For Retirees: Here Are Some Things to Do
Enjoy Golf With Your Friends
Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
When I run into people who are down, and feeling a little blue I always tell them a truism I learned long ago: No matter how bad things are, they can always get worse.
Or, when they tell me their troubles, I never fail to remind them that no matter how bad off they may be, there's always someone who is worse off.
So I was particularly taken aback this week when a fellow worker who is about to retire told me of his growing angst about leaving the work-a-day grind at The Hour (newspaper).
It's hard for me to imagine the depth of his problem: What to do with all the hours and days to come?
Personally, I haven't quite reached retirement age, but I can appreciate at least part of the stress it brings. Any mention of retirement in my home brings this reaction from our spouse: "I'm not going to look at you sitting on the couch all day watching television."
But my co-worker's problem has a serious aspect to it. While it's not exactly in the same category as awaiting a triple bypass or facing the prospect of entering a nursing home, it can't be entirely ignored. After all, everybody has to do something!
Things To Do
To try to be helpful to my apprehensive friend, I told him I'd make up a list of things to do he might want to consider. I didn't think it would be much trouble because, although I find a certain amount of satisfaction in my work, I've been looking forward to retiring since I took leave of the U.S. Army in 1957.
There are a few things I might have mentioned, but I was forewarned against anything that looks like a chore, such as cleaning up the attic or the backyard.
Since my friend Bill Landers is a war veteran, and a former prisoner of war, I've already suggested he might want to volunteer some time with the local, state and national veterans' organizations.
How About Golf?
But, getting to the really hard part now, I can think of several workable solutions to his problem. He might learn, for instance, to play golf. Golf not only takes up a great deal of time, it offers a personal challenge at least equal to that of employment in the business world.
Not to mention tennis, bowling, swimming, jogging, weightlifting and, for the less physical types, walking!
For the even less vigorous types, a whole lot of time can be spent as a sports fan -- attending baseball, football, hockey or basketball games. And, anyone who has visited the local Off-track Betting Parlor, Milford Jai Alai or the Shoreline dog track notices immediately that many older, obviously retired men and women, like the gambling action and spend much of their time betting on their favorites.
Here's Some Things To Do
Here are a few things anyone can do: Go to tag sales, flea markets, auto shows, beaches or parks, visit museums, nearby tourist areas (when's the last time you went to the Maritime Center) or take a ride on a railroad. There are innumerable short trips that would fill anyone's time gracefully, such as a visit to a trolley museum.
But, if you not only want to choose to spend your time wisely, but also want to be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem, you can always donate your time, talent and efforts to charity.
And your local political party would be more than delighted to see if you know how to address and stamp envelopes.
I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on April 13, 1996.