HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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In this era of pandemic and quarantine, technology has really made a difference in helping people stay connected with family, friends and work. One of the more popular choices for video conferencing or meeting digitally is Zoom. Simple and affordable, Zoom allows you to host meetings, attend worship services or even take a virtual tour of a senior living facility right from your own home. Eric Yuan, Zoom’s founder, was named Time magazine’s Business Person of the Year in 2020. From January to April 2020, the company’s metric of annualized meeting minutes jumped twentyfold to more than 2 trillion. Daily active users increased from 10 million to over 200 million in just three months.


Free Zoom calls last for 40 minutes. That’s more than enough time to share stories and photos and recipes. To get started, log on to https://zoom.us and click on the “Sign Up, It’s Free” button. Once you’ve done that, follow the prompts to download the Zoom Client. Next, open the Zoom client, click the “Sign In” button and enter your Zoom credentials. If you don’t have a Zoom account, you can create one using a valid email address and a password of your choosing. Let the Zoom application gain access to the camera and microphone on your device.


To start a Zoom Meeting, click the orange “New Meeting” button found on the Home tab. To schedule a meeting, click the blue “Schedule” icon in the Home tab on the Zoom client. This will open the scheduler

COME ON AND ZOOM

window, and you can select your meeting settings, including the topic of the meeting, its start time and your preferred time zone. You can even make it a recurring meeting (daily, weekly, monthly, or annually).


When you schedule a Zoom meeting, you will receive a link that you can then email to the people with whom you want to connect. Click on the meeting invite and launch the Zoom client as prompted. You can create breakout rooms, send messages in the chat feature (to everyone in the meeting or privately to chosen individuals), record the meeting and share your screen if you are the host. Unfortunately, some Zoom meetings have been hacked by disruptive trolls, so you may want to enable passcodes for every meeting, and don’t make private meetings public.


Here are some simple tips for having a good Zoom call: