I recently wrote a chapter for an upcoming ebook about aging smart, to be published in December. My chapter is about leisure and play. Ernie Zelinski's book, The Joy of Not Working: A book for the retired, unemployed, and overworked gave me alot of inspiration.
"Being unable to retire can be a tragedy, as can the actual act of retiring," wrote Zelinski. We all know of people who have looked forward to retirement for years, only to find they are utterly at loose ends, knowing nothing about how to use their time, finding themselves doing busy work, watching alot of TV, going to the gym every day and getting bored with that. Some mourn the identity they left behind. Some might get depressed.
Zelinski says he's hardly ever had a full-time job, sometimes has lived on very little money, but has NEVER been bored. How can we achieve that state of zest, a sense of being alive, loving to explore and experience the world?
The key to thoroughly enjoying your leisure time, he writes, is to PAY ATTENTION. What does this mean? When we pay attention to the world around us, we notice opportunities everywhere. It might take a different mindset, the practice of opening our minds to the new, to detail, to things we've taken for granted that are right in our midst. It reminds me of what meditation people call a "beginner's mind."
Remember what it was like to be with young children when they encounter something new (everything!), that wide-eyed wonder and excitement? Well, that's just what paying attention with a beginner's mind is about.
One of the chapters in this book is titled: "Somebody is Boring Me; I Think It Is Me." I love that. I sometimes ask my bored clients, "Are you boring yourself?" in an effort to jolt them into self-awareness. If you are bored, consider how to do the following:
- think or do something unusual
- make a difference in someone's life
- let go of need to fit in and please others
- become your own source of satisfaction
- stop blaming others for your bored unfulfilled life
- credit yourself when you do feel fulfilled
"You may be living, but are you alive," he asks. Get involved in ACTIVE activities. Be in the moment.
If you are having difficulty getting past your own gremlins to change your mindset to an ALIVE one, rather than a half-dead one, contact me at Karma@LifeSpringCoaching.com. I'll show you how.