Why you should start a blog in retirement: Is there more to life than being entertained?

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It seems that I often have too much to do with too little time to do it in. This is more the case for me now that I am not working and have more time than ever.

Paradoxically, when I was working more than 60 hours a week, I seemed to have time to do everything. It came down to the built-in efficiencies that I had to come up with out of necessity. This kept me functioning in the world-as-it-is but gave me precious little time to come up with ways to create the world-as-it-might-be. The pace of modern life only allowed me to keep my head above water.

Whether we retire when we want to or when our health or finances dictate that we have to, there is an adjustment period. Our first inclination is to establish a routine that gets us out of the house and among others. Initially this may be enough. But it is very easy to fall into what I call the “entertainment trap” after a while — TV, movies, celebrity gossip, gaming — distractions which can appear to be innocuous initially but which take us away from ourselves eventually. This ultimately is very unfulfilling. We take but do not give.

To get myself out of this trap I started blogging. I felt that my background in mental health might enable me to give people a little guidance on how to move forward in their lives. I had no idea how this effort might change me.

When you work in any field you become an expert. This is true whether you work as a clerk, a doctor, a social worker or a mechanic. You know the ins and outs of what you do and often you don’t think about it too much. Not many people remain engaged and interested in what they do for a living. Your work becomes routine. You put one foot in front of the other and make assumptions along the way based on past experience.

So when you suddenly are freed from the constraints of a job’s structure you are able to look back and see all the things you were too busy to mentally digest in your daily experience. You are given a fresh perspective.

What you did and how it formed you is valuable. What can keep you busy now is not the mundane details of maintaining yourself in the work and social order of things but, instead, giving others the opportunity to learn from you, especially younger people. In a culture in which values and mores are changing rapidly those who are just starting out need an anchor. You can provide it.

Blogging is a way to find out what you really know and what you may have done differently given more time to step away and gain perspective. Others can benefit from your experience. Now is the time to show the way.

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