So What Do You Do All Day? remains the most popular blog post over the last few years. I think people are fascinated by how retired folks fill their days, maybe hoping to find new ideas. Certainly I found myself spending extra time in the section of my new book, Living a Satisfying Retirement, that details what the respondents do to stay busy. The variety of activities and interests is really something.
To be honest, though, there is a part of my day that I struggle to fill productively: evenings. After I first retired I would watch baseball games most nights, not because I really cared how the Diamondbacks did, but the game filled three hours. After having all but basic cable pulled from our house I found myself reading for a few hours each night, killing time with silly make-do jobs, and going to bed rather early.
Now, I am doing a little better in using the time from dinner until bed in a positive way. I don't have to be "productive" in the sense that I must necessarily complete a task or accomplish something. There is nothing wrong with purely relaxing with my wife, listening to music CDs, or watching something on Netflix or from Redbox. But, I do catch myself watching too many movies or writing a blog post just to fill the time.
There are a few activities on my "what to do when I don't want to watch a movie" list. As a fan of the the Great Courses from the Teaching Company I always have at least one set of audio CD's to listen to. At the moment I am finishing up Turning Points in Modern History with Beethoven's Greatest Symphonies waiting on my shelf.
There are a few radio shows that I have found on the Internet that I listen to on a regular basis. One that I particularly enjoy is Celtic Heartbeat from BCC Radio Wales. Featuring folk music and Celtic artists, the music is entertaining and different from my normal fare. The once a week program is available on line for a week after the original show airs. Another outlet I like to check for its eclectic approach is the community radio station in Bisbee, Arizona. Staffed by local residents, some are rather professional-sounding while others are definitely not. That, along their interesting music choices, is what makes listening fun.
I have begun work on a re-write of a travel book I finished a few years ago. Using some out-of-the-way or lesser known locations around Arizona, the book needs freshening and some new pictures. Our RV seems like the perfect vehicle to take us all over the state as I work to get the book publish-ready sometime next year.
Some evenings I will spend an hour going through a blogging improvement course. This is my third time through all 31 lessons, but I generally learn something new each time. Then, I may pick up the guitar and play some songs for my own enjoyment or just to annoy the dog (!).
So, that is generally it. The point of this post is actually somewhat selfish. I am really hoping you will have some feedback on how you spend your evenings that I can latch onto. Because we tend to eat dinner early, I have between four and five hours each evening open for something. That is a substantial chunk of time.
Help me, and others, make the most if it. Tell us what you do after dinner and before bed?