Help Me Find a Book for my Mom
March 12, 2006 6:37 PM   Subscribe

My mother is planning on retiring in a little over a year, and she is worried that she won't be able to fill her time. Her birthday is coming and I'd like to get her a book that discusses different jobs, hobbies, or activities that a retired person could do.

She has mentioned that she'd like to volunteer, but when I ask her what kind of volunteer, she doesn't really know. She's been a teacher all her life so I can see her doing some sort of tutoring. She also likes to garden a bit, she loves to read, and she would like to travel (but she and my dad don't have a ton of money). She is a person who goes crazy if she doesn't have something to do or is feeling useful. Any good books that I could get her for her birthday that could give her some cool ideas? Thanks.
posted by billysumday to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total)
Volunteering at a public library or teaching in an adult literacy program?

Sorry I don't have a book about what to do in retirement.
posted by Airhen at 8:53 PM on March 12, 2006

Sweet sarcasm. I guess I'm just wondering if there is a "What Color is My Parachute" for retirees. More as a catalyst to get them thinking about this stuff than anything else. If there isn't, I should write one and make a MILLION dollars.
posted by billysumday at 9:00 PM on March 12, 2006

This isn't a book, but does she know about Elderhostel? That might be up her alley and provides numerous affordable travel/continuing ed opportunities.
posted by contessa at 9:06 PM on March 12, 2006

Reading to the blind, perhaps? Also, where does she live?
posted by invisible ink at 9:09 PM on March 12, 2006

Where she lives is sort of a problem. Small town of about 15,000 in rural Indiana.
posted by billysumday at 9:11 PM on March 12, 2006

Would she consider starting up an Elder College in her area? Or maybe there's some sort of continuing education program. If one doesn't exist, maybe she could start it. THis assumes she likes teaching, of course. But some people like to explore new kinds of work, instead of volunteering or focusing on hobbies.
posted by acoutu at 10:10 PM on March 12, 2006

What sort of things does you mother enjoy doing now? Is she a gardener? A lover of books? Does she travel? Is she an outdoorsy type? Does she fish? Knit? Sew? Quilt? Do crossword puzzles?

My mother was an avid gardener, and this is one of her greatest sources of joy now. She loves to travel, and ElderHostel rocks. She went with a friend to the North East and learned Tole Painting for a week. Volunteering is something people always suggest, but it should be in something she loves. My mother volunteers at a beautiful, world class garden near where we live and that has given her a social outlet. This garden also arranges tours and trips in the area for its volunteers, and she does those things.

One thing that my mom likes is learning new things. Like taking computer classes through the local community college extension classes. She has also taken short classes through the garden.

Retirement will be an adjustment no matter what. It's a transition, and it's natural to mourn passing out of an old way of life into a new way. My mother said it was really hard because work is a major way that you define yourself, and when she quit working she had to find a new way to define who she was. This took about a year. So, some of the sadness and uncertainty is naural and to be expected. That will pass.
posted by generic230 at 8:32 AM on March 14, 2006

Sorry, I didn't read your whole post. I see you did list things your mother likes to do.
posted by generic230 at 8:33 AM on March 14, 2006

Okay, now that I read the whole question, I can actually contribute something useful.

I heartily second ElderHostel. My mother travels through them a lot, and she loves it. Her rooms are always nice, the trips are unbelievably well-priced, and they have hundreds of great destinations.

You should go online and get the catalogues ordered for your mother, have them sent to her. They are like magical wishbooks in which you can actually afford to do the things in them. The website and the catalogues give detailed info about each trip, like level of activity, if the rooms have private bathrooms, if there is transportation to and form the airport etc.

Hope this helps more than the last post.
posted by generic230 at 8:50 AM on March 14, 2006

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