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REvolution in hobbies, habits?
Old 08-02-2014, 05:06 PM   #1
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REvolution in hobbies, habits?

As I approach my retirement date (only weeks away), I've come to a realization:

Some of the hobbies and habits I've developed over the years have served mostly as a counterbalance to my full-time work life.

The focus was on relaxing and de-stressing. Now that no counterbalance is needed, I can sense that some -- no matter how well established -- will drop off and others will arise. It'll be a REvolution!

In my case, I think I'll be watching less TV in the evenings and hibernating less on weekends -- and I'll be exploring the city more. I'll stop buying collectibles in areas of interest (this has already slowed down considerably) and enjoy what I have or downsize it.

If you're further down the early-retirement road, would you share if you had a similar experience, and if so, which hobbies and habits you dropped and which you added?
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:32 PM   #2
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Now retired, I'm averaging 1 beer a day compared to 3 when working, so home brewing has really dropped off. Aside from that, other hobbies of woodworking, photography, hiking,biking, and putzing around the house/yard have stayed the same or increased. TV and internet time has gone down, but should increase in the fall. Haven't added any new hobbies - barely have time to do any of my current hobbies it seems
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:41 PM   #3
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I like the question, but only a few months in, myself, so can't say too much. I did spend a bunch of time with arranging finances, health insurance, budgets, and stuff like that. Executed a plan to travel with my parents before they got too feeble. Just hanging around the house now because my daughter is home from college. That ends in a few weeks, and if I feel up to it, I'll figure out a little jaunt somewhere. I have a plan to visit the UK early in 2015. And have an extended family week at Christmastime.

I brew beer as a hobby, and that has stayed level since RE. I haven't gained any interest in the hobbies that had been waning before RE.
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by wishin&hopin View Post
As I approach my retirement date (only weeks away), I've come to a realization:

Some of the hobbies and habits I've developed over the years have served mostly as a counterbalance to my full-time work life.

The focus was on relaxing and de-stressing. Now that no counterbalance is needed, I can sense that some -- no matter how well established -- will drop off and others will arise. It'll be a REvolution!

In my case, I think I'll be watching less TV in the evenings and hibernating less on weekends -- and I'll be exploring the city more. I'll stop buying collectibles in areas of interest (this has already slowed down considerably) and enjoy what I have or downsize it.

If you're further down the early-retirement road, would you share if you had a similar experience, and if so, which hobbies and habits you dropped and which you added?
We don't go on road trips to nearby towns at all any more. We used to do that a lot. It has been quite a while since we even went 20 miles out of town, except for hurricane evacuations. This is because we don't feel the need to put a lot of physical space between ourselves and work hassles or stress any more.

I don't feel the need to buy "good for me" presents any more, either. Every day of retirement is essentially a great big "good for me" present.

Although I thought I'd never use an alarm clock again, I have recently found that I feel better if I get up at a regular time each morning. I awaken slowly at 8 AM to the gentle sounds of birdsongs from my newer clock, though, not the rude "BLATTT!!!!" of my old alarm clock at 5:30 AM.

The gym is surprisingly important to me in retirement, whereas it was somewhat hit or miss when I was working.

Other than that, my hobbies are pretty much the same. I just have a lot more time for them, now.
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:55 PM   #5
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For me, the change in hobbies and habits were brought about more by moving and downsizing than by retiring. When we lived in suburbia, I enjoyed woodworking and gardening for example. The large house also provided ample room for collecting. Those hobbies did not change upon retiring. Now that we live in a much smaller apartment, my hobbies have changed to reflect our dwelling's smaller footprint. I have paired down my collections to just a few essential pieces, I have gained a renewed interest in photography and watercoloring. And I spend more time outdoors (hiking, going to the beach) to escape the small interior space.
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:03 PM   #6
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One of my goals of ER was to get in better shape. I will never be a gym rat (I abhor working out with other people) but I've found the happy balance - I take my dog to the beach (10 minute drive) 4-5 times per week for a 3 mile walk. Good for me, and my dog. (I swear the beach is doggy disneyland with the seagulls, seaweed, and other dogs butts to sniff.)

I've also signed up for Italian classes at the local community college - something I've wanted to do for a long time but never had the time or bandwidth between work/kids/life...

I'm only a month into retirement but I already see positive changes.
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:08 PM   #7
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Looking back at almost 3 years of early retirement, I have found less need for alone time and "escaping" to the country for biking and hiking in the country on weekends as I often did during my later work years. Less of a need to deal with stress, I guess.
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wishin&hopin View Post
As I approach my retirement date (only weeks away), I've come to a realization:

Some of the hobbies and habits I've developed over the years have served mostly as a counterbalance to my full-time work life.

The focus was on relaxing and de-stressing. Now that no counterbalance is needed, I can sense that some -- no matter how well established -- will drop off and others will arise. It'll be a REvolution!

In my case, I think I'll be watching less TV in the evenings and hibernating less on weekends -- and I'll be exploring the city more. I'll stop buying collectibles in areas of interest (this has already slowed down considerably) and enjoy what I have or downsize it.

If you're further down the early-retirement road, would you share if you had a similar experience, and if so, which hobbies and habits you dropped and which you added?
When I was working I found that long motorcycle rides in the countryside were absolutely the best use of my free time. Motorcycling requires total concentration (if one wishes to remain alive) and thus I would return from those rides refreshed and content. Once retired however, the need for that went away and I ended up selling the bike since I hardly ever rode it.
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:59 PM   #9
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I've finally got time to pursue hobbies and activities, mostly things I was interested in BEFORE I was working. Back when I was working, after a 50-60 hour week of cranking on software, plus a 2-3 hour commute on mornings where I had to show up in an office, the nearest thing I had to a hobby was sleeping. (something relaxing I could do on my own time...)

I finally got my amateur radio license, now that I have time, and don't need to wait until my parents can take me into The Big City to take the official exam at the Federal Building. (Licensing has changed enormously. No Morse Code requirement any more, and exams are given frequently by certified volunteer examiners in many local radio clubs.)

I've been able to catch up on the state of the art in physics (my degree).

I'm also slowly doing more B&W photography. With new tech, I don't need a darkroom any more, just a changing bag. I can process the film at home easily, scan it, and do the 'digital darkroom' thing. It's a radical change from how I had to do this back in college.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:10 PM   #10
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While working I was a prolific reader. Once I retired I totally lost the desire to read and didn't pick up a book for three or four years. I suppose it was because I no longer needed something to escape thoughts about work.

Then Amazon introduced the Kindle and I got one for DW. A year or two later she upgraded to the Kindle Fire and I inhereted her basic reader. I learned I could get free books, and started reading again - this time for entertainment, not escape
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REvolution in hobbies, habits?
Old 08-02-2014, 07:18 PM   #11
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REvolution in hobbies, habits?

I agree on the Kindle (and I guess other e-readers, but I have no experience). I've spent money on books, but not much.

I'm getting a new (old) guitar. My bike is not lonely anymore.

I'd like to get moving on photography, that thread is a steady reminder, regardless of whether I have "the eye".
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:26 PM   #12
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The main thing for me since I went very part-time on my work (4 years ago - now working from home very part-time), is that I have more time for the things I used to enjoy doing. I was able to pick back up some hobbies I used to spend a lot of time on, but that I dropped due to lack of time.

I will say that I try to avoid any hobbies that have too much of a hassle factor. I figure I left that behind me when I changed my work situation so I sure don't want anything like that now.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:49 PM   #13
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When working, I built and flew radio control model airplanes. After retirement, I concluded that was a stress reliever because although it was a huge part of non-working time, after retirement I lost all interest and sold, gave away, or threw out all of it.

Either that or I just had "plateaued" and gone as far as I could go without moving to jets which were beyond my hobby budget. At the time a jet engine was $5k for the engine alone. Plus a high end radio system with lots of redundancies built in, a good kit, by the time you got to the field with a solid airplane you're at or near five figures. At that price point you can start looking at full size.

So the main hobby now is photography. I'd always had an interest but never the time, money, and access to information on it, that last probably being most important. I didn't know what books to read or where to find them. Amazon.com changed that.

A kick today was taking a couple of photos over to DW's nephew's and his wife's house today that I had taken of their kids, mounted, matted and framed. I thought the kids, ages four and eight, might like to hang them in their rooms. No, the parents cleared a wall in their living room for them, and the mom said "When you get your own house, you can have these" so they're already thinking of them as heirloom objects. I didn't expect that, and this from a mom who has more-than-average artistic ability herself.

So I'm maybe starting to think there's an ability there that I didn't know I had.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:38 PM   #14
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I thought I would watch tv more in retirement. It turns out I haven't. If anything, I'm watching less tv. I'm busy doing other things I didn't have time for while working.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:51 AM   #15
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My hobbies remain about the same as before retirement, but I'm probably spending less time on them. Not that I'm spending more time on other things, it's just that I don't know where the times goes and most days just fly by. I'm convinced that time moves at a different pace in retirement.
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:57 AM   #16
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2 years into RE and I spend 25+ hours a week on my hobbies. They are mostly the same that I've had for years but I've also been trying out some new ones.

I started baking homemade artisan breads and pastries, like cinnamon rolls, croissants. I bought a bread baking book and have been trying a different recipe every few weeks. I'm even considering pursuing a baking certification at the local college or cooking school. Mostly just for fun!

I want to learn a few more languages but haven't prioritized that yet.

I'm considering archery lessons. I might take more tennis lessons (been a few years).

I'm reading a lot now for pleasure instead of career.

I am very active with walking , sailing, hiking, etc.

Spend very little time in front of the TV or on social media stuff anymore. Just don't care to read the Twitter and Facebook noise.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:08 AM   #17
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My hobbies remain about the same as before retirement, but I'm probably spending less time on them. Not that I'm spending more time on other things, it's just that I don't know where the times goes and most days just fly by. I'm convinced that time moves at a different pace in retirement.

That appears to be my observation too. More time to do things, yet I get less done and time just disappears. I don't seem to need a reason to change as I enjoy what I do and am not bored in any way.


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Old 08-03-2014, 02:45 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JoeDreaming View Post
My hobbies remain about the same as before retirement, but I'm probably spending less time on them. Not that I'm spending more time on other things, it's just that I don't know where the times goes and most days just fly by. I'm convinced that time moves at a different pace in retirement.
This "pace of time" issue really interests me. Pre-retirement, time already seems to go by fast, and much of what I do over the weekend right now (the hibernation I mentioned above) is intended to slow it down.

Once I retire and no longer need to focus on the weekend, I'll be curious to see how my perception of the speed of time will change.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:38 PM   #19
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I'm cooking a little more lately. Restaurants are loosing some of their attraction. I'm continuing to use the college ceramic studio to throw pots since the classes, glazes, and firing is free for retirees. Most I give away to those who ask. I also use the metal sculpture studio on occasion for a little change. The garden continues to keep me busy since the growing season is year round. Other than during the summer when it is just too hot I enjoy riding my bicycle and motorcycles. Then on Saturday mornings I have a 2 hour radio show with a couple of other folks reading for the blind on the local PBS station. Those things I have always been doing but the one thing I finally have a chance to do is read fiction - mainly Clive Cussler and Aaron Elkins. I also get a chance to travel more now that I have the free time and money.

Cheers!
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:21 PM   #20
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I am semi ER in the past year or so. My hobbies are mostly the same except I have more time for them. I also love having time to try out new hobbies (paddleboarding is the latest).

One thing that has changed is the type of vacations I enjoy. When I was working full time, I wanted vacations where I didn't have to do much of anything - I needed the physical and mental break from work and regular life. Now I love active vacations where we are exploring new places and trying new things.

I guess that saying is true - "instead of wondering when your next vacation is, try setting up a life you don't need to escape from." I never feel the need to escape anymore and travel just for the joy of exploring new places.
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