The holidays, which is how we must now refer to Christmas, is one of those key dates in the retirement calendar – a great many people will retire at the end of the year. Linda Hughes, publisher of the Edmonton Journal, for example, has chosen this time to retire. In fact, 40% of retirees effectively choose this date.
The issue for them is how to “detox” themselves from the world of work. Think about it. For some thirty five to forty years, for some 50 weeks a year (a minimum of 10,500 days or 84,000 hours and up to 100,000 hours) these individuals “worked”. In other area of life, this would be an addiction. (I once formed a branch of Workaholics Anonymous, but no one showed up - they had work appointments).
So the key is to spend sometime doing nothing, but doing it in such a way that your mind adjusts to the fact of retirement. No more schedules, “must see” or “key tasks and outcomes” lists. No more strategic plans, business cases, budget processes, “cease and desist” conversations with recalcitrant staff. Just you and the world at your feet.
There are ten activities you can engage in which will lead to your mind understanding that your world has changed. They range from the very active to completely purposeful ways of doing nothing. Here they are:
There are other things you can do too – try to find something worth watching on television (hours can be wasted doing this), looking for all the ingredients for an Anthony Bourdain recipe in a single store; trying to get a straight answer from a politician; wondering why on earth CBC hasn’t canned The Royal Canadian Air Farce (no longer funny or cutting edge) or The Red Green Show; learning Welsh; going to the courthouse and sitting through a trial; buying a baton and conducting a performance of the Messiah in front of a mirror at home; losing weight – these are all things that take time, can be enjoyable, but are generally harmless and really don’t add up to much. Just what the brain needs to get the message: your world has changed - obviously, it has also improved!
- Workaholics Anymous does exist - look at http://www.workaholics-anonymous.org/
- Extreme Ironing is a real (and deeply meaningful) sport - see http://www.extremeironing.com/
- Googlewhacking is also a serious business, just ask Dave Gorman - see http://www.googlewhack.com/
- Newshounding is made easier by using Google to set up alerts - so that Google will automatically search the web for materials relevant to your interests. You can also use Attensa to automate "feeds" from RSS enabled web sites directly into your email.
- Namesake Finding - another Google task.
- File a Patent - anyone can file, so dont fall for the idea that you need a lawyer. There are firms which will helo you file a provisional patent for $99US - see http://patent-patent.com/
- Whatever Happened to? - it depends what or who you are looking for. I spent time looking up actors I hadnt seen for a while and the best site for this is IMBd - www.imbd.com
- Becoming a Wikist - just look up anything in the Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia and now there is also wikispecies, wikibooks
- Becoming a hunter - there are lots of lists avaiable online, my favourite being http://www.listology.com/index.cfm
- Use the library - depends where you are, but you'd be surprised how many services they now offer. Great place to borrow CD;s and DVD's from.
- Travel - book a self managed vacation via http://www.expedia.ca