Or Is There? by Rich Paschall

When you were younger, a teenager perhaps, you may have heard yourself say a time or two, “I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.” I know I did. Even today, with so much more to do, some younger people may still lament “There is nothing to do!”. Of course, there is a lot to do, and we ought to get going and do it while we still can.

Last year when I was talking about retirement a friend told me that after the first few days, I would be bored. I assured him this was not the case. “I have enough in mind to do that I will be busy until at least one hundred and three.” “Do you plan to live that long?” he asked. “I am going to have to if I want to get everything done,” I assured him. I always use 103 when asked because the founder of the Neighborhood Boys Club in Chicago lived to 103 and never seemed to run out of things to do.

Like a good teenager, I sometimes play video games to pass the time. This is when I feel like I do not have the energy to assert myself. My desktop is preloaded with many variations of Solitaire. It also has Minesweeper. I bookmarked Microsoft’s Jewel game, similar to the popular Bejeweled. The AARP website also has various games to keep your mind sharp. I have a long list of things in mind. Here are a few ideas. Take notes, you may need some of these ideas in a few years, or a few days as the case may be.


When I was somewhat younger I often noticed retired people of older generations spending most of their time in front of the television. While television watching is not so bad, you may wish to reconsider it if that is basically all you do. I try to at least go for a walk every day. It is the absolute minimum. I also try to get in some other exercise on most days. You don’t need a gym membership. Simple things can be done at home without any equipment. As you get older, it is harder to get back into shape, than to stay in shape. There are plenty of fitness experts online to help you out. Hampton Liu (Hybrid Calisthenics) believes you can start simply and need no equipment.


Of course, I recommend you start with your favorite blog. SERENDIPITY, perhaps. There are plenty of good ones. The truth is I have enough unread books and magazines at home to last me for years. Resale shops have plenty of books you can get for cheap. There are also those things called libraries. Here we can check out certain titles digitally. That means we don’t have to actually go to the library. I get the digital New York Times and several newsletters of interest. AARP magazine comes in the mail.


I have a few jigsaw puzzles I put together many years ago and some I have never done. This includes a 3-D puzzle resting under my bed for the last two years. I have books on crossword puzzles, word search puzzles, and sudoku, which I will definitely have to do in pencil. After the jigsaw puzzles are done, I need to give them away to a friend or a resale shop.


One of the problems with living in the same place for a long time is the propensity to save stuff. Aside from all the stuff I see just looking around, there is also stuff in cabinets, closets, and the basement. When you start buying large storage containers to save stuff you may not use again for years if at all, you have too much stuff. It is time to give away, throw away, or put on ebay. In recent years I have sold off almost all my VHS tapes, Cassette tapes, and old format HD DVDs on ebay. I still have a lot of records, CDs, DVDs, and digital playlists, so I am not going to run out of music and movies.

An example of a cluttered room

There are a lot of papers to review and throw out or shred as needed. I never meant to save items for more than a few years, but as things found their way into boxes and then closets or the basement, I never got back to them. The basement surely has items from the last century to be tossed out. It will take me a long time just to get the important papers in order. I know we don’t like to think about it, but it is foolhardy to keep kicking the can down the road, so to speak.

You may wish to save some things that call up great memories, but what about all those things you will never use again? I am certain the cabinets contain things I will never use. Another time-consuming project, if I wish to tackle it, would be to go through some of the thousands of pictures from my mother and myself that were printed and now sit in boxes and albums. Perhaps people in the next generation would like pictures I have that contain their parents or grandparents. I could continue with many thoughts about “The Accumulation of Stuff.”


If it is not possible to travel the world any longer, we can still travel the neighborhood. Showing up in my email Inbox at times is the Newsletter “Free Things To Do in Chicago.” We have world-class museums and there are “free days.” The amazing Garfield Park Conservatory and the Lincoln Park Zoo are always free. The parks are wonderful and the beaches are great in the summer. I also own an excellent Schwinn 10-speed Bicycle. They were still made here when I bought that one.

Adler Planetarium

Watch and Listen

There are now so many entertainment options that I can’t possibly sample all my interests. Whether it is “Films All Guys Should See,” or those “In Glorious Black and White” or even films “In Another Language,” I can’t possibly see them all, not to mention revisiting a handful of favorites I will never grow tired of. There are television shows from here and from around the world. YouTube and other services can now take you everywhere. You can even take virtual tours of many places around the globe.

I will never be bored or run out of things to do. How about you?

Read also, a short story: “Mr. Casten’s Clutter,” SERENDIPITY, April 14, 2019.

Categories: Getting old, House and home, Retirement, Rich Paschall

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5 replies

  1. I’ve been retired for almost 12 years and Garry for nearly 20 and we haven’t run out of things to do yet. Blogging takes up more time than I really have to give to it these days because I’ve taken up learning to draw, after which I think learning to paint in on my agenda. I cook. I don’t mean I just throw meals together. I don’t WANT to cook at all, but since Garry can’t (won’t?) and Owen works full time — and we need at least one good meal a day — I do it. I’m pretty good at many Cantonese dishes, some Szechuan dishes too. Haven’t dabble much in Mandarin or Japanese. I tried Indian and while I can put together a good curry, that’s not really Indian food. It’s more like British or Caribbean — which doesn’t mean we don’t like it. We like it very much. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll make chicken curry for dinner since I have all the makings.

    I take pictures. Talk about hobbies that stick with you through the years! I started it as a hobby when Owen was two and now he’s 52. Some hobbies don’t last that long, especially ones that require a good back and physical agility and strength, but lucky for me, photography requires none of those.

    I play a few video games — Solitaire, Wordament, Jewel, Bridge for lack of three other people to make a table. I also bake (sometimes) and clean to the extent I’m able.

    Life isn’t exciting, but it wasn’t exciting before retirement either. Work was NOT exciting. It just paid better than retirement — but retirement is MUCH more interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am working part time until the end of April. It is two full days and two half days. That seems like quite enough at this point. When John is here, everything we do seems to take more time than I could have imagined.
      I have a list of things I want to accomplish, I don’t seem to get to much of it in any given week. Soon my focus will shift to house cleaning and organizing as I have a visitor coming at the end of April. In fact, my focus always seems to be changing.


  2. I agree, there is so much to do that we need never be bored.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is a lot to do! I feel the same, I am never bored. I always have books, music, the radio, and lots of other things to keep me busy!

    Liked by 1 person

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