Don’t Get Bored. Get A Hobby.
Boredom is a state of mind. All it takes is a change of perspective and mindset.
By Julian Mokhtar
Living life well beyond the 60th year is attainable by keeping up with adequate and suitable physical and mental stimulation.
Retirement as a finishing goal has become tradition for most modern humans. People will plan, scrimp, and save up for it, even setting the age for when this goal will be achieved by. Akin to the innocent anticipation for the end of the school year felt in childhood, where all exams for the year would be over and what awaited them were either a long holiday of travel or leisure time. Whatever you wanted, really. But, just as with the longest holiday of the school year, there would be a honeymoon beginning of elated joy, of feeling unshackled from the regime of a timetable, and the obligations and demands of working adult life. The humdrum and mundanity inevitably arrive, and by this time one may have become all vacationed out, having done absolutely anything they have always wanted to do “when they finally had the time”. They also may have lost touch with some of their friends, having put themselves in a state of accidental self-isolation and the horror of having nothing enjoyable to do. What comes next naturally, is boredom. Which commonly brings about a lack of motivation, that leads to a stagnation of the mind and body, that is usually accompanied by a confusion and/or loss of oneself and their sense of purpose. The amalgamation of all these are the makes of a trauma-less depression, that of course will cause one to arrive at poor health, that eventually results in an overall deterioration of the person. Things don’t have to play out this way. Attitudes and approaches towards aging and retirement have been and are continuing to evolve over time, and the expectation of a life ceasing to be lived with liveliness come the 60th year of life is thankfully and swiftly replaced and debunked by the many living examples around our world today. The mass realisation through proven research and public education that living life well still continues beyond the 60th year is attainable for everyone by keeping up with adequate and suitable physical and mental stimulation. These are those keys to keeping one’s health and sense of fulfillment. Taking on as many enjoyable hobbies as one can manage are an excellent way to keep the mind active, engaged, and growing. Even something as simple-looking as gardening involves planning, problem solving, and creativity, and this helps keep the mind stimulated. Learning new skills, techniques, and knowledge stimulates the thinking process, and the resulting feeling of pleasure and satisfaction in the form of dopamine quite literally gives us ‘something to live for’. Of course, getting physical has proven very beneficial as well, whether its fine hand movements required in model building or painting with a variety of art medium, or using the entirety of the human body in activities like dancing, hiking, or cooking. No hobby is off limits (unless there are negative effects!). Some of us may have played with toy trains as children, and for some that has turned them into lifelong enthusiasts, going from Thomas the Tank Engine toy sets to creating detailed and life-like model railways. An unexpected member of this club would be the singer Rod Stewart (or Sir Rod, beg your pardon). The 77-year-old spent 26 years building a stunningly detailed and realistic looking model railway system. This was further completed with an entire recreation of a 1940s American city with tall buildings, factories, and streets with vintage cars. It takes up 1,500 square feet, which is about the size of a 3-bedroom condo unit.
Whatever hobbies you take up, the main thing is to keep doing, learning and taking pride and pleasure in what you can produce and achieve.
If you already enjoy gardening you might consider beekeeping as another hobby. The two go naturally together as bees pollinate flowering plants and trees, with the added benefit of harvesting your own fresh honey as well. Geocaching is a fairly new but very interesting activity for the outdoors person. Think of it like a treasure hunt, and you basically download a geocaching app that gives you a set of GPS directions to find the cache. Once found, you can take a photo if it’s stated that you’re not allowed to keep it, or if you are, you could take it but must replace it with an item of similar value. If you’re handy or like to do-it-yourself (DIY), you could take up woodworking or metalworking. If you don’t have the space or budget to set up a workshop, you can still make small items using hand tools or with anything you already have at home. Similarly, with a small work space you could also take up leather crafting. There are lots of other possibilities for interesting hobbies. For some people a hobby can turn into a business or a second career. Whatever it is, the main thing is to keep doing, learning and taking pride and pleasure in what you can produce and achieve, and at the end of the day, how it makes you feel about yourself.