Seniors: Time on Our Hands

Apr 12th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Situations emerge when we discover we have time on our hands. It comes because our life patterns lend us that time. Assume you are recovering from surgery, a sentence which may take several weeks, what do you do with yourself? Assume someone in your family requires your care, how do you spend the time when doing so leaves you with privacy and options for personal activity? Assume you are going through a major life adjustment, e.g. death of a spouse, what will you do with your time, previously dedicated to another?

These time blanks are moments when our own imaginative and creative desires will have opportunity for expression. Such periods may also be periods when we are tempted to escape, to avoid dealing with our own situation and to lose ourselves in allowing mindless means to guide us.

If we choose the former, we are then freed from the bonds of grief, or pain or just the passing of days to discover what we can do with ourselves. With time on our hands, we are allowed to make our own “bucket list,” of things we always wanted to do or try. This may or may not include travel, but it can include that and numerous other options.

Try a few of these on: Start a Diary. Create an account of your daily thoughts, progress, and ideas that invade your thinking. Give yourself permission to reveal yourself on the written page or computer screen. Keep this information to yourself, allowing it to be your barometer of how you are getting along.

Attempt to learn how to Paint or Draw or Embroider or some other pasttime which allows for self critical productivity. Learning how may only be giving yourself the space and chance to paint an object or a scene out of your own perception. You set the rules.

Build something. Maybe a model motorized plane, which you will later fly in a local park. Maybe you can identify a group you can join. Meet people with similar interests. Expand your landscape.

Learn how to Play Chess or Mahjong, Cribbage or Dominoes. Create a partnership roster of persons who enjoy games. Extend your expertise to include new ones. Invite younger people to play games with you, keep your mind sharp.

These are just a few practical suggestions. Make your own list and check them off as you give those a try that appeal to you most. You will discover, as many have, there is simply not enough time to do everything you would like.

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