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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RELIVING LIFE’S TRANSITIONS THROUGH YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN

challenges they face.


Having a family with a living centenarian can provide a very special perspective of skill development and problem solving based on 100 years of experience. Grandchildren can find out what it was like to grow up during the Great Depression or World Wars I and II. They can learn about life without television and computers. Good grandparents can offer life’s lessons through a very distinctive lens. They come with years’ worth of wisdom and love to share with each and every grandchild.


SOURCES AND RESOURCES


DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut and Professor Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine and Department of Gerontology, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky.

more articles by dr thomas W. Miller

The journey through life repeats itself – for some as many as three or more times. The years tick by and your children grow up and begin their own life journeys. That gives you a chance to relive your journey with added experience and wisdom. When children leave the nest, it is natural to feel a sense of loss and uncertainty about what you will do with the rest of your life and how you will fit into their lives going forward. Successful adjustment is recognizing this is a natural course of action.


Guiding children through their own transitions into adult life must involve being supportive and continuing to keep in touch while giving them the space they need to maintain an effective relationship. Within all these myriad components is the question: What will we do to adjust? Just as children do, elders need to move forward and plan for their own futures. They need to welcome the opportunity to reconnect with friends and rediscover life for themselves, just as it was before children entered their lives.


With the advent of grandchildren comes the opportunity to offer guidance and support to a third generation. Elders often have advanced training and experience and thus should be better prepared to share in life’s transitions successfully. The relationship between a grandchild and his or her grandparent(s) is a very unique one. Grandparents can provide unconditional love and influence their grandchildren by sharing their own experiences and understanding of their families and the