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Preparation for Later Life
Four Important Pastimes During Retirement - Part 1

Four Important Pastimes During Retirement - Part 1

They say the problem with retirement is that you never get a day off. While in work you may have spent the little time you had free, whether on the weekend or otherwise, dealing with family commitments, simply just resting or even catching up with work or getting a head start on the week ahead. The risk during retirement is that one simply finds oneself with too much free time - time that you don’t know how best to fill. On top of this, it seems that a mix of work alongside play makes one appreciate both more. Some spare time it is almost like a treat, unlimited spare time when you have no or few pressing commitments can get tiring quickly. Just imagine your favourite meal - you enjoy it maybe once a week or month. The prospect of being faced with it day in, day out quickly becomes less appealing. So this is why it is important to have ‘more items on the menu’.

The article will be split into two parts, each focusing on two important common retirement pastimes or activities.
Presumably the first idea on the list will surprise you, not being so much of a ‘past time’ but more commonly described as a chore. It is simply this, maintaining your home. Maintaining your home comprises of a wide range of ‘activities’, keeping on top of the dishes, clothes, hoovering, organising your house (this can be as broad as moving furniture to where you want it or ensuring your files or books are kept neat and in the correct order), general day-to-day maintenance, making the most of your space (whether for cooking, eating, reading, entertaining guests etc.) and just keeping it looking clean, smart and nicely decorated. Now, before you stop reading, I would like to make four points to support my argument. 
One, this is actually very important in the short term and the long term. Keeping independent, managing your time and being in a pleasant surrounding that can relax you. The affect it can have on your mental well-being can be a catalyst for positivity in other aspects of your life. Two, these tasks can actually be enjoyable. It might not seem like it but you can get caught up in some of these seemingly repetitive jobs, but in an oddly calming or at least distracting way. I would argue that often it is the thought of these tasks that is unpleasant and not always the task itself. Plus, the more it piles up, the more you dread it. You may even find yourself after a short time looking forward to maintaining and beautifying your environment. Three, as mentioned before, it is valuable to have a good work/play balance, and doing these chores daily may let you enjoy your downtime more knowing you accomplished something useful. Fourth, you want your home to be a place to look forward to coming back to at the end of the day if you have been out or away for some reason. To paraphrase that famous saying, a person’s home is their castle.
The second aspect you need to bear in mind when retiring is the significance of socialising. After leaving work, it can be easy to lose touch with people and find yourself quite alone, especially during the day if you live by yourself or if your spouse still works. Socialising can sometimes give you a very positive physical and mental boost, a boost that you would hope would have a ripple effect throughout the rest of your day or even the subsequent days after.
If they are nearby, family is a great place to start when looking to spend more time around people. Perhaps you have some younger grandchildren who you can offer to look after and enjoy each other’s company. If they are a bit older and in school, you could pick them up or they could even make their way to yours instead of going straight home. You get the opportunity to spend some quality time with them when perhaps when you were working you only saw them in a larger group of people so couldn’t have that more personal time chatting and playing. Also of course, if your own children live closely too and are either not currently in work or have days off, many retirees happily make the effort to meet with them or host them, setting a date aside maybe once a week, or even more often. This can be on top of getting to see the whole family together too, whether at lunches or social events, if you have that benefit of them being near. 
Either way, but maybe more importantly if family are not close at hand, staying in close contact with friends can reap many benefits. Some friends may be in work and some not. Those who are you can work around their schedule and those who aren’t may really appreciate getting a chance themselves to have someone to spend some time with during the week. Rather than seeing retirement as a negative when it comes to socialising, it can be a positive as you have a lot more time to make the most of the friendships you already have, and even present yourself with the option of making new ones. 
Of course it isn’t always the case that all your friends or family are living near to you, but it is  vital, as mentioned in a previous article, to stay in touch with them using the tools you have at your disposal. Whether it be through Skype, Facetime, texting (or WhatsApp), social media, email, simply calling them or even taking the time out to start a written correspondence with them, receiving a letter can sometimes be a lot more enjoyable than just a text, but both are good. 
End of Part One.
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