Find things to do.
Early on in your retirement think, about what you would like to put on your bucket list. Of course you don’t have to do everything in the first twelve months. You are retired, so this is not just another job! But don’t let your life pass by without thinking about the things you would really like to do or achieve. It’s too late when you are on your death bed and you wouldn’t want to die with regrets about what you never got around to doing!
Here’s about 20 things that could be on your list…
- Build a bird house or fish pond. You can find instructions on YouTube if you look. Write an article for retired blokes.com on how you did it and add a picture or two!
- Become an expert gardener. Learn the correct names of your plants by learning a new name every day or week. But before you learn a new one, recite all the one you have learned so far. Then walk around your garden telling your wife the names of each plant. If she isn’t interested, then you can tell the air!
- Become an expert bridge player. You may need to join a club but, you can learn the rules and strategies online. Just go to youtube.com and type playing bridge in the search bar at the top. There is lots of videos to learn from.
- Do the “Big Loop” around Australia – make sure you start heading north in early winter time to give you sufficient time in the tropics at reasonable temperatures. Send us some pictures or a story or two so we can share them here with everybody.
- Sail, backpack, walk or cycle around Australia or the world. You can choose a small Pacific island to begin and travel every road or track you can find. Take some pictures and send them to retired blokes.com.
- Enter ham radio competitions. There are many local amateur radio clubs all over Australia – some offer courses for beginners and all will offer advice and social contact. You can set yourself the task of finding a contact in every country, or find the contact that is furtherest away from you or you can enter into club organised contests. Entering gives you an opportunity to practice and develop your operating techniques, and to see how well your station is performing. There are worldwide contests too. Some are challenging contests and others are fun contests.
- Read 100 trashy novels or science fiction or whatever genre you like. If you haven’t joined your local library – begin there! Then just choose a book you haven’t read from a genre you have no experience of and see how it goes. Don’t forget to keep a log of what you read and when. You can download Kindle or Apple Books and that will give you access to eBooks. Many classics are actually free so maybe its time to begin with Treasure Island again!
- Fix up cars or motorcycles. There’s plenty of old cars in most families who can do with some attention. If not in your family, find a community group and there will be someone who needs help. You may need to start with a few old cars since the new ones have many computer controlled features which are beyond the skills of most people. But there are also many online help sites to help you work out which part of the software does what. Of course if you don’t know how engines work already, you may have to do some study first!
- Build a boat – not a sea going cruise ship – just a small one. I started with a plastic model but regretted not starting with balsa wood. It seems more like the real thing. Of course you may want to build something a bit larger. You can find plans by asking google for balsa wood boat plans.
- Research your family tree. There is another story on retiredblokes that gives information on beginning the process.
- Become a twitcher and look for birds. Search for different types you haven’t seen before. If you get interested in this, there is an app on the app store and plenty of groups around Australia to join. There is even a State wide twitching competition in late September in Queensland. Have a look at http://www.birdsqueensland.org.au/twitches.php
- Buy a telescope and get into amateur astronomy. You can start with a simple one but resist the urge to buy a very expensive one until you know more about what you are looking for. If, for example, you want to watch the moon go by and are content with that, you really don’t need a 12 inch mirror telescope with auto tracking. So start small and when you have worked out what you are doing, then look for something a bit better.
- Get adequate sleep – that probably starts with getting so much exercise you will fall asleep anywhere.
- Try a new type of food every week.
- Keep the house cleaner than ever before.
- Save the world – join a political party of your choice. Someone has to do it!
- Try and live as well as you can with as little money as possible for a year (or maybe the rest of your life!). This is a really good exercise to simply prove to yourself what things in life really matter.
- Go to the top of a building and throw away $1,000 in $10 bills. See if anybody says thank you! It’s really a test for you though!
- Spend the last day in your job speaking only the truth to all your client.
- Do a personality test (I like Meyer Briggs).
- Read as much as you can about your personality type – theres lots of information online or in books. I have a book called “Do What You Are” by Paul Tiger and Barbara Barron that takes each Myer Briggs personality type and explains what each type likes and doesn’t like. What sort of organisation suits them and the type of job they should look for. I have found it helpful in marriage counselling and reasonably accurate. Most people say “that explains who I am”.
- Become a human being instead of a human doing