What are your favorite Retirement Hobbies? Let me tell you about some of my favorite retirement pastimes.
In September 2007 I enrolled in a 20 week
refresher course in Conversational Irish at University College Cork. Many of my
generation were alienated towards the Irish language, because it was compulsory
to learn it in school, where it was often taught in an ineffective and harsh
I attended an Irish speaking school, The North Monastery, and thanks to some enlightened teachers, I developed a lifelong interest in the Irish language. I was a fluent Irish speaker when I completed my secondary education in 1964.
Also, I spent several summer holidays in Irish speaking Gaeltacht areas, where I experienced it as a living language and appreciated Gaeilge as an important part of our cultural identity, as expressed in music, stories and dance. (You may like to read my story Transitions, or the Irish version Aistrithe, about my last holiday in the West Cork Gaeltacht of Coolea.)
English is the everyday language of Ireland, even in the Gaeltacht areas, so I have had very few opportunities to speak Irish since leaving school.
I’m telling you this story for two reasons. First as an example of a retirement hobby,
and secondly because of my interest in lifelong learning.
Participating in this course has brought me in contact with a new "tribe" and learning community. I use the word tribe deliberately to describe a social grouping, which comes together for a common purpose, and who share a common interest. How many tribes do you belong to?
I'm a Toastmaster, a golfer, a hill walker, a Rotarian and an Irish speaker, for example. In each of those roles I may be perceived as having a different identity.
I got the gift of a love of learning from my
parents, some teachers and mentors. And it is a gift, because those who love
learning are more likely to persevere and receive positive feedback from tutors
and peers. I like learning new skills, even though it can be challenging and
frustrating to gain mastery. Learning keeps me young at heart, because I
associate learning with being young, and it has positive health benefits
including delaying cognitive decline.
Is there something you would like to learn, or refresh - a sport, a language, dancing, or music? Maybe you are hesitant to try because you’ve heard that "you can't teach and old dog new tricks." It's true that learning to do new things is more difficult as you get older, because it's harder to break habits and let go of the old way of doing things.
Prior to my early fifties, all my writing was done with paper and pencil. At work I would write out a memo or letter and give it to a typist. This was a tedious process, especially for the secretary, who had to interpret my script. Tedious but comfortable, it was a long standing habit.
When I first started to use a Personal Computer,
about ten years ago, I found that it created a barrier that made my creative
writing difficult. But I persevered and now I would find it unthinkable to return
to the old way. The word processor has added greatly to my efficiency and to my
enjoyment of writing. It makes rewriting and reorganizing so easy. I’m sure
glad I learnt that "new trick"!
We are all born learners and learning is easy under certain conditions. Let me use my conversational Irish course as an example:
If there is something important to you that you would like to learn, or a skill you would like to develop, I suggest you find a suitable coach/tutor, locate a learning environment of supportive peers, believe that you can - and enjoy yourself!
Scuba diving is an exciting retirement hobby scuba, to keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. Age need not be a barrier to senior scuba diving.
Be inspired to play the guitar, let Gerald Crawford guide you step by step through this satisfying retirement hobby, by studying over the internet, or with a self help guide.
Hill walking or hiking is a popular pastime for the over fifties. It combines mindfulness and socializing in interesting ways, and it takes you to remote beautiful places-away from the madding crowd.
Creative Writing is my own Retirement Hobby of choice - and it also seems to be
true for many readers of Retirement Stories.
Retirement Golf: Golf is an excellent retirement hobby for individuals and for couples. But be warned! You've got to get involved long before you retire, to pre test your assumptions about its benefits as a retirement hobby.
Gardening is a popular retirement hobby. It combines exercise, an appreciation for beauty, sometimes great food. Have a look at this guest article on the Retirement Hobby of Gardening by Regina Kessler it may inspire you to get your hands dirty!
Singing for active older adults is a joyful healthy retirement
Singing for seniors is great retirement hobby, regardless of your ability; it’s good for your health and fosters friendships.