A key to living healthier (and happier) as we grow older is to remain active. If you are like me as I approach my 62nd birthday, I find that I know more about myself and how I like to spend my time.
Regardless of your age or status, we live in a time when we have numerous opportunities to experience our world in new and inventive ways.
Hobbies are often dismissed as unproductive ways to idle away the hours.
I look at hobbies as essential to maintaining and growing a sense of personal identity and fellowship with others and the world around us. Many hobbies can foster income if we want. And many hobbies can be done in combination with each other.
I am fortunate (well I actually made a conscientious effort) to live near a national park. Within several miles of my house, I have hundreds of miles of trails to hike, bike, and snowshoe. I have miles of a Lake Michigan beach to roam and numerous pristine lakes to kayak and fish.
In the morning, I plan a portion of my day to do at least one hobby. Weather is often a factor in my decision but I have plenty of options year-round regardless of the weather. I usually like to mix it up – so I may bike one day, hike the next and kayak the following day.
So many of our hobbies can be done in combination. I will give a few examples below, but I am sure that you have many other hobbies and combinations of hobbies that you enjoy.
Digital photography has allowed us to capture, store and share impressions of our lives, including our hobbies. I always bring my camera when I hike, snow shoe or kayak. I love to photograph nature and while I’m out doing one hobby, I keep an eye open for landscapes, flowers, trees, birds, buildings that attract me. I have taken over 12,000 photos in the last three years and will share a few here. For more of my photos, please visit my Shutterstock profile.
You don’t necessarily need to buy a tractor to garden. But if you do have lots of land, good soil and favorable weather, then I hope you do buy a tractor and grow whatever suits your fancy. I have a small perennial garden that I cherish. I add annuals to my garden every year and have a great deal of fun selecting the varieties and colors. And of course – I am able to combine gardening with photography. Indoor gardening can be fun and adds greenery and a warmer feeling to any room.
One of my pleasures is to watch “my” birds on my feeders throughout the whole year. They love suet and sunflower seeds. During the winter, I often have a sizable flock of finches who amuse me with their feeding frenzies and puffed out feathers when the temperatures are near zero. I also have a hummingbird feeder and bird bath. And guess what? I have gotten some wonderful photos of birds from my deck and windows.
Living near a national park, I have numerous opportunities to volunteer. Currently, I help keep trails clean and clear in the park and I monitor birds on the lakeshore. Not enough time? The trail grooming takes a few hours a month and the bird monitoring is an hour or so per week. What a rewarding way to spend time doing activities that I love while contributing to others. In the past I have volunteered at food banks by stocking shelves and helping with inventory. My parents volunteered at the music camp for many years. As we get older and have more time on our hands, volunteering can offer an exciting way to get out and give back.
During the winter, when the snow is deep and I’ve cleared my drive and gone snow shoeing, I love to get out a puzzle. It’s a great time to think and I often listen to music (another hobby) during it.
These are just a few hobbies that I love. I bet you can think of many that you do or want to do. Now is the time to get a hobby. And remember that photography can offer a great way to document your hobby and share your experiences with others.
Let us know your favorite hobbies and ways that you combine two or more!