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Senior Correspondent

Retirement is a time for exploring a variety of activities to discover which you most enjoy. Sure, you might well decide to stay with some of those activities which you enjoyed during your working years. But you should also try some new ones. For you never can tell—you might discover some new passion.

A friend of mine recently told me that he feels sorry for retirees who continue with those same old activities which they enjoyed during their working years. He suggests that retirees should “get outside of their comfort zone” to discover new and exciting pastimes.

Yes, I see his point. But I’m not so sure that each and every retiree should automatically change their interests and their activities just because they’ve retired. Sure, remain open to new activities, but don’t necessarily drop the old ones. In my own case, my retirement activities are a combination of those which I enjoyed during my working years, plus some new ones. 

For one, I still continue to be something of a news junkie. So I still spend time with the daily newspaper and a weekly news magazine. For another, I continue to enjoy cooking bar-be-que and baking bread. And I’m still into exercising at the health club. Plus hiking, bike riding and cross-country skiing.

As for new activities…since we’ve moved to a house in the country, I get to chop firewood and feed the wild birds. And (at my wife’s encouragement) I also do some gardening.

Come to think of it, since retiring, I’ve returned to a few activities which I used to enjoy many years ago. One of those activities is fly fishing. When I was a teenager, I fished on the Ausable River in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. But throughout my working years, I hardly fished at all. Then, about a year ago, my friend Gary, an avid fly fisherman, kind of “dragged me” back into the sport. I use the term, “dragged me” because I returned to fly fishing kind of reluctantly. For a year ago, I wasn’t sure that I really wanted to get back into the sport. But before too long, I discovered that the more I fished, the more I enjoyed it. And that brings up an interesting point…

It seems to me that, each of us, upon retirement, needs to do a bit of “floundering around.” Kind of experimenting with this and that, until we figure out just how we’d like to spend this new chapter in our life—retirement.

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