Have you secretly thought about taking up a new and unusual pastime or hobby only to dismiss the idea by thinking to yourself “what would people say..!” or “I can’t possibly do this…”?
If you have, you’re probably not alone. It’s only natural for silvers to be apprehensive about starting a new pastime, especially if it might be deemed “age – appropriate”.
Unfortunately such pre-conceived ideas and attitudes could just be holding us back from trying something interesting that could spark new pleasure in our lives.
When I took up horse riding at the age of 60, my friends and family thought I was insane. They said: “Why don’t you do something sensible?”
I couldn’t blame them either. As a child, I saw a horse only if I happened to pass the Polo Club which may well have existed in a parallel universe from mine.
In urban Singapore, we don’t have much wildlife and I think most of us would associate horse riding with a certain demographic. Yet horses rescued me from a deep slump.
After a bleak period when my late husband died suddenly of a heart attack, I was casting around for something to fill the void. Friends took me to yoga and zumba but none of these caught my fancy.
With encouragement from my new partner (now husband) who had done a lot of riding in the UK, I did my research and discovered there were horse riding schools in Singapore.
My first lessons were terrifying. But, as I rode, something began to change in me. I felt so exhilarated that this magnificent animal was allowing me to ride on its back, into parts of Singapore you don’t normally see. It connected me with nature that I never had as a child; a sense of freedom and strength, far beyond the boundaries of my own comfort zone.
Every sport or physical activity has its perils and these will never go away. So it’s important to learn how to do it properly by getting the fundamentals right and under good instruction. The rewards may outweigh the challenges if your hobby brings you new-found passion and joy and you may well decide the risk is acceptable.
In fact one of the gratifying things about life in our golden years is that we finally have a bit more time to do the things we love. Interesting and stimulating pastimes keep our minds and bodies active while we transition into our second act. This is the time to delve into what interests you and what ignites your curiosity.
There are many reported benefits for seniors in pursuing an activity or engaging in a hobby. Here are some:
Less risk of developing health problems such as dementia
Increased feeling happiness and health
Higher sense of self-efficacy
More resilience in the face of problems and stress
Improved memory, comprehension, creativity, and problem-solving skills
As you begin to think about what hobbies pique your interest as well as meet your personal needs, you might turn to senior staples like gardening, golf and reading. And whilst these are all wonderful tried and tested choices if they suit your preference, there are some less predictable pastimes that you may not have considered before.
Watch out for more unusual hobbies that we will feature in future articles. Some of them may be just right for you!
We’re a community created by silvers for silvers, brought together by a sense of curiosity and desire to live the next phase of our lives with joy and purpose. Expect useful tips and uncommon wisdom to enjoy living fuller for longer.