'Now that you are retired, what do you do all day?'
Seriously. I can’t remember being this busy in a really long time.
There are those dear, still hard-working friends and relatives (yeah, my kids) who may sneer just a bit when they call and I can’t talk because I am playing canasta or mahjong. I’ve been where they are…I like where I am now. I do spend as much time as I can with my kids and grandchildren (they need me – and I need them, too).
So, us boomers, which also happens to be the name of our trivia group (I bet not many people can identify the largest poisonous snake), are involved in an amazing array of worthwhile activities. Our new pursuits range from athletics to sewing and everything in between (I can’t sew and am not very athletic, but I have time to do those things now if I want to).
Admittedly, some people retire and go back to work or start a new business. A friend who was a nuclear scientist pre-retirement now has a shop and makes beautiful wood furniture.
Most of us are on a new road to personal growth.
Collectively, we play tennis, golf, pickle ball (it’s a thing), bike, swim (I actually do that), go fishing, ride around in golf carts (because we can), garden, shop, cook, take music lessons, sing, dance, walk the beach, go back to school, attend lectures, go boating, and join clubs, to name a few.
Clubs are very popular—book, fishing, biking, gourmet dinner and even breakfast clubs. People meet at various places and enjoy the camaraderie of coffee, eggs, and bagels first thing in the morning. We can shape our day any way we like.
I love my book club…there are 11 of us, and while our other interests may often be different, we all share a new journey each month. I discovered my voracious need to read when I was very young, and devoured every book I could get my hands on. By the way, Nancy Drew just had her 89th birthday, her adventures still sparking happy reading memories for many of us (I still have all of her books—my kids weren’t interested, so I’m hoping it skips a generation).
Religion is another area many retirees are pursuing in one way or another. Some have more time now to dive right in, or even look at different religious traditions and beliefs. Others are taking this opportunity to slow down on the organized part and look into more spiritual ways to satisfy that need or interest.
Volunteer work is something else that many of us are involved in. We work with children in schools, hospitals and we put in a great deal of effort to help our community to thrive. Some of us have therapy dogs and we give back through our work with them. My dog is very busy making a golf course in our back yard as we speak, but I have high hopes for her some day.
Speaking of dogs, because I can’t not do that… I have never seen so many dogs that are clones of their owners as I have on Daniel Island. According to Psychology Today, this is also a thing….it’s called “the mere exposure effect” and “simply put—we like things that are familiar.” I could pick out who belongs to that Havanese or Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in a heartbeat. We are retired and our kids are gone, so we don’t all have the family labs any more (although a lot of people still do of course, because they are the best animals on the planet.) But this is a big thing for us—we have the time to love and nurture our very own pet—one that is a mirror of our own features (without the age lines).
We campaign for various political candidates. The more intelligent ones among us don’t discuss our political leanings when we are in a group. Some of us are smarter than others.
We dine. We love to explore all of what Charleston has to offer and try the different cuisines that weren’t always suitable to serve to our picky children.
We travel…the world is our oyster, so to speak.
Yes, part of our routine includes more medical appointments, which contribute more to our cocktail and dinner conversations than we might like, but we do still party….and even though we might get more food stuck in our teeth than in the past, without our glasses, no one is the wiser.
Music—a perfect recording of our journey. We go to concerts, listen to the tunes that depict the history of Charleston, and when we need something to go back to our roots, we just call out “Alexa, play the Beatles, Rod Stewart, or whatever takes us back to high school, the halls of our dorm or any other special place.”
We learn as well as reminisce. I would be remiss in not mentioning one of our very most vital activities….we Google. Boomers are major Googlers. There is no piece of info that we can’t find at the tip of our tapping and texting fingers…and we stop in the middle of whatever we are doing in pursuit. We are not being rude when we have our noses to our phones or iPads—we are expanding our horizons in the hopes of sharing our newfound knowledge with our loved ones. Even when they feel they have to remind us to put down our phones at the dinner table.