From the desk of Lori Aufderhar, Summit’s Director of Operations/Retirement Coach:
Are you a retiree who says, “I have nothing to do and all day to do it”? I’ve heard this many times from retirees. When I hear this, it’s often said when they don’t mind waiting, whether at the doctor’s office or in line at the store. Maybe they’ve factored in extra time, or maybe they just don’t have that much going on.
When we don’t have that much going on, we can lose our sense of purpose. When we lose purpose in our lives, boredom can set in. Lack of purpose creates time filling activities that can be harmful, like going to the casino too often. “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” – with nothing to do and no purpose to fill retirees can fall into the trap of overdrinking or overeating. Recreational spending can increase, which increases clutter and depletes funds that could be used for more purposeful pursuits. And then there’s the television trap, which creates too much sitting and isolation.
Having a sense of purpose gives us reason to get up in the morning. I think of those who have a regular gym time and meet for coffee at the club right afterwards. Those with a sense of purpose tend to sleep better and worry less.
What about during the holidays? Can you give the gift of time by volunteering? Many opportunities are available this time of year at food shelves, in the malls wrapping gifts for organizations, and churches that have multiple functions they want filled. Maybe you don’t go shopping anymore – yet you have time on your hands and can give the gift of time, plus get the benefit of getting out of the house and socializing.
What about baking those special holiday cookies everyone loves and bringing those to family dinners or wrapping them up as gifts for neighbors? What about visiting your neighbors and give the gift of conversation with the cookies you’re delivering?
What about baking that great Minnesota hot dish you are famous for and sharing that with someone who may not have time to cook right now? What about the gift of babysitting for the overtaxed parents in your life? They might want a date night or time away to shop without the kids. Give the gifts of love and service and time, and enjoy the gifts of appreciation you receive back.