Dad about to retire - need inspiration for how to spend time!

(8 Posts)

I think men, particularly of his sort of generation, were often brought up to define themselves by their job, so it can be a real "identity crisis" to go from being "a bus conductor" or whatever to being retired. IME women don't usually define themselves quite so clearly by their job, as they have usually spent their working lives feeling split between "a bus conductor" and "a wife/partner/ex-partner" and "a mother, daughter, sister" etc so retiring just means giving up one of the things they have been juggling and not the thing that most defines them.

He might well find that taking on a responsibility for something gives him more sense of purpose than any amount of hobbies and "keeping busy". For my dad that was putting his IT skills to good use setting things up for a charity, where he really felt he was being useful to them rather than just filling in his time.

Durab Sun 18-Nov-12 21:55:31

I volunteer with a conservation group - almost all the other members are retired men and we have a ball!

nm123 Sun 18-Nov-12 21:52:19

Thanks all... I'd not heard of the U3A and looked that up for our local area and there's lots going on. I've sent him some links and I'm sure he'll find something to do. I think he's just feeling a bit sad and anxious that it's the end of an era, and that he's signing up to old age and getting closer to dying. sad sad

They both got involved with a charity, first giving practical help then joining the committee.

And they signed up for a number of classes - talks at the zoo, nature walks, art history.

They were also regulars down at the local library.

I think keeping physically active is important, so if your dad already has a hobby that keeps him active he should try to keep up with it. If not, take something up - golf, gardening, hillwalking if "sport" isn't his kind of thing.

And keeping mentally active, plus speaking to people. Even just popping down to the shops to buy a paper instead of having it delivered.

Onlyaphase Sun 18-Nov-12 20:46:02

I was worried when my father retired, especially as he'd been widowed just before then too. But it has been OK

Each day he reads the newspaper from cover to cover, does the crosswords etc. He then does something active - gardening, golf, DIY, weekly shopping, visits library. Then lunch and nap, followed by dog walk, phone calls, supper and TV.

He is also on a couple of committees, plays golf twice a week, has a regular slot with mates at the local pub etc. Sky sports has been a blessing in bad weather too.

Best way to ensure lack of boredom is to have an ongoing project - build a greenhouse, make raised beds for the garden, research a new car, restore a bit of furniture, that sort of thing.

Chubfuddler Sun 18-Nov-12 20:43:31

Volunteering
Lunches with friends
Golf
Weekends away with friends/hosting friends
Time with grand children
Reading the books never had time for
Travelling
Gardening
Knitting

ISeeSmallPeople Sun 18-Nov-12 20:43:03

Lots.
My father took up learning new languages, & now speaks Polish, as well as improving languages he already knew.
He also joined U3A, they have lots of branches, & organise atleast 2 activities a day, although not all interest him. He usually just goes on their trips.

that and I'm making him move house, & help look after his grandchildren

nm123 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:40:03

What the title says really... He's been looking forward to his retirement, but now its looming is worried about getting bored.

What do your retired parents do?

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