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Subject:  Staying Socially Active in Retirement Date:  2/2/2007  11:33 AM
Author:  sissylue Number:  146 of 116898

Uh no - not the ball room dancing kind of socially active - though that's kinda cool too ...

No I was thinking more along the lines of Lillian Carter who joined the Peace Corps in her late 60's. However, I don't think volunteering is something that people reserve for retirement. I think that people who have always been volunteers, do-gooders just find more time for it once they reach retirement age. I think that if you have not been soaked through and through with the idea that volunteering and "good works" is something that has to be part of your daily life just like exercise or brushing your teeth, then upon retirement you are not going to suddenly be visited with the urge to run out and dedicate a year or two to nursing the sick of Calcutta. But if "good works" is always something that you've gravitated towards then retirement can be a great time to finally get a chance to do it right.

Now I don't mean to knock it but the volunteer opportunities they have for people of a certain age in my area seem pretty boring (for me - no doubt they are just the right cup of tea for others) ... we've got Grannies in the Classroom, volunteering at the Senior Citizen's center where the old folks entertain the even older folks ... uhm OK Friends of the Library - I do appreciate that one; great fun if you're a book lover ...

But every know and then don't we yearn to do something a bit more ... exotic. Like Miss Lillian? Give up a summer on an archeological dig? work to preserve a medieval castle on the banks of the Loire? start a one woman program to take ghetto children to the opera?

Can we have a prize for the person who comes up with the most entertaining volunteer opportunity out there?
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