Wednesday, October 12, 2011


When I first started thinking about this blog I naturally thought my audience would be folk like myself - retired folk in their 50's, 60's and 70's (and 80's if they have kept active - 90's anyone?), young enough to improve their health and well being by pursuing hobbies and working out. But, the more I thought about how I got to where I am, the more I realized that I needed to connect to people in their 20's, 30's and 40's.

Back on September 27th I talked about skills - and the concept of a Renaissance Man - which translates today to a Renaissance Person. I suspect one can not start when they retire and build up the skills I am talking about. And, besides, these skills will help you decide what it is you want to be/do when you get the chance to retire from your day job. OK - a very generic concept, retiring from the day job. But, hang in there - I am basically saying that there will come a time when you have the luxury, and hopefully the motivation to devote a lot more time to doing things you really want to do, instead of in those odd moments when not busy with job, kids, wife, pets... It will help so much if you already have skills you can draw on.

Woodworking - I remember when I moved into my studio apartment in NYC - my first job. No furniture, nothing. But I found two dressers in the apartment complex - in the halls, waiting to be taken to the trash. Many coats of paint, and a bit rough, but good wood under it all. First stop was the library for a book on refinishing furniture. Then off to a hardware store for steel wool and paint remover. And a piece of plywood for the sides of one of the dressers. And a hand saw, and a hammer, and paint brush, and finish, and stain.

These two dressers are in my bedroom today. From these simple beginnings I have developed the skills necessary to restore antique clock cases. And am in fact now teaching others how to faux finish, carve, make molding...

Around the same time I decided I really needed a brief case - and I saw one I really wanted, a lovely leather floppy case. OK, $200 was out of the question. But, I had the old black sewing machine a friend gave me in High School when her mother got a new machine. So, off to Tandy, and I made my own. Which I will still periodically carry. I have had to re-stitch it when the cotton thread died, but this simple start has allowed me to move on, and make things like bomber jackets with fur collars, camera bags, car interiors...

On the exercise front - it is so much easier to start when you are 25. But, so very rewarding when you only start in your 50's, 60's, 70's, well, you get the idea. I was lucky - I started working out when I was 25 and kept at it. Not at today’s 2 to 2.5 hours a day level, but enough to get me to retirement so I could really get serious about getting stronger and more fit.

Audience - Anyone who wants to one day retire into a fulfilling life. Or, anyone already retired who wants more out of their life. By doing things, which gives one satisfaction, which makes one happy!

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