As 2017 ends and 2018 begins, it is a time of personal reflection. I began 2017 feeling quite bored in my retirement life, even though I was writing this blog and learning about search engine optimization, as well as substituting part-time. Then, I read Ernie J. Zelinski’s book, The Joy of Not Working.
I especially enjoyed the chapter titled Somebody is Boring Me; I Think It Is Me. I got to work on “abolishing my boredom.” Zelinski wrote, “By undertaking difficult and uncomfortable activities, we experience satisfaction and accomplishment in our lives. This means being truly alive, with little or no room for boredom.” That chapter changed my retirement life.
In March of 2017, the homeowners’ association (HOA) where I live held its annual meeting. I attended and volunteered to serve on the board of directors for three years, a “difficult and uncomfortable activity.” At our first board meeting in April, I was elected president of the HOA, another “difficult and uncomfortable activity.” After basically “righting the ship,” the new HOA board is now preparing for the 2018 annual meeting.
In July, I read in the local newspaper that the school district was looking to add new members to its master planning committee. It was a three-year commitment. As a long time education advocate, I filled out the online application and sent it. I was accepted as a member despite the fact I told them I was a fiscal conservative. We meet the first Monday of every month during the school year and discuss topics such as boundary changes, school closures, etc. The politics are “difficult and uncomfortable activities” but I feel I bring a new perspective to the table since I voted against the last bond election which was defeated.
In August, I saw a real estate posting on realtor.com for a 1938 cabin on .78 acres for sale in Glen Haven, a small town about 15 minutes outside Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. I had looked for a fixer upper project or a cabin get-away for several years. This cabin needed a bunch of work and was listed for $98,900. I offered $85,000 and got it. My son-in-law, Dave, and I took on the “difficult and uncomfortable activity” of demolishing the mold- and rodent-infested cabin addition by hand this fall. Now, the original cabin is buttoned up for the winter and it is, more importantly, dry and rodent free. We plan to begin rebuilding next summer.
Zelinski said, “Only by doing the difficult and uncomfortable can you make your life more interesting and fulfilling.” I have taken on “difficult and uncomfortable activities” this past year and in doing so I have felt more alive and less bored. I am more happy and content than I have in a long time.
I am glad I read Zelinski’s book and followed his advice. I am also glad you follow this blog and I hope you consider taking on “difficult and uncomfortable activities” in 2018 and change your retirement life.
WISHING YOU HAVE A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!