Did you think in your 30s and 40s that you had to get your fun in before you turned 50? Well, I'm quite a way past 50, and I'm still having lots of fun. I don't have unlimited funds, so I do pass on some concerts and outings that I'd enjoy. But instead of feeling sorry for myself, I enjoy the search for enjoyable activities.
I google events or concerts or dancing or whatever leisure time activity I feel like that are happening in my city. I find gatherings of like-minded people at meetup.coma — great way to locate topics and interests I'd like to experience with others. I belong to both singles and business meetups. If you like, add "over 50" in your searches.
So let's explore our options for fun.
- Hang Out With Your Grandchildren Or Other People's Kids: We've gone to Children's Theater, parks, swimming, picnics, movies, etc. You can google events to enjoy with children in your city, and find lots of options. You can also help out at preschools, your church's religious education, and Boys and Girls Clubs. I've read to young kids, played with play dough and heard their stories. It's probably okay to sign up for a month or 6 months if you're not sure how you'll experience an activity with kids you don't know. If there are no children you are active with now, you could check with United Way, library resources or community centers or Google volunteer opportunities in your area. I have many memories even on the bus to an outing with my granddaughter. She had braids, and liked to wrap them around poles on the bus. When there was room, she'd make up gym moves with the poles and the seats. We'd read to each other, play word games, and point out all the things we saw that started with a particular letter. You can ask the kids what games they like to play with their friends and see if you could enjoy the games too. How can you not feel young when you're sharing the enthusiasm and free spirits of most children.
- Do Things That Children Enjoy: See animated movies — I loved Finding Nemo, Ratatouille and several others. Play a video game or two, go to a ball game with family or friends. I especially had fun roller skating, bowling and looking for rocks at the beach. What about a wagon or baseball glove or a doll, plus your creativity?
- Use Your Imagination: I've gone to yard sales and second hand stores, looking over all the items young people in my life might enjoy. I've bought Winnie the Pooh and wind up ducks and stuffed frogs and bubble blowing stuff. If you think or know he or she might enjoy cooking or baking, pick out some smaller version of pie pans and cookie sheets and pot holders and mixing bowls, or go right to "big people's" supplies. When you're in the kitchen together, give them the choice of what they'd like to produce. They might enjoy wearing your apron and passing around the goodies when they're baked. After you've gone to eat out together, you can pretend you're at a restaurant and have him or her be the waiter in your own dining room.
- You Can Find A Fellow Senior, Retired Person, Oldtimer (Or A Younger Companion): You could even start such a group at meetup.com or advertise on craigslist.com. You might ask for people with a big imagination who are resourceful, innovative, curious and don't care what other people think. In the croneofpugetsound.org group I belong to, I have a play group for playing games and doing silly or playful activities. Other groups enjoy happy hours together, go to movies, hike, and a variety of fun events. Again, check out local blogs and community newspapers, and ask your friends and people at different senior centers what they enjoy. I love getting new ideas and meeting energetic friends. When you have at least 1 person you'll enjoy new activities with, commit to each other that you will try out 1-2 new events, with each other or with another person, each month. That could be a political meeting, a senior dance, a park or street cleanup, a book discussion group, dog walking, a picnic in a park, flying a kite, going to a museum or art gallery, walking in different parks or neighborhoods, or whatever gives you both a feeling of aliveness.
- Write Your Memoir — At Least A Few Vignettes: Even if you don't see yourself as a writer, you are the best person to pull together memories of your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond for your own satisfaction and to share with people important to you. I've kept a journal most of the last 40 years, though I haven't yet found my journals from the years after high school. I am slowly searching the boxes in my basement and recycling or giving away everything I can bear to part with — but not my journals. I think once you get started listing some childhood and adult memories, and writing a paragraph about each of them, you're likely to get engaged, and notice some momentum. I bet you'll have fun, especially if you and another person or more check in with each other each week or month. Give it a try, okay? I'm in a writers group where we gather each Th. for 2 hours and write 60+ minutes, then read what we wrote. I'm more likely to stay focused when each of us is concentrating on what we write.
- To Find A Romantic Partner Or Another Friend, Try Some Online Ways To Connect: Eharmony, Match, OKCupid, Dating Over 50, Chemistry, Craigslist, etc. I was married for 7 years and have been single over 35 years. I've been in several 3-6 month relationships, and continue to search when I'm not romantically involved. I'd love to read your comments about your adventures over 50. Feel free to call me at (206) 938-8385 about my experiences and to explore your questions about dating or having fun past 50. I'd love to offer a complimentary coaching call.
When you and I are happy and fulfilled in our lives, we have so much more to offer the world. I'd love to hear your comments and explorations.
Check out http://communicationcoaching.net for ideas aboutdifficult conversations.
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