people in the past who I have talked to about retirement really don’t know what they would do with themselves if they didn’t go to work. I think that the difference between a “good” retiree and a “bad” retiree is how fulfilled their post-work life is to them – does the individual wake up in the morning excited for the opportunities ahead of them, or are they just grinding up time.

I look forward to the day that I can wake up and do what I want every day, with no financial concerns and with an extra 40 hours per week.

Do you have an unquenchable golf habit, or some other hobby you’re looking forward to in retirement? What are you going to do with all of your time?

8 thoughts on “Unending List of Activities”

  1. Dave, where to begin? The really great thing is that my interests/hobbies don’t cost a lot, aside from the initial cost of some equipment – so while I’m working, and money is plentiful, I have bought a high powered telescope (I love astronomy), sea kayaks and underwater cameras and microphones to record orca sounds while paddling close to them. These are just some of the things that make me tick. Too much to do and see in this world to let a “job” place limits on us.

  2. I feel like my life has been spent mostly grinding time, not contributing anything of real value to myself or others, so I want to volunteer for things like the local food bank or Habitat for Humanity. I want to get out in the world and meet more people, do more to help others.

  3. The big change to my life was back in 2001 when I switched from working full-time to part-time, freeing up some weekdays and weekday evenings to do things I could not do when I was working full-time.

    In early 2001, I received an application form to enroll in the National School Scrabble program. I was already a member of the National Scrabble Association but had stopped playing in adult tourneys so when I saw this activity, I kept the form because I knew *something* was going to happen by the time the next school year began in September which would enable me to sign up for this volunteer activity which interested me a lot. And something did, so I applied and was quickly accepted and I have been with the program ever since.

    I also pursued another long-dormant hobby I had not done in a long time. That same year, after I switched to working part-time, I was able to get back into square dancing, a weekday evening activity I had not been able to do because I was too worn out from a full day of work. Getting home later and later made this activity undoable, too. But I had kept some phone numbers from when I was dancing in the 1980s and looked up some local people and within a few weeks after I began working part-time, I was back into the dancing and have been with it ever since.

    Because the dancing is at night and the school Scrabble is during the day, the two activities never conflict; I often did both the same day in my part-time working days. Noe fully retired, it is easier to schedule them without that annoying *work* getting in the way! 🙂

  4. I think you’re right about what makes a “good” or “bad” retiree. When I wake up I’m not only excited that I don’t have to go to work, I’m excited about what I’m going to do that day. Even if it’s a day with nothing in particular–I like those days too. In moderation of course . . .

  5. Syd, love your site, but wish you posted more. 🙂

    The feeling of waking up in the morning with the entire day at your disposal… I simply cannot wait to experience this. Next year, at 42, I am going to leave the working world – my wife wants to keep working, Syd, so I am particularly interested in your posts (like the Wall Street piece) where one spouse “retires” and the other continues to work for a spell.

    I can see our situation mirroring your own quite closely, with myself providing dinner, housework, and general support for my hard working wife.

    Simply can’t wait for this… Spring 2014!!!!!

  6. Jon: I wish I posted more too! Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! I can see the enthusiasm jumping off your comment! Of course there will be some kinks to work out, but you won’t be working anymore, how bad can that be, right?

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