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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quirky, different and creative, such as a cookbook. It could be done in the form of blog posts. Once you begin putting words on paper, you may bring up a whole repertoire of memories for you to enrich your family’s life and vision.


Whether your words evoke sadness or pleasure, they are your words and it is your history. Many times emotions seep from the written word; it is hard to escape these emotions once you are into the writing. Sometimes in memoir writing, it is difficult to separate your feelings from your words.


When writing about others, it is always advisable to seek written permission from them first. When you are writing about someone in particular and your words do not shed good light on them, having permission will help you avoid repercussions.


SOURCES:


WRITING A MEMOIR

years or your golden years. Key relationships to write about include a marriage memoir, an adoption story, a parenting memoir, a story about a mentor and your time together or just stories about friends. Recording your own personal history or that of a family member is a good addition to a genealogy.


The memoir could focus on a historical event: World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, the Iraq War, life as a soldier. It could detail your participation in the Civil Rights Movement or delineate your political views.


Your childhood memories, says Audrey Hunt in How to Start Writing Your Own Childhood Memories for Posterity, are a part of your family history. They can be quite valuable in beginning a memoir. Writing about your childhood, Hunt says, builds bridges and binds families together. Future generations will be mesmerized by your account of times past. They will find themselves captivated as they are introduced to their great grandmother or great aunt or uncle.


The story could be done in scrapbook form using old photographs. It could be a memory book, a journal collection, a collage or a quilt. It could be something

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN and a freelance writer. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines. Her Web site is at

www.normajean.naiwe.com

more articles by jean jeffers

Are you a story teller? Do you have treasured memories you would like to set down on paper for your children to someday read to their children?


Perhaps you have always harbored a secret yen to publish a book you have written yourself. Today, people are doing amazing things by taking things they’ve written and putting together a finished book. You could avail yourself of such a benefit or you may more formally get published or perhaps even self-published on a site such as Amazon.


Memoir writing affords you this opportunity. It may also be a hobby, an escape, a time of reminiscing. It could become a life-affirming process for you or a meaningful gift for family and friends. It may help bring other people’s stories alive, too. A memoir often contains a valuable perspective, one only you can share. Memoir writing is a way to tell a story, a true story – your story.


A memoir could be about your recollections of someone in your family, such as your grandmother. A memoir need not include your whole life story. In fact, it is not supposed to. Your memoir could be about a special time in your life or an examination of a few relationships that are significant to you or a turning point in your life. It could be about a personal hardship and recovery or achievement and development.


The time could be a segment of childhood, young adulthood, career