Eric Ahrendt Writer


Posted on January 6, 2017 by

They say it’s important to have hobbies in later life, so we’re getting prepared. Here are the ones we’re working on.

  • Worm wrangling. Elaine started composting, so she bought worms—but not your garden-variety earthworms. These are artisanal worms that come with papers. Soon after bringing them home, she found them all trying to escape from their container. Luckily, she was quick enough to catch them. She now feeds them treats and lets them stay inside. In terms of pets, I think worms are the new dogs.
  • Taking steroids. I found that a steroid nasal spray works better than antihistamines for hay fever, so I’m trying one. That means when you see me, what you’re seeing is me on steroids. I’m aware that anything “on steroids” is supposed to be a bigger, badder version of itself, but I’m afraid me on steroids is still just me—minus the runny nose. Think of it as an incremental improvement.
  • Reading. After years of wanting to read but not having time, Elaine is now in two book clubs. She has more reading homework than an English major. And these are not summer beach reads—they’re serious, depressing books. And she has to figure out something to say about them when she goes to the meetings. This is a hobby? More like an example of be careful what you wish for.
  • Learning Spanish. Now that the U.S. has more Spanish-speakers than Spain (true), I decided to stop wasting my time communicating in English. I already knew soccer Spanish—mostly swear words—so I was partway there. I now identify with Latinos in news stories and try to explain to Elaine what it was like growing up in the barrio. Good thing I got here before the wall goes up!
  • Cluttering and decluttering. Elaine is a saver and accumulates a lot of things, which become clutter. Just before she crosses the line into hoarder territory, she gets rid of enough things to return to an uncluttered state. Then she repeats the cycle. It’s a satisfying hobby because she gets the feeling of accomplishment from decluttering—which she wouldn’t get unless she’d cluttered in the first place.
  • Coiling hoses. Not usually thought of as a hobby, but I spend enough time doing this to call it one. While it may seem like a simple task, I find coiling a hose to be a combination of puzzle, dexterity test and engineering problem. Solutions I’ve tried include calm analysis (doesn’t help), brute strength and awkwardness (makes it worse) and buying a new hose (waste of money). Let me know if you’ve come across a support group for this.
  • Complaining. This is a popular hobby with all seniors, so we’re making an effort to get better at it. Up till now we’ve spent too much time trying to look on the bright side; we know we need to get grouchier fast if we hope to fit in with other old people. Also, it should bring us closer as a couple because we can go on an outing together, then complain about it to each other.

Clearly, with so many wonderful hobbies, we’re not going to be sitting around in our rockers with lap robes. We hope you find lots of great hobbies of your own next year!

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Most of these posts are my opinions and observations about marcom writing; others are about somewhat-related subjects I felt were post-worthy. I'm just hoping none of my current clients leave me after reading these.


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