While some men have been counting down the hours and days until they can break free from the 9-5 and enter the golden years of retirement, others struggle with the prospect of life in the slow lane.
Change is never easy, especially without a clear sense of what lies ahead. At this time in life, reflection is intertwined with new habits, but this is not a bad thing. In fact, as Henry David Thoreau would argue, the biggest revelations come during periods of leisure. He wrote: “A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man’s life as in a book.
Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping. Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the cars.” Although this may not apply literally and he may be excited to buy the sports car he always wanted, the significant meaning of this quote is that reflection is the only true source of wisdom. He may be going 90 miles per hour in a convertible on a scenic route in his new spare time, but still is granted freedom of thought and action in the grand panorama of retirement.
Whether he looks forward to relaxation or a plethora of activities to keep up his busy lifestyle, there are several items and hobbies that the retired man will enjoy during his newly liberated existence. Help him check off his bucket list by providing him with intriguing gifts that will make his period of leisure that much more beautiful.
Man of Action
“Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.”
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
The retired man finally has the opportunity to make sports and recreation his full-time job. If he was at a desk the majority of his career, chances are he’ll rush into the outdoors as soon as he boxes up his office. Don’t leave him stranded without activities or the proper amenities.
Buy him a package of golf lessons or if he’s already a pro, a membership to a prime golf course. His golf clubs may be rusty after years of being stored in the basement, so make sure he is not lacking for prime equipment in the green.
This is the time of his life to master new skills, such as fly fishing or sailing. If he’s really adventurous, sign him up for race car driving or flying lessons. Skydiving has also become the new form of therapy; in just one leap, he could shed years of anxiety and stress.
If he had to drive to work during rush hour, he may be excited to use alternate forms of transport such as a swanky new road bike. With no time to replace his old equipment, make sure he is up to date with all of the latest cycling accessories including paneurs, lycra cycling jerseys and shorts and a speedometer.
Perhaps he has been talking for years about turning the basement into a recreation room. Get him started with a new ping-pong or pool table. It has been said that ping-pong is the most neurologically stimulating activity: not only will he be staying active, but also improving his mind.
Man of Leisure
“The end of labor is to gain leisure.”
“Leisure and curiosity might soon make great advances in useful knowledge, were they not diverted by minute emulation and laborious trifles.”
After years of hard work, a man deserves time to himself. Leisure should not be confused with laziness (although he deserves that as well), for it is a productive and fruitful state of being. With the right products, he will be able to make great advances in his spare time. These include a kindle to download his long list of books that he hasn’t had time for, a chess set and a gift certificate to the movies.
If he is a chef, buy him a new pot and pan set and all of the latest cooking contraptions to improve his artistry in the kitchen. His grill is most likely out of date as well; replace it with a multi-burner gas grill so that he can host BBQs without hassle or worry.
If he is a foodie and wino, book a wine tasting trip in Napa or sign him up for cooking classes. His clothes must also reflect his new state of mind; he needs comfortable loafers, polo shirts and jersey shorts. Throw out the old briefcase and replace it with a postmaster’s tote with compartments for everything he could possibly need on day trips.
Now that he will actually be home during hours of sunlight, the backyard needs new furnishings, including comfortable lawn chairs and a hammock. With all of these accents in his new life of leisure, he will soak up the sun and appreciate more than just the hours of the universe, but every waking minute.
Whether the retiree is your dad, husband or guy friend, they just want you to acknowledge their lifetimes accomplishment and wisdom. So show them you realize their great achievements and want them to take life easy from now on!