Working to Kill Time

I was having an interesting chat with a retiree over the weekend where he had discovered that over the last few years of retirement that he got bored from about March to April every year. This particular issue happened due to the timing of his hobbies and the seasons. So he had recently decided to get a job at a greenhouse this next spring to kill some time during those months.

It funny to listen to him say things like “I can’t believe I’m going to be working for like $10/hr. I haven’t been paid that for years!” and “I want to do something that won’t feel like work.” I understand exactly what he means.

Work for retirees doesn’t have to be about the money, but rather it can be all about doing something to feel useful and that you enjoy. It can be work like your a little kid and frankly it is more fun than work. Obviously the money helps because as as he rightly pointed out “You can never have too much money in retirement. There is always something to spend it on.” Yet the focus in this case is doing something he enjoys to kill some time until the cottage season starts in May.

My first thought about this was it was a bit sad that he had a few months every year where he got bored, but then I realized it might not really be his fault, but rather that usual restlessness that strikes everyone when waiting for spring to arrive. Just in his case, he doesn’t have the kids (or the grandkids) around to help relieve that tension of wanting to do something. So he’s going to work to kill time and start his spring a full two months early by doing some planting in a greenhouse. In the end I had to admit it was a bit of a brilliant idea in his case to solve his boredom issues.

So what about you? Do you plan to do some work in retirement? If so, what would you like to try?

2 thoughts on “Working to Kill Time”

  1. I’ve thought that I might do something like that in the future (although, I wouldn’t think it would be because of boredom–I’ve been retired for 6 months now, and boredom is definitely not a feeling I can relate to.)

    But I love dogs and don’t want to have the commitment of dog ownership again. I like the freedom that comes with retirement, and having a dog isn’t exactly conducive to that freedom.

    I’ve thought of volunteering at an animal shelter but 1) I know that it will make me incredibly sad that these animals need homes, and 2) I’ll bet within a matter of weeks I would come home with one after all.

    So, my solution? I was thinking that at some time in the future when I feel like I have more time, I would go take a job at a fancy kennel, like “The Wag Hotel.” The animals are extremely well cared for, I know they have loving owners to go home to, and I would get a dose of doggy affection without having to commit to the decade or so of a dog’s life. (And earn a little pocket money like you point out above!)

  2. Syd,

    Well that is a clever idea. Earn money, play with dogs and save on the cost on owning one.


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