Hobbies & Your Retirement Lifestyle: A Path to Self-Discovery (Part 2)



Self-reinvention is a major payoff during our retirement years. The process can help us realize a deaf truth about ourselves leading to self-discovery. One of the sure ways we can accomplish the precedent, is through hobbies. They can create an invigorated sense of purpose during your retirement years. The hobbies that you participate in can certainly offer you some distinct advantages.

As a continuation of my last article I would like to make some positive suggestions for ways to discover your passions during our best years.


Cooking is a great hobby when you consider the benefits that people derive from it. The happiness and the sense of relaxation that one experiences from following a recipe in a cookbook is a very satisfying experience. If you really enjoy cooking, as does my wife, it will definitely put you at ease. There is almost something meditative about it. You can readily feel some relief from everyday problems.

In an effort to enhance the learning process, consider the following resources:

• cooking shows on TV
• culinary magazines
• local cooking classes
• websites and blogs devoted to cooking

In terms of local cooking classes there are several options available.

Many senior centers, local recreation departments, community schools, and universities offer classes. Most often, these schools offer adult education. Check your local municipal websites. You may also want to log onto local cooking classes. The site offers a variety of cooking classes from its knowledge base of schools and organizations from many locations around the country. A clickable map allows you to choose your location.

You will also find a variety of classes available at many culinary stores. For example, a new monthly lineup of sessions is featured at many Williams-Sonoma stores. In addition, you can call your natural grocer to inquire about cooking classes. Whole Foods offers affordable opportunities. You can still do an online search for local cooking stores.

Be sure to contact your local YMCA for available classes.

If you are interested in taking online classes I suggest that you begin your search by checking the resources at Distancelearn. The online course offers are all free.

The Epicurious Online Cooking School offers courses that are designed to give you detailed instruction on specific cuisines. So, you can master techniques in Mexican, Italian, and Mediterranean cooking.

There are also a great many cooking blogs available to you. These blogs are a great place to find great food advice, cooking instruction, kitchen gear reviews, recipes, and general food news. Simply do a food blog search to begin the process. You will find blogs for beginners, healthy cooking techniques, and even cooking blogs for Boomers.

Continue to Learn

Similar in nature to other hobbies, learning affords you the opportunity to do something you enjoy. With the variety of choices available to you, it is also rewarding. Learning activities really allow you to pursue your current interests, or, assist you in the development of new interests. At the same time, you are acquiring new skills and knowledge, which can be used in every aspect of your life. And, that knowledge can stay with you along with the ability to teach yourself new things.

If you ever plan on traveling, that may be the motivation you need to learn the basics of a new language. Additionally, this is a great way to enhance the learning process. And, you can do so frugally, especially if you explore local community services, as previously mentioned. In particular, check reference materials available at your library.

Why not considering taking courses to learn more? And, those courses can be artistic or for academic purposes. If you are a senior, there are many free course offerings available to you online. I suggest that you begin your exploration at Open Culture. They offer a plethora of free cultural and educational media. In addition, be certain to check out Distancelearn once again. The site presents detailed information about free online courses in a variety of hobby areas. The Great Courses offers more than 390 courses in a variety of subjects including history, science, philosophy, mathematics, literature, economics, business, religion, professional and the arts. If you are looking to travel and learn something new, by all means check out Road Scholar. They offer 6500 educational tours in all 50 states and 150 countries. Many of the instructors are local, restructured experts. This non-profit organization attempts to inspire adults to learn. Programs include:

• crafts
• birding
• arts
• food and wine
• history
• music
• Photography
• science
• theater

The website offers an excellent search mechanism.

Working as a Hobby

Certainly, medical experts agree that being active during our "third age" is a good thing. Indeed, it does promote better health. But, is continuing to work considered to be a way to promote good health? New studies indicate that both part-time and full-time work are beneficial after retirement.

If you have something that you really enjoy doing in your spare time, sometimes that activity could be turned into a freelance business. So, if you love gardening, taking care of animals, dancing, or hiking, those are possibilities.

A Photography hobby can create another source of income. If you enjoy taking pictures outdoors, go around to offices and museums and libraries in an effort to create an interest in your work.

Perhaps you have always wanted to write. When I retired after completing 33 years as a public school teacher, writing became one of my passions. Here, 6 books later I am still passionate! Look into the possibilities of freelance writing for your local newspaper or websites that specialize in something that interests you. Bear on mind that there are lots of community news publications that welcome local authors.

By the way, if you have an expertise in a particular sport, you may want to consider coaching as a way to supplement your income. Coaching will keep you connected to something you love as well as allowing you to pass along knowledge to others.

In the third article of this series I will discuss additional suggestions for hobbies you can continue pursue during your retirement years.



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