It’s a commonly held belief that nothing new will happen unless you choose new things. Explore all the things that interest you, advised two of my retired friends. (Wisdom from others who have been on this journey for 10+ years.) But how do I find those things and how do I motivate myself to explore them?
It turns out that it’s quite easy to find new things, especially on social media – just scrolling through until new ideas or images catch my attention. The pitfall? Hours lost watching a lot of meaningless but very cute animal videos and I’m no further ahead finding meaningful passions.
Of all the social media that I’ve used, I’ve found Youtube to be the most useful in developing new ideas. The longer format and the ability to stop and start videos while practising, allowed me to learn how to crochet: a new passion. However, it only works for me if I have the idea first and use Youtube to explore it.
Where do I get my ideas?
- listening to CBC radio chat shows
- browsing through areas of the newspaper that interest me (arts and culture)
- being willing to try new things that friends introduce me to (Gelli prints, anyone?)
- listening to podcasts that others have recommended or that are about topics of interest
Silence, talking and journaling have also been useful in finding new passions. It’s amazing what comes to mind when I sit in silence and drink tea, watch the snow fall or go for a walk. These ideas and interests were buried by the busyness of my working life and now I’m trying to give them space to pop up. Chatting with others also helps me, when I have an idea but need help to really pin down what part of it interests me. If you have someone in your life that is a good listener, meet them for coffee. Journaling, or talking-to-myself-on-paper, is something I resisted until now. This blog is a new thing and a tool for me.
It’s My “Work” Now
Where does the motivation come from to try these new things? It’s my “work” now. When I’m trying these things, my anxiety simmers down and I feel happier. It gives my retired life purpose for now. I feel truly fortunate to have retired friends who are my mentors and encourage me to explore possibilities.
Resources To Try:
- One of my mentors in retirement recently recommended Julia Cameron’s It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again.
I look forward to reading it.