The best part about retirement is having time to do all the things you’ve always wanted to try. From seeking out educational experiences to staying fit to making new friends, there’s no end to the possibilities! We have five suggestions, though, that might open you up to something you hadn’t considered before, or had forgotten you wanted to accomplish!
- The arts are not only a fun way to lean a new skill, but have huge therapeutic value as well. Consider taking up photography, whether that means learning your way around a digital SLR or picking a classic film camera back up. Not only will it be an interesting project as you get comfortable with the equipment, you’ll start to notice things about your surroundings you’d never considered before and get to share your perspective and your story with those around you.
- Take a class at a nearby university or community college. Maybe you wish you’d explored the works of Shakespeare more or didn’t have time for film studies when you got your degree after high school. Perhaps you were always curious about anthropology or sociology or want to learn a new language. Nearby colleges are a great way to explore all the subjects you want to understand better, and you’ll meet plenty of friendly new faces.
- Pickleball is a fun new sport that’s grown incredibly popular with seniors. A little like tennis or racquet ball, it’s less strenuous and involves a smaller court. It’s gotten to be such a trend that it’s appearing in communities across the country, including Birmingham’s own Mt. Laurel Basketball Courts.
- Memorizing a long work, whether it’s passages from a religious text or an epic like The Odyssey or Paradise Lost is a great way to exercise your mind and improve your memory function. It’s also an interesting way to explore a favorite work and a fun challenge to tackle regularly. There are many books and websites that can explain how to build a memory palace and approach retaining long strings of information. A trip to your local library could be a great place to start!
- Volunteering as a docent or usher is a fantastic way to stay involved in your local arts community and see some exciting performances and exhibits. Often you’ll learn something new about the work or production and have a change of scenery (pun intended). Talk to your town’s symphony, community theater, galleries, or museums to see what opportunities there are to help.