With newfound time and a financial cushion (hopefully) accounted for, what possibilities does retirement hold for your wellbeing? How can you invest your freed up attention into emotional fulfillment? One strategy is to rediscover old passions.
What did you enjoy as a child? Or as a 20-something? Or a few years ago?
Life has a way of knocking us off-track, making us forget about all the possibilities we once imagined. Over time, have there been any parts of your burgeoning identity that didn’t get nurtured in the moment? Time to rediscover and nurture them now!
Passion for giving back
According to Ageing Better UK, “regular volunteering (particularly informal) is more common in older age groups. Both formal and informal volunteering peak in the 65-74-year age group.” If you always wanted to “give back” but never got the chance, now is a great opportunity.
What skills do you have, and how can you use them to uplift others?
- Compassion and listening: hospice volunteer work, participating in peer support
- Botanical or wildlife knowledge: lead community nature walks
- Advocacy or nonprofit experience: consult for causes and organizations that you care about
- Patience and time: volunteer at a local school, usher at a theater or music venue
Passion for creating
Many creative activities are COVID-safe and purpose-driven: perfect to combat existential dread that may drift your way post-retirement.
- Document family history.
- Learn an artistic skill online.
- Create a blog based on your local adventures.
- Make music.
- Compile your favorite recipes into a personal cookbook.
- Try growing your own food.
If you’re savvy, creating can even become a side-hustle that offsets financial anxieties.
Passion for self-care
Anything from savoring a daily mindfulness routine, to planning adventures for yourself, to finding exercise that makes you feel joyful. It’s all fair game, and it’s all worthwhile.
Passion for community
Later life is a perfect time to rediscover your passion for community, itself. Check in regularly with friends. Plan theme parties and start current event clubs. Orchestrate COVID-safe potluck exchanges. Organize group excursions. Send birthday care packages.
Some people find that their passion is being the ultimate cheerleader for those they hold dear, and later life can lend itself very well to that goal!
Not sure what would bring you a sense of passion post-retirement?
If you haven’t had time or space to explore your passions for many years, you might naturally struggle to sense what you actually enjoy.
Try a self-exploration exercise like the one found in the worksheet download below.
Alternatively, consider talking it out with people who have been in a similar situation. Peer-to-peer support can be an invaluable resource to find suggestions gleaned through lived experience.
In the end, remember that you have to start somewhere–but you don’t have to stick with what you start with.
You don’t have to find the perfect hobby with which to spend your entire post-retirement era. Just commit to trying new things and giving yourself a chance at passionate fulfillment. You deserve it.