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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Hobbyist

Most people remember childhood as a particularly fertile period for hobbies.  Before they were introduced to career and family responsibilities, they collected stamps, coins, matchbooks, or model airplanes, and they experienced a flush of excitement each time they the added to their collections or spent blissful Saturday mornings reorganizing them.
   If you've lead a busy life, chances are that you haven't dusted off your old collections in years.  Retirement is a great time to return to the hobbies of your youth--or launch new endeavors. 

Hobbies can involve almost any activity that you pursue in a repetitive or comprehensive way, and you can structure hobbies to your needs and preferences.  Reading, for example can be a rewarding hobby; it you regard that as too passive, you can satisfy your interest in literature by collecting signed first additions of your favourite books.  Regular exercise is a healthy hobby--but if you find an exercise regimen to taxing, supporting your favourite teams can get you involved in sports in a less demanding way. Once you determine the area of interest, it's easy to find an approach the works for you.

One thing to keep in mind as you visit or create hobbies--these pursuits often carry a price tag.  Daily workshops may require purchase of  exercise equipment or membership in a fitness center. Becoming a diehard sports fan may involve the purchase of game tickets, as well as travel and parking costs at sporting arenas.  If your hobby involves renovating cars or other types of equipment, you may have to lay money for parts.  In some cases however hobbies can lead to moneymaking ventures.

Remember to add a line in your retirement budget for hobby costs. Your hobbies don't have to generate revenue for you--creative engagement is the principle purpose here--but if they do, so much the better.

This material  comes from THE DON"T SWEAT GUIDE TO RETIREMENT  ISBN 0-7868-9055-X
Richard Carlson, the author can be visited on his website

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Analyzing Retirement

 The material for this post was gathered from The Don't Sweat Guide to Retirement.     Give Yourself A Retirement Stress Test tells us doing this will help us adjust to being away from work.

Wait until you've settled into your retirement, and then ask yourself this series of questions:

1.  Do I look forward to each day?
2. Am I accomplishing the retirement goals that I established for myself?
3. Do I take the initiative of planning activities with friends?
4. Am I broadening my understanding capabilities, and experience?

Don't take to long to administer your exam.  The sooner  you address stress, the happier your retirement will be

ISBN  0-7868- 9055-X  (Visit Richard Carlson at his website:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Reynold's Meditation

A technique I use when I wish to experience the "here and now" is the verbal phrase "What is this?.”  [“This” means everything in this moment” ]
It makes me stop mental rambling and focus more tightly on what is in front of me both mentally and physically. [It detaches you from metal specifics and you can see the ‘Whole’] I can then go easier into mental control [does this mean widening your view of the moment?] over "this moment". 
Something I have found helps too is to realize that time is really not linear, but an event that is infinite.  [This idea is expressed in other works that I am reading]
I then realize that any portion of time..a second, a minute, or a "moment" is, in and of itself, infinite.  I cannot see either end of eternity [my readings suggest there are no “ends”,] but I can more easily see "all of everything, everywhere" as a moment..not "moment in time" but a "moment in realization". [This is alluded to in a number of the sources I have ]
I guess I am trying to see time as a bubble..a bubble where all the parts touch all the other parts all the time.  Then I try to "see" that bubble. [are you inside the bubble?   Perhaps it is easier to look at it as a bubble than eternity ]
[what do you think of sitting or walking meditaition?
[what do you think of paying attention to your breathing?]
[When I am not doing something like driving, I can briefly look at the “world around me” like I imagine Ella my cat see’s things, she sees the same things I see but there are no labels and no conceptual “meaning”]
Paying attention to my breathing is a key focus. It is always there

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Produced: The only sound[1] A Scenario

It is half past eleven in an old people’s home.  The morning drinks have been taken and the cups collected.  In a small lounge with fire doors at each end, ten old ladies are sitting quietly along two walls.  Some are staring ahead of them and some appear to be dozing.  Through one of the fire doors comes a member of the staff caring a small suitcase.  Behind her is a thin old man holding his hat in front of him with both hands.  In the room she turns, asks him to sit in the vacant chair, places a suitcase in front of him and then goes out the other door.  The old man is dressed in a dark suit with a white shirt, dark tie, and polished black shoes.  The suit is cut in very old style and has been carefully pressed which makes him look as so he is on his way to a Sunday service or a funeral.  He holds the hat very tightly in his lap and his hands are shaking.  Some of the old ladies glance at him then look away.  After several minutes of silence another staff member comes in carrying a piece of paper and a pen, reads an address to him, and asks if that is the correct address of his next of kin.  He clears his throat and says it is. After she is gone he sits forward stiffly in the chair, gazing at the floor in front of his suitcase.  Ten minutes elapse.  The first member of the staff returns with a cup of tea and asks him if he would like sugar.  He shakes his head.  She hands him the cup of tea and then departs again.  And as he sits holding his hat, and the cup, the shaking of his hand makes the cup rattle loudly.  It is the only sound.  He sips quickly at the ten.  Before, he can finish; the staff member returns again, says that his room is ready, picks up his suitcase and goes through the door holding it open for him.  He rises quickly to his feet, holding his hat and half finished cup of tea and looks around.  There are no tables in the room and he balances the cup on the window ledge behind the seat, before hurrying out of the room.  The old ladies who have looked up at his departure return their gaze to the wall and floor.  Now can you see the imbalance of power in the relationship between provider and recipient in an institutional setting and to the experience of being admitted as a recipient of service?

[1]  19 years ago Bill Bytheway produced the book Ageism: Rethinking Ageism. The above story is in the book ISBN 0-335-19175-4.  It is inside chapter 6.  I am interested in reading what you think.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More About Retirement Wisdm

About Retirement Wisdom[1]

Forget how old you are—This becomes more important the older you get.

“ In a study reported in the August 2002 issue of the Journal of personality and Social Psychology researchers claim that elderly can actually think themselves in to the grave a lot faster than they would prefer.  Indeed people with negative views about aging shorten their lives by 7.6 years as compared with their counterparts who have a more positive view of life.   Surprisingly, a positive view about aging can have greater effect than good physical health.   The researchers, led by psychologist Becca Levy of Yale University reported “the effect of positive self-perceptions of aging on survival is greater than the physiological measures of low systolic blood pressure an cholesterol, each of which is associated with a longer lifespan of four years or less.   Our study carries tow messages,” concluded the researchers.  The discouraging one is that negative self-perception can diminish life expectancy.  The encouraging one is that positive self-perceptions can prolong life expectancy.   The lesson here is that you shouldn’t waste too much time and energy about getting older.
         “ There is a fountain of youth,” declared Sophia Loren. “It is your mind, your talents, the creativity that you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.  When you learn to tap this source you will truly defeated age.[2]

[1]  Material for this post was taken from:  How to Retire Happy Wild and Free  created by  Ernie, J. Zelinski  ISBN   0-9694194-5-7
[2]  I heartily recommend this book and I’m going to go now because I have just found and excellent source for a poem.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wisdom Questions

We are told that wisdom comes with age.  What do you think about the following questions? 

What is wisdom?
What does wisdom mean to you?
What brings happiness?
How have you overcome fear in your life?
Have had to deal with fear of failure in your life?
When do you do your best work?
What advice would you give for success?
What responsibilities do we have to the world?
Do you see yourself as a creative person? 
How do you express your creativity?
What do you think the world needs?
What is the biggest change you have had in your life?
What is the best way to resolve conflicts?
What are our main responsibilities as adults?
What are our responsibilities as citizens?
What do you think is society’s main problems?
What makes marriage successful?
What advice would you give parents?
What are the differences between parents and grandparents?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Volunteering As We Age

Yesterday, I spent  three and a half hours at the local Senior''s Centre. I have been a member of the Board for more than fifteen years. 

"Volunteering helps your health as well as the community.  Match your interest with the needs of a museum, school or other organization.  Volunteering fights depression by keeping you engaged, it gives you a sense of purpose and identity, which you might not be getting from a job.  Volunteering keeps you physically, helping you stay fit, fighting depression, and giving you more energy." 

This material is reported from "The hundred best ways to stop aging & stay youngISBN-10-:  1-59233-449-0