Are you busy or bored? | Eastern North Carolina Now

Color me busy. Before I retired, I kept encountering articles about the dangers of being at loose ends in retirement with too much time on your hands.

    Publisher's note: Please join me in welcoming our newest contributor to BCN, Kathy Manos Penn, a native of the "Big Apple", by way of the "Peach City" - Atlanta. Kathy, a former English teacher, authors The Ink Penn blog and is now happily retired from a corporate career in communications.

Kathy Manos Penn
    Color me busy. Before I retired, I kept encountering articles about the dangers of being at loose ends in retirement with too much time on your hands. Conversely, I'd speak to folks who'd say, "Oh, you'll be busier than you are now." Guess which contingent was right?

    It's a rare day I don't have a list of things to accomplish. They may not all be exciting or noteworthy, but they are time-consuming. I can count on one hand the days I haven't had at least one thing I needed to get done, and when I have one of those days, I think to myself, "Gee, I may actually get to sit down and read a book in the middle of the day." So far, reading novels still mostly happens at night.

    If you're not one of those retirees who told me how busy I'd be, you may be wondering just what fills my time. Lots of things. I do lunch with friends. I still work out at Gold's Gym and Infinity Yoga, and it's been a plus to ride bicycles with my husband on weekdays when the Greenway's not crowded. Going to a movie on a weekday afternoon is also a treat.

    When I worked, I didn't read the morning paper until the evenings, but now I read it with my coffee, check my news feeds and emails, and play a few rounds of Words with Friends. If I don't have errands to run, I head upstairs to my office to do some writing for the Crier, my blog or I've even started pulling together a collection of my columns with the goal of having it published in time for the holiday season. And I still edit the occasional article for my former manager and provide feedback here and there for others I used to work with. And naps, let's not forget the joy of taking an afternoon nap.

    One of my retired girlfriends is delighted to have a playmate and has a list of outings she wants us to take here in the Atlanta area. We've already visited two of the three historic homes in Roswell, spent a morning on Chamblee's antique row, and have the Swann House on our list.

    Add to those fun activities all of the chores I've been putting off until I had time and my days are full up. I've accomplished a few things on my "I'll get to it someday list" and still have plenty to go. Simple things like taking a lamp to the repair shop, rearranging my office, getting the office painted, and pictures hung, and filling five bags with books for the Friends of the Dunwoody Library combine to fill the time.

    I enjoy not having a "Must Do" list but instead a list I can pick and choose from as the mood strikes. I've gone through two rooms gathering knickknacks I don't know why I had and taking them to Southern Comforts Consignment and Furkids Thrift Shop. I plopped down in front of my cookbooks one day and purged that collection, and I was inspired to clean out yet another file cabinet when I read about a shredding day at a local real estate office.

    September and October promise to be busy travel months for us, and then the holidays will be here. With that schedule, I can't see boredom setting in anytime soon. Maybe next year. Then again, maybe not.
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( September 25th, 2016 @ 1:58 pm )
Very interesting. Workaholics need to add some hobbies before retirement.

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