7-21-17 B Barb

By Barb Rock

Dear Barb,

I’ve retired and I need ideas to do different things that are not too physical but fun. Any ideas?

Signed, Retired and Ready to Play

Dear Ready to Play,

This is one of the biggest complaints I hear from those who have retired. Stagnation can set in quickly when there are fewer deadlines and expectations in your retired life. Even if you are not in the best of shape you can swing a badminton racket. This merely requires standing and moving laterally right and left. This game is similar to tennis and is much slower since you’re striking a feather-like birdie. Rackets are light as well. There are many low impact activities if you keep an open mind and ready to explore new skills and play. Recently disk golf has become popular. There is a course in Lakewood called Fort Steilacoom Disc Golf Course (it’s basically Frisbee aiming for a big basket). Break out the bikes if you still have one. There are lanes for bikes everywhere now. Chess and checkers, dominos and card games are brain workouts for the rainy winter days. Ping pong and pickleball can be great coordination. It’s easy to get in a rut so search online, in the paper and watch for things you might want to add to your bucket list for future. This is a whole new chapter of life, but remember that muscles go atrophy in 14 days, so sitting around watching TV or going to the movies will not keep you in shape! Go for it!

Dear Barb,

I sometimes feel like my life is in total disarray. I can’t catch up on things like laundry, shopping, bill paying much less organizing things in general.


Tired of Trying

Dear Tired of Trying,

I taught an organization class years ago at Clover Park Vocational College based from a book entitled “Turning Clutter and Chaos to Order.” I heard many stories of disorganization nightmares from adult women in this class. They learned a technique to streamline their home and they created a custom system to accomplish all the household tasks. There are probably apps for this now available. You actually waste more time when you are unorganized. Your brain cannot relax when you are seeing personal items such as shoes, videos, books, etc. in disarray in your home. If there are items occupying all flat surfaces in your home, it is time to either move or reorganize.

My book has a chapter about how to organize your home and declutter. It comes easily to some, while others defer putting things away each time and would rather memorize where they might be. When you feel out of control in your environment, it will bleed into your social life and your personal relationships. It shows up as symptoms of feeling down and disinterested in life. This is a domino effect and only continues in a big circle. With the exception of bipolar disorder or other diagnosed disorders, disorganization is the result of having difficulty managing time. How many times do we say ,“I need to wash and vacuum this car”… ? But stating what you need to do verbally and executing it are very different. I suggest if something is bothering you regularly, such as a messy coffee table or shoe closet, then attack those chores and demand the time needed to complete the task. Use new containers and baskets for organizing closets and cabinets. I enjoy utilizing glass jam jars for separating nails and screws in my garage or makeup brushes under my sink. There is an inner anxiety that you may be oblivious to or unaware of. You’d be surprised how free you will feel just by organizing your home environment. You may have to call a family meeting and get everyone on board to this new put away habit. Start at the front door and work clockwise through every closet, cabinet and bedroom. Leaving your kitchen for last. Give it a good try and good luck!

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